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Boris Johnson battles to take back control of Brexit

Johnson is primed for another weeklong battle.

Parliament returns Monday for a high-stakes final week before a lengthy -- and controversial -- suspension begins. By Friday, the course of Brexit could be clearer, but the intervening period will be anything but calm.

Early election or another rejection?

The Prime Minister starts his week with a visit to Dublin, where he will meet his Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar. Johnson will likely talk up the state of negotiations with the European Union and the prospects of striking a deal with the bloc.

But he's remained steadfast to his commitment to secure Brexit next month, with or without a pact -- and it's the latter possibility that is causing all hell to break loose back home.

A bullish Boris Johnson offers caption writers a visual metaphor ahead of his high-steaks ... er, high-stakes week.
A bullish Boris Johnson offers caption writers a visual metaphor ahead of his high-steaks ... er, high-stakes week. Andrew Milligan - WPA Pool/Getty Images

When he returns to that commotion later on Monday, his first task in Parliament looks doomed to fail. Johnson, who spent last week claiming he doesn't want an election, will again attempt to achieve one -- while Jeremy Corbyn, who has spent two years calling for an election, will desperately try to block it. Confusing, huh?

Polls suggest Johnson could defeat the opposition Labour leader at the ballot box. He'd hope to return a Brexit-backing Parliament that would give him room to operate in the process, though another hung parliament is a distinct possibility. 

But it appears he won't get an immediate opportunity to prove the pollsters right: Johnson needs a two-thirds majority in Parliament to secure an early election, and with the support of his party and other opposition blocs, Corbyn's blocking strategy is set to prevail.

The standoff leaves Westminster in an absurd and distorted limbo that perfectly illustrates its unending political paralysis -- and, elsewhere, things could get even more complicated.