Boris Johnson dealt blow as Brexit rebels vote to seize control

11:30 a.m. ET, September 3, 2019

WATCH: The extraordinary moment Tory MP defects

This is the moment Prime Minister Boris Johnson spotted Conservative lawmaker Phillip Lee defecting on Tuesday.

As Johnson addressed the House, he could be seen watching as Lee made his way over to the Liberal Democrats, leaving the Conservative government without a working majority.

Lee wrote in his resignation letter to Johnson, which he posted on Twitter, that "Sadly, the Brexit process has helped to transform this once great Party in to something more akin to a narrow faction, where an individual's 'conservatism' is measured by how recklessly one wishes to leave the European Union."

11:19 a.m. ET, September 3, 2019

Johnson's government has "no mandate, no morals and, as of today, no majority," Corbyn jeers

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has told the House of Commons that today lawmakers "has a last chance to stop this Government from riding roughshod over constitutional and democratic rights in this country, so that a cabal in Downing Street can crash us out without a deal, without any democratic mandate and against the majority of public opinion."

He added that Johnson "isn't winning friends in Europe" and that "he's losing friends at home."

"His is a Government with no mandate, no morals and, as of today, no majority," Corbyn said, after Conservative MP Phillip Lee defected to the Liberal Democrats.

11:11 a.m. ET, September 3, 2019

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn asks UK PM where the new Brexit proposals are

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has asked UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson for evidence that the chances of a deal were "improving."

"His optimism was not shared by those who have been at the same meetings," Corbyn said.

"The Prime Minister may claim progress is being made, but EU leaders report that the Government has so far failed to present any new proposals. Can the Prime Minister clear this up?" the Labour leader asked.

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in the House of Commons on Tuesday.
Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in the House of Commons on Tuesday. Parliament TV

Corbyn added that if the UK has put forward a new proposal, "when will he publish them so that these proposals can be scrutinized by Parliament and by the public?"

10:59 a.m. ET, September 3, 2019

"We will leave by October 31st in all circumstances," UK PM Boris Johnson says

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told lawmakers at the House of Commons that the nation will leave the European Union by October 31 "in all circumstances."

"There will be no further pointless delay," Johnson added.

"Enough is enough. The country wants this done and they want the referendum respected."

The Prime Minister said the rebel bill, which could force him to seek another extension, would "destroy any chance" the government has of negotiating an agreement.

10:59 a.m. ET, September 3, 2019

Chances of a Brexit deal "have risen" in recent weeks, Johnson claims

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told MPs on Tuesday that the chance of a deal "have risen" in the past few weeks.

"This week we are intensifying the pace of meetings in Brussels," Johnson said. "Our European friends can see that we want an agreement and they're beginning to reflect that reality in their response."

11:23 a.m. ET, September 3, 2019

BREAKING: Conservative Party loses working majority in Parliament

Conservative MP Phillip Lee has defected to the Liberal Democrats during Prime Minister Boris Johnson's speech to the House of Commons.

As the Prime Minister was starting his address, Lee stood up and walked across the Commons floor before taking a seat with the Liberal Democrats.

The move leaves Johnson's government without a working majority in Parliament.

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson confirmed the move in a tweet welcoming Lee moments later.

Shortly after, Lee tweeted his resignation letter in which he wrote that he did not make the decision lightly.

He added: "Sadly, the Brexit process has helped to transform this once great Party in to something more akin to a narrow faction, where an individual's 'conservatism' is measured by how recklessly one wishes to leave the European Union."

10:36 a.m. ET, September 3, 2019

UK PM Boris Johnson delivering statement on G7 summit

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has arrived at the House of Commons and is delivering a statement on the G7 summit.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the House of Commons on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the House of Commons on Tuesday. Parliament TV

10:26 a.m. ET, September 3, 2019

Spotted: Former UK Prime Minister Theresa May

Former UK Prime Minister Theresa May has returned to parliament, where she is seated on the backbenches.

Former Prime Minister Theresa May in the House of Commons on Tuesday.
Former Prime Minister Theresa May in the House of Commons on Tuesday. Parliament TV

10:20 a.m. ET, September 3, 2019

A no-deal Brexit means the UK "would face more years of debts and austerity," former Conservative leader hopeful warns

"Why a no-deal Brexit is a very bad idea -- from someone who has voted for Brexit and a sensible deal," Tory rebel and former leadership candidate Rory Stewart tweeted when sharing a link to a blog post on his website.

"It would be perceived rightly -- by our international partners and investors -- as a signal failure of sense, statesmanship, and strategy. We would drop overnight into the margins of the world's trading system," Stewart wrote in the blog post.
"We would have left all the fundamental questions, about our future, unresolved and uncertain. And our reputation, prosperity and influence would be damaged for no benefit."
Rory Stewart pictured on July 22.
Rory Stewart pictured on July 22. ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images

Stewart also warned it would "increase demands" for Scotland and Northern Ireland to leave the UK.

"No-deal is not the answer to anything," he concluded. "We would face more years of debts and austerity, undermine Britain’s reputation for competence and reliability, and take us no further forward in defining any future relationships with the EU or anyone else."

Stewart sent a follow-up tweet shortly afterward reconfirming that he intends to rebel against Boris Johnson's government and would vote against a no-deal Brexit because it would be "deeply damaging."