Brexit, Syria, China: Your Wednesday Briefing


One step forward, one step back for Brexit

In two back-to-back votes on Tuesday, the British Parliament approved Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s withdrawal plan in principle, then, minutes later, rejected his second bill that would have fast-tracked necessary legislation in time for the Oct. 31 deadline.

The E.U. now has to decide whether to grant Britain another extension. But Mr. Johnson said he would “pause” the legislation and tell European leaders that the country isn’t interested in another extension.

Feeling lost? You’re not alone. But today’s developments could mean months of further delays and a possible general election.

Takeaway: Though the whiplash of the day left the fate of Brexit in disarray once again, there was one significant development: Lawmakers had approved the contours of an exit blueprint — something that they had never done before.

“How welcome it is, even joyful, that for the first time in this long saga, this House has actually accepted its responsibilities together, come together, and embraced a deal,” Mr. Johnson said.

A glimpse into a prison for ISIS detainees

Our reporter Ben Hubbard and photographer Ivor Prickett visited a Kurdish-run prison in northern Syria that was holding more than 10,000 men who once belonged to the world’s most fearsome terrorist organization.

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