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Despite pronouncing that he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than ask the European Union to delay the Oct. 31 deadline for Britain’s departure from the EU, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson last weekend informed EU Council President Donald Tusk that he would in fact need additional time to win parliamentary support for his new plan.

His humiliation is the product of his own behavior, the toxic legacy of a lack of seriousness and commitment to any plan or principle. Yet Johnson can take some solace in the vote that forced his retreat: He may have sufficient support for his proposal, even if it takes longer than anticipated.

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