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Boris Johnson emerges from Downing Street before today's vote. Photo: Peter Summers/Getty Images

LONDON — The U.K. Parliament voted Monday to reject Prime Minister Boris Johnson's attempt to call a snap general election on Dec. 12.

Why it matters: The EU granted the U.K. another Brexit extension until Jan. 31, underlining Johnson's failure to deliver on his "do or die" pledge to take the U.K. out of the bloc at the end of this month. Parliament agreed in principle last week to the deal he negotiated with the EU, but not to the expedited timetable on which he wanted to pass it. With momentum now stalled, Johnson wants an election fight before the end of the year.

The big picture: No election is due until 2022, but just about everyone agrees that the current Parliament is hopelessly deadlocked — with Johnson's minority government losing nearly every vote.

  • The fight is now about when to hold an election and on what terms.
  • But the movement to end the deadlock could well result in continued deadlock.

What to watch: Two opposition parties that fiercely oppose Brexit — the Scottish National Party (SNP) and the Liberal Democrats — have proposed an election around the same time as Johnson proposed, but with Brexit sidelined until afterward.

  • In a surprise twist, Johnson today signaled that he'd adopt that idea as his "Plan B." That could give it enough votes to pass later this week, but things could easily hit a snag.
  • All three of the parties backing a December election hope to take seats from the beleaguered Labour Party, which is fraying badly due to Brexit and Jeremy Corbyn’s divisive leadership. Corbyn opposes a December vote but may find himself outflanked.

What they're saying:

  • Johnson on Corbyn: "He's still coming up with ever more ludicrous excuses for hiding from the British people."
  • Corbyn: "The reason I'm so cautious is because I do not trust the prime minister."
  • SNP leader Ian Blackford: "It's about the opposition coming together and taking the keys of No. 10 Downing Street away from a prime minister that we can't trust. ... But we find that the Labour Party wants to sit on their hands."
  • Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson: "We cannot just wait, because my fear is that either the government pushes ahead with their withdrawal bill and it's delivered ... or that we end up in January, a couple weeks away from crashing out without a deal ... but that time the EU says, 'I'm sorry.'"

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about Brexit

Go deeper

New coronavirus cases fall by 20%

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New coronavirus infections continued their sharp decline over the past week, and are now back down to pre-Thanksgiving levels.

The big picture: Given the U.S.’ experience over the past year, it can be hard to trust anything that looks like good news, without fearing that another shoe is about to drop. But the U.S. really is doing something right lately. Cases are way down, vaccinations are way up, and that’s going to save a lot of lives.

Updated 5 hours ago - Health

California surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 deaths

A man prepares a funeral arrangement in in Los Angeles, California, Feb. 12. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: It's the first state to record more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

6 hours ago - Technology

Facebook bans Myanmar military

A protester holds a placard with a three-finger salute in front of a military tank parked aside the street in front of the Central Bank building during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Aung Kyaw Htet/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said on Wednesday it would ban the rest of the Myanmar military from its platform.

The big picture: It comes some three weeks after the military overthrew the civilian government in a coup and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, causing massive protests to erupt throughout the country. Military leaders have been using internet blackouts to try to maintain power in light of the coup.