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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is a student of history. That means he is well aware of just how disastrous the start of his term at 10 Downing Street has been. He has lost every major vote before Parliament, and saw his government not only lose its one-seat majority but his own party expelled 21 lawmakers, including some of the most senior and most respected, for voting against the government, which was followed by the resignation of more parliamentarians from the Conservative Party (including his own brother). He is now 43 seats short of a working majority. On Thursday, Scotland’s highest court ruled that Parliament was suspended illegally. The ruling will be reviewed by the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Johnson’s strategy — if there was one — is in tatters and he appears to have two choices: Ignoring a parliamentary mandate (and breaking the law) or asking for an extension from the European Union on the date of Britain’s departure from the EU, an option to which the prime minister had previously said he would rather “be dead in a ditch.” Britain and the world must brace for still more confusion and chaos that will not end Nov. 1, the day after Brexit is presumed to occur.

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