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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

U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as rate of recovery slows

Data: BLS; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.7% from 6.9%, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The labor market continues to recover even as coronavirus cases surge— though it's still millions of jobs short of the pre-pandemic level. The problem is that the rate of recovery is slowing significantly.

1 hour ago - Health

Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot"

The government's top infectious-disease expert Anthony Fauci said Friday that he "absolutely" will accept the offer from President-elect Joe Biden to serve as his chief medical adviser, telling NBC's "Today" that he said yes "right on the spot."

Why it matters: President Trump had a contentious relationship with Fauci, who has been forced during the pandemic to correct many of the president's false claims about the coronavirus. Biden, meanwhile, has emphasized the importance of "listening to the scientists" throughout his campaign and transition.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Highlights from Biden and Harris' first joint interview since the election

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris sat down with CNN on Thursday for their first joint interview since the election.

The big picture: In the hour-long segment, the twosome laid out plans for responding to the pandemic, jump-starting the economy and managing the transition of power, among other priorities.

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