For Boris Johnson, Another Bad Day and Another Big Defeat in Parliament – The New York Times

One possibility is that Mr. Johnson may strike a new deal with the European Union, but the odds against that are long.

A meeting Monday with the Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar, in Dublin, yielded nothing new on the biggest sticking point, the so-called Irish backstop plan to keep open the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.

Mr. Johnson could try to circumvent the new law, perhaps by sabotaging the prospects of a Brexit extension from the European Union by making it clear that he will be an obstructive force in Brussels.

But anything too blatant might land him in court, so another course of action might be to call a vote of confidence in his own government, or simply to resign and leave another politician to request the delay, gambling that an election would follow soon.

Relinquishing power might, however, be a tough call for a politician who has spent so much time and energy, and provoked such much turmoil, in his successful bid to reach the top job in British politics.

Even the day’s only silver lining for Mr. Johnson came with a poison pill.

John Bercow, the speaker of the House of Commons — and a thorn in the side of the government throughout the Brexit debate — announced his plans to step down. But he timed it so that the current Parliament, which is packed with opponents of the prime minister, would choose his successor.


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