Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The U.K.'s Conservative Party announced in its election manifesto published Sunday that if it wins a majority on Dec. 12, its government will seek to pass Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit deal by Jan. 31 and negotiate a free trade agreement with the European Union before December 2020.

Why it matters: The manifesto rules out extending the Brexit transition period, during which the country will continue to follow EU rules as the two sides hammer out a permanent trade deal. EU politicians have expressed skepticism that a comprehensive free trade agreement could be negotiated in such a short time period, meaning that the U.K. could crash out of the bloc in 2020 without a deal.

Between the lines: This "no deal" outcome is exactly what members of Parliament have sought to prevent for the last four months that Johnson has been prime minister. Experts warn that it could spell disaster for the U.K.'s economy.

  • Hardline Brexiteers like Nigel Farage, meanwhile, have been pushing for this so-called "clean break" exit from the EU for some time. Johnson's promise not to extend the transition period is part of what convinced Farage's Brexit Party not to contest Conservative seats in the upcoming election.

The big picture: Polling indicates that the Conservatives are ahead of the opposition Labour Party by at least 10% and are on track to win a 48-seat majority in Parliament.

Go deeper: Boris Johnson's path to victory resembles Trump's in 2016

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Gulf Coast braces for Zeta after storm strengthens into hurricane

Hurricane Zeta's forecast path. Photo: National Hurricane Center

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) declared a state of emergency Monday as Zeta strengthened into a hurricane and threatened Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula as it moved towards the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The state of play: Zeta was expected to make landfall on the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula Monday night, bringing with it a "dangerous storm surge" and "heavy rainfall" as it moved into the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Service said.

Updated 56 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: The swing states where the pandemic is raging — Pence no longer expected to attend Barrett confirmation vote after COVID exposure.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day case records last week
  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. World: Restrictions grow across Europe.
  6. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.

Supreme Court rejects request to extend Wisconsin absentee ballot deadline

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court in a 5-3 decision Monday rejected an effort by Wisconsin Democrats and civil rights groups to extend the state's deadline for counting absentee ballots to six days after Election Day, as long as they were postmarked by Nov. 3.

Why it matters: All ballots must now be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day in Wisconsin, a critical swing state in the presidential election.