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A Pro-Brexit protestor outside of Parliament. Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May says she'll demand changes to the Brexit deal she reached with the EU, but the EU has long said it's unwilling to renegotiate — and a series of votes in Parliament today didn't make the picture any clearer.

The bottom line: May says the votes indicate there's a majority out there for a revised deal. That's an optimistic interpretation. Two months ahead of the date the U.K. is set to leave the EU, it's unclear what's going to happen.

The latest: Parliament voted to support May's effort to find “alternative arrangements” with the EU on the controversial "Irish backstop."

  • The backstop would prevent a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the U.K. Hard-line Brexiteers hate the backstop because it would keep the U.K. tied to EU trading rules for as long as it remains in place.
  • European Commission President Donald Tusk immediately said "the withdrawal agreement is not open for re-negotiation." It's unclear whether May can even get the EU to the table, let alone get the kind of changes she needs for a parliamentary majority.

Between the lines: Boris Johnson brushed off Tusk's statement, saying "it takes two to tango." That, it must be said, appeared to be Tusk's point.

What's next: Parliament also voted to express its opposition to "no deal," but it rejected a plan to push the official exit date beyond March 29. The conventional wisdom has long been that both sides have every incentive to avoid "no deal," yet it's the default option absent a breakthrough.

Go deeper

CDC to cut guidance on quarantine period for coronavirus exposure

A health care worker oversees cars as people arrive to get tested for coronavirus at a testing site in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The CDC will soon shorten its guidance for quarantine periods following exposure to COVID-19, AP reported Tuesday and Axios can confirm.

Why it matters: Quarantine helps prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which can occur before a person knows they're sick or if they're infected without feeling any symptoms. The current recommended period to stay home if exposed to the virus is 14 days. The CDC plans to amend this to 10 days or seven with a negative test, an official told Axios.

  • The CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
1 hour ago - Health

CDC panel: COVID vaccines should go to health workers, long-term care residents first

Hospital staff work in the COVID-19 intensive care unit in Houston. Photo: Go Nakamura via Getty

Health-care workers and nursing home residents should be at the front of the line to get coronavirus vaccines in the United States once they’re cleared and available for public use, an independent CDC panel recommended in a 13-1 emergency vote on Tuesday, per CNBC.

Why it matters: Recent developments in COVID-19 vaccines have accelerated the timeline for distribution as vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna undergo the federal approval process. States are preparing to begin distributing as soon as two weeks from now.

Obama: Broad slogans like "defund the police" lose people

Snapchat.

Former President Barack Obama told Peter Hamby on the Snapchat original political show "Good Luck America" that "snappy" slogans such as "defund the police" can alienate people, making the statements less effective than intended.

What he's saying: "You lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you're actually going to get the changes you want done," Obama told Hamby in an interview that will air Wednesday morning at 6 a.m. EST on Snapchat.