Another Brexit delay likely as "rebels" try to block Boris Johnson's path

Brexit turmoil: Parliament vs. Boris Johnson
Brexit turmoil: Parliament vs. Boris Johnson 08:24

Last Updated Sep 4, 2019 10:48 AM EDT

London — Prime Minister Boris Johnson came into office saying he had a plan to finally get Britain out of the European Union; talk tough and threaten to just walk away, no matter what the consequences. As CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips reported Wednesday morning, the consequences weren't looking great — for the country or for Johnson.

In his first major test since taking office, the man President Trump said would "do a great job" as prime minister, lost.

The lawmakers of the House of Commons voted 328 to 301 on Tuesday evening to wrest control of the Brexit process from the prime minister.

On Wednesday they will vote again, and with 21 of Johnson's fellow-Conservatives having showing their willingness to oppose him, it looked all but certain that Johnson would be stripped of his one negotiating card with the European Union; his threat to walk away from the EU at the end of October, with or without a new trade deal in place.

Johnson's response was one that many people believe he's been planning all along; he threatened to call a national election. 

U.K. Parliament could force Brexit delay 05:27

"I don't want an election, the public don't want an election," Johnson told parliament before Tuesday's vote, "but if MPs (Members of Parliament) vote tomorrow to stop negotiations and to compel another pointless delay to Brexit, potentially for years, then that would be the only way to resolve this."

The opposition's response: Bring it on — but only after a "no-deal" Brexit is completely off the table.

"So he wants to table a motion for a general election," said Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn of the Labour Party. "Fine. Get the bill through first in order to prevent… in order to take no-deal off the table."

Johnson no longer has a majority in parliament. His party threw out the Conservative MPs who voted against him on Tuesday night, including Winston Churchill's grandson. 

An election seems the likeliest outcome. A new national vote could bolster Johnson's mandate to deliver Brexit on any terms. Or it could see him forced out of the office he's held for less than half a year, with completely unclear consequences for the EU withdrawal plan.

It also wasn't clear on Wednesday morning when an election could actually take place, but with the dramatic move in parliament against Johnson, Brexit seemed headed for yet another delay.