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Britain’s political system, hitherto seen by most observers as stable and pragmatic while flexible enough to handle most events, has found itself trapped in an insoluble impasse. It is not easy to see how MPs find a solution, and the long term damage to British democracy may be substantial.
There is more than a passing resemblance between Mrs May, as she tries repeatedly to win approval for her Withdrawal Agreement, and the legendary King Sisyphus of Corinth, who was similarly condemned to labour at an onerous, endless and ultimately unsuccessful task.
Following the debates in the House of Commons last week, the issue of how to handle the Irish border is now the main remaining point of contention at Westminster. Mrs May will try once more to get changes to the terms in her deal when she returns to the EU this week.