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Trump and Theresa May during a state visit in July. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

With U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May working desperately to sell her Brexit deal to a skeptical Parliament, President Trump slammed it today as "a great deal for the EU" that could keep the U.K. from securing a trade deal with the U.S.

Why it matters: Trump is unpopular in the U.K., but his comments could deepen what, from May's perspective, is an unwelcome debate over the U.K.'s ability to negotiate trade deals under her plan. Her deal won the approval of all 27 EU leaders over the weekend, but it doesn't currently appear to have enough votes to pass through the House of Commons.

Sebastian Payne, political editorial writer for the Financial Times, emails from London with his take on what's next:

  • "If May's withdrawal agreement is not passed into British law by March 2019, the UK will crash out of the bloc and revert overnight to trade on basic World Trade Organization terms. Most ministers privately believe this would lead to both a recession and total chaos."
  • "But despite the threat of a no-deal Brexit, Remainers and Leavers are lining up to oppose her compromises: around 90 Conservative MPs have said they will vote against it. Combined with the opposition Labour Party and the Scottish nationalists, it is looking nigh impossible for May to pass the deal into law without a significant change in opinion."
  • "May is therefore going over the heads of MPs and trying to sell her deal to the country as what is in 'the national interest.' She hopes that Britons are bored of Brexit and simply want it all to be over. She might be right. But the views of Remain and Leave-supporting MPs are hardening and she has just two weeks to change their minds."

The bottom line: "There is no obvious majority in Parliament for any Brexit deal. There is also no majority for a no-deal Brexit. When the first critical vote is held — 11th December —  we will find out if MPs feel as strongly as they presently claim about May’s compromise. They'll have a chance to change their minds if May tries again with a slightly tweaked version of her deal in late December or early next year. Time, however, is running out," writes Payne.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

White House stands by imperiled Tanden nomination after Senate panel postpones hearing

Neera Tanden. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate Homeland Security Committee is postponing a confirmation hearing scheduled Wednesday for Neera Tanden, Axios has learned, a potential death knell for President Biden's nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget.

The latest: Asked Wednesday afternoon whether Tanden has offered to withdraw her nomination, Psaki told reporters, "That’s not the stage we’re in." She noted that it's a "numbers game" and a "matter of getting one Republican" to support the nomination.

Acting Capitol Police chief: Officers were unsure of lethal force rules on Jan. 6

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman wrote in prepared remarks for a House hearing on Thursday that officers in her department were "unsure of when to use lethal force" during the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Why it matters: Capitol Police did deploy lethal force on Jan. 6 — shooting and killing 35-year-old Ashli Babbit — but have faced questions over why officers appeared to be less forceful against pro-Trump rioters than participants in previous demonstrations, including those over Black Lives Matter and now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

United CEO is confident people will feel safe traveling again by 2022

Axios' Joann Muller and United CEO Scott Kirby. Photo: Axios

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby believes that people will feel safe traveling again by this time next year, depending on the pace of vaccinations and the government's ongoing response to the pandemic, he said at an Axios virtual event.

Why it matters: Misery for global aviation is likely to continue and hold back a broader economic recovery if nothing changes, especially with new restrictions on international border crossings. U.S. airlines carried about 60% fewer passengers in 2020 compared with 2019.

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