Commentators are describing “a new season of political mayhem in Britain” after the prime minister was handed back-to-back defeats yesterday in Parliament, where he now lacks a majority. Not only did the House of Commons vote to block a no-deal Brexit, but it also denied Johnson’s bid for a snap vote next month. The bill aimed at avoiding a chaotic withdrawal is expected to clear the upper house of Parliament Friday — and the opposition says it’ll approve a general election once no-deal is officially off the table.
How do we make sense of all this? In short, it’s an unprecedented test of a political system that’s been bound for centuries by unwritten rules rather than clear constitutional procedures.