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Queen Elizabeth is accepting the resignation of Prime Minister Theresa May and is inviting a new prime minister in her place, Boris Johnson, to hold this high office and to form a government. She is doing this on the advice of her counsellors and on the assumption that he can maintain a majority in the House of Commons in support of his new administration and its main policies.

Since his party, the Conservative Party, only has a majority of three in the House of Common, and even that only when supported conditionally by a small ally, the Democrat Unionist Party of Northern Ireland, this is quite a brave assumption. It looks even braver when it appears that at least a dozen of his own party are poised to oppose one of his key policies — namely to allow the United Kingdom to cease being a member of the European Union on Oct. 31, even if no orderly arrangements, based on a properly negotiated deal between the U.K. and the EU authorities in Brussels, have been agreed.

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