Return to Transcripts main page


After Brexit, What Next? David Cameron Addresses Parliament. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired June 27, 2016 - 11:30:00   ET



[11:31:04] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: Thank you very much, indeed.

So while we've just been listening to David Cameron addressing British lawmakers in an attempt to reassure his audience, and let me tell you, the

audience, not just those gathered behind me, but those watching around the world via networks like ours, that things will be all right going forward,

that Britain does have a plan, that as it moves towards providing itself a plan for an exit out of the EU, that things will be fine.

Well, will they? I've got Robin Oakley with me here to discuss exactly where we think we are today and where we think we're going.

And what we heard, Robin, you know, walk us through what you think.

ROBIN OAKLEY, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: A lot of very serious points there from the prime minister. Obviously, first of all, completely accepting the

result of the referendum, saying campaigns are over, the country much go forward united now, whichever way you voted in that campaign.

He's talking about the most complex task for the British civil service in decades and that best of the brightest will be brought in to a special unit

to advise the future leader of his party, and future prime minister on the possible courses of action.

One thing he was very keen to reassure people was that nothing has changed for the moment that any EU citizen in Britain or any British citizens

living in the EU, nothing has changed for them, and nothing will, until the negotiations are over and some new shape is established.

He's promised to fully involve the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland governments, not to mention Gibraltar and the London assembly leaders in

any negotiations and discussions, but he's making the point that all key decisions await the arrival of the a new prime minister who's just a little

whiff here and there, I thought of demob-happy, OK, this is all for other people to sort out now, and he did the whole thing with great good humor,

nice little crack about how he'd appeared on one occasion with a Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farren and Gordon Brown, the former Labour Leader, and

he said we proved to be a pretty unpersuasive trilogy.

One key point, I think, when he said Britain won't be immediately triggering article 50 as the European parliament, for example, would like

it to, it is not going to happen, he says until, they have -- the British government had decided what kind of relationship they want with Europe. It

won't pull the trigger until they've decided on what model they fancy.

ANDERSON: And Mark Richard (ph) is a member of parliament, and that is sort of getting to

the novel of what people wanted to find out from the prime minister, this isn't about (inaudible), it was about contingencies, not just this kind of

stopping the short-term rock that we are seeing on the markets, and by the way, markets don't seem to be reassured by what he said, the pound slipped

further as the prime minister was speaking, but it's about what happens next with the UK and its relationship

with this huge trading space they call the European Union.

Are you convinced that we -- that the British publish got what they needed?

OAKLEY: Well, first of all, I would -- let's put this in a little bit context. I think the markets were caught off guard by the result to begin

with, and, clearly, there's a lot of question marks about what sort of investment or divestment companies going to make in the UK, but we're a low

tax economy, we're still a highly skilled economy...

ANDERSON: After this speech that David Cameron...

OAKLEY: Absolutely, but the fact that we're still low tax economy and a highly skilled economy still exists. We're still a competitive place to do


ANDERSON: Budget potentially whether taxes might have to go up.

OAKLEY: well, let's wait and see.

I think we have a political challenge at this time. I wouldn't call it a political crisis. We still have a parliament that is sitting. We still

have an opposition that is challenging the government, and a decision today made by the conservative parliamentary party means we're more likely to have a prime minister in place possibly by the beginning of

September rather than October. That's sort of breaking news as it were over the last couple hours. So it means that the timetable of getting a

new prime minister in place is going to be far quicker. I think that will reassure people in the country, it will reassure the markets, and that

will allow the new leader, whether it be Theresa May or Boris Johnson or somebody else, to take the decisions that need to be taken and very


[11:35:32] ANDERSON: What about Boris Johnson. Where was he?

OAKLEY: One or two people were asking that in the chamber, Becky.


OAKLEY: But I think one other thing we ought to draw attention to was that a point raised by people from several different parties, and indeed quite

quickly by David Cameron himself, the fact that a what we ought to draw attention to is a point raised by people from several different parties and

quickly by David Cameron himself, a fact that a number of racists taken it upon themselves following the referendum result, it's kind of let the genie

out of the bottle. They feel it's kind of legitimized the daubing of buildings with slogans about go home you Poles and things like that. And

David Cameron said he'd actually been in contact with the Polish prime minister to assure her that, no, this kind of thing is going to be stamped


Definite concern across the political spectrum, this is going to be stamped on fast.

ANDERSON: No British lawmaker will tolerate intolerance I think was the line that we heard.

But, look, Mark, the problem is this, that immigration was such a contentious issue in this debate to the detriment of every other sort of

issue that might have or ought to have been debated. And I think we've all been talking about this for days now, about the fact that neither actually

was particularly positive with its messages.

How concerned are you about the possibility of sort of racist and xenophobic behavior here in the UK going forward?

MARK PRITCHARD, BRITISH PARLIAMENT MEMBER: Well, I was glad the prime minister raised it. I was glad that he said that the police will take if

very seriously and prosecute those that are committing these crimes. And race hate crimes are crimes and they have serious repercussions for those

who carry them out.

I think more widely, the next leader of the Conservative Party need to be somebody who can reconcile the country and also reconcile the Conservative

Party, more importantly, the country, but is a political healer out in the country in the parliament and bringing people together.

We remain an open, liberal and tolerant society. These are very isolated incidents, nevertheless they're serious, and the police will prosecute


ANDERSON: Mark, can you understand why there are so many people who are furious about what is going on here? And I'm not talking about people who

voted to remain, I'm talking about lots of people who voted to leave, who feel like they were sold a dodgy argument on immigration and various other

things, and in all those remainers, who say look at the state of what's going on.

You've called this a challenge, other people are calling this a crisis. Perhaps let's call it chaotic. Chaos is no good for a country like


PRITCHARD: Well, look, uncertainty is not good for anybody, certainly in the business community. People concerned about jobs and investment, and

their pensions. But, you know, all these difficult periods in our history, whether it be war or peacetime, we get through it. We are still a great

country and we still have a huge...

ANDERSON: Are Britain's politicians equipped to do that?

PRITCHARD: I believe so. I'm probably the weakest card in the pack, but there are many colleagues in my party and other parties that are far more

able than I to make sure that we bring the country together, have the social cohesion and take the right decisions, strategic and tactical at a

political level and at a community level to make sure we make the right choices for all of us as a nation and inclusive nation.

OAKLEY: Understandably, Mark, you say that one of the tasks of the new conservative leader will be to reconcile the party and to bring it

together, but is the conservative party reconcilable on Europe? It's been split ever since the days of Margaret Thatcher.

We had the remainers had largely been in charge for awhile and the leavers had been resentful. Now the leavers have won this referendum, and the

remainers -- I thought I caught something from the train at Kenneth Clark (ph), you know, longtime offender of Europe, when he said, I hope all MPs

in the debates to come are going to exercise their own judgment on every little bit of legislation that comes before us. That didn't look to me

like somebody who was saying, we're just going to sweep the whole thing through. There's going to be a long fight here.

And, you know, the divisions in the Conservative Party exist still, don't they?

PRITCHARD: Well, look, I didn't go to -- the tearoom is where members of parliament hang around and have cups of tea and other things to talk about.

OAKLEY: Indeed...

PRITCHARD: I'm terribly British. I'm several cups of tea a day. But I avoided the tea room for months, because I just didn't want to talk about

Europe. I was sick of it, frankly.

I went in to the tearoom this morning, nobody is talking about Europe, which is a miracle, a political miracle.

ANDERSON: Perhaps they should be.

PRITCHARD: What people are talking about is how do we now all come together in the national interest? We've had the debate in the country.

We've had the debate in the party for many, many generations or decades, I should say, we've had the debate, let's come together now in the national

interest and make sure that we're out in communities bringing our communities together, making sure that we're keeping jobs and investment in

this country. And I believe that message has been heard loud and clear in the party and we're taking it on board.

ANDERSON: And Britain is open for business is how George Osbourne, the finance minister, described the country as it suffers somewhat on financial

markets at present.

Let's listen to what Mr. Cameron said in parliament just a few minutes ago.


[11:40:33] DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We can reassure European citizens living here and Brits living in European countries that there will

be no immediate changes in their circumstances, neither will there be any initial change in the way our people can travel, in the way our goods can

move, or the way our services can be sold.


ANDERSON: Sounds as if we're not doing anything different than we were before, or it sounds as if Cameron sort of suggesting that'll we'll be in a

position similar to that which we were in last Wednesday, but that's not going to be true, isn't it?

OAKLEY: Just made me think a little of Harold Wilson and the devaluation of the pound. The pound in your pockets has not been devalued. Well, you

knew what he meant, but you know was everybody was going to take it in perhaps that sense?

One thing I thought that the prime minister was very keen to emphasize, and we haven't heard a lot of yet, he said this doesn't mean that Britain is

turning its back on the world, that, you know, we're still involved in a whole lot of things -- the UN Security Council, we're involved in NATO,

we're involved in the commonwealth, and I think there is a fear among some of the remain side in the

Conservative Party that Britain will now, you know, that some of those who voted to leave wanted

Britain to withdraw and become a narrower, most closeted little island on its own.

ANDERSON: What does the UK's relationship look like with Europe going forward? Speculate. I know it is only speculation at this point.

I think it was Ken Clark (ph) who said, you know, to the prime minister, you know, would you be prepared to be a member of the European economic

space, I think, or the economic areas. Is this a free trade route that the UK wants to be a member of going forward? What's it going to look like?

PRITCHARD: Well, it's interesting because the reference to the single market made in the

statement several times. Now, of course, Norway has access to the single market, but it still has to accept free movement of people, it still has to

contribute to the EU budget, and has to abide by EU rules, but is not around the table, actually having an influence on how those rules are set.

So, that model wouldn't really move us from where we were last week prior to the referendum.

We could say -- we could have a sort of sovereignty, but what is sovereignty if you don't have

other things with it? So I think it's for the new prime minister to set out the type of relationship he or she thinks the UK should have with

Europe and then to see whether Europe agrees that is the relationship.

ANDERSON: OK. All right. And that new prime minister we are expecting, or at least we are promised, will be in place by September 2. The

leadership committee has said...

OAKLEY: It's going to be a swift process.

ANDERSON: It's a very swift process.

All right, good. Here in the London, the question is no longer whether the UK will leave the European Union, but when. It's a question EU leaders are

sure to face tomorrow when they begin two days of meetings in Brussels.

Now, the heads of all 28 EU nations will attend, including the British Prime Minister David

Cameron, CNN international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson joining me now from Brussels.

And what sort of reception do you think David Cameron will receive when he arrives for what is this EU summit?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, I think some of it will mirror what he had today during the session we have just

witnessed here. Certainly, the European leaders, or the people that work for them, will certainly have listened very carefully to what David Cameron

said. You know, he was probed and pushed and prodded in every direction.

Would it be right to hold another election soon? Would it be right not to follow through with the mandate and the will of the people? Would it be

right to issue white papers for the steps ahead, i.e. guaranteeing locking in 100 percent of this article 50 is going to be triggered fairly soon.

There are people -- the people in the house there who were concerned that it may not be triggered, that there might be some weaseling in some way.

And there were others there that were hoping that there might be some way to reverse it and weasel it.

And I think what the European Union leaders will have heard and what they will want to follow with David Cameron really reflect that. They want to

know that this process is going ahead and a mechanism and a route to it. And he has laid that out here -- you know, replacement for the leadership

of the party. The working group on how to negotiate what Britain wants out of its negotiation leaving the European Union.

So, all of that does lay the groundwork very clearly. But I think as Robin rightly said there, there was a whiff of sort of a demob-happy with David

Cameron, that everything is left for the next guy, and I think that the European leaders that he'll meet with tomorrow

will be pushing him on that, OK, give us an idea, you're not going to say publicly, but let us know what you're thinking.

At the same time, they know whatever he says, that is not something that he can guarantee. It truly is going to be up to somebody else, Becky.

ANDERSON: All right.

Nic, one notable absentee from the chamber in the House of Commons behind me just earlier on as the prime minister addressed lawmakers was one former

mayor of london, now MP Boris Johnson.

Let me read you -- he's, of course, arguably, one of the most influential leave campaigners. Let me read you what he wrote in Sunday's edition of

The Telegraph newspaper today saying -- or Sunday -- saying, quote, "at home and abroad, the negative consequences are being wildly overdone and

the upside is being ignored."

Now, you're in Brussels. This does seem a little incredulous, doesn't it, in the face what is global turmoil, sort of saying, I'm right, and

everybody else is wrong?

ROBERTSON: You know, you're watching David Cameron on the screen, and at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen you have the ticker there

showing the Dow almost 300 points down today. You know, the two things just don't balance.

It's not clear why he wasn't there, and David Cameron, when he was asked that question, said, well, it's not up to me to answer for my colleagues.

And, certainly, you would -- his shock of blond hair, you wouldn't miss Boris Johnson on the benches. We don't know where he was.

But the idea that he's putting forward is not one that is sort of here in Brussels, at least, it's one that's going to be easily recognized. And,

look, Boris Johnson has not made himself very popular recently with the European Union over the things that he has said and the way that he has

characterized it. He's been roundly criticized for likening it to sort of having Nazi overtones, the European Project.

So, I think you're going to find a lot of people here that will not only take issue over with what he said in that article, but take issue in a lot

of what he said over the recent months and weeks here, Becky.

ANDERSON: All right, Nic, thank you for that.

And just a reminder, viewers, that John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State in town in London. He's been in Brussels earlier on today and at the news

conference, reminded those listening that the U.S. has and will continue to maintain a special relationship with Washington.

Also, though, suggesting that its relationship with Europe going forward is an important one, and that Washington is looking for a very strong Europe

going forward.

Well the leave vote one despite 62 percent of Scottish voters casting their ballots to remain. And now Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon is

exploring how Brexit may somehow be stopped or how Scotland may divorce itself from the United Kingdom.

CNN's David McKenzie has more on that front live from Edinburgh -- David.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right. And you heard in the house there, the head of the Scottish National Party

saying that they didn't want to be part of a, quote, little Britain. So there is a level of anger from Scottish politicians now because, from their

point of view, English voters are looking to haul them out of the union against their will.

So there is a sense here that Nichola Sturgeon is looking at every possible avenue that they have to try and stay in the European Union, that's

including talking directly to EU diplomats. Tomorrow, she will address the Scottish government in the parliament here with the next formal steps and

being talked about a great deal here in Scotland is, of course, the possibility of

another referendum on independence, but the timing of that is crucial for the Scottish National Party, because the last thing they want to do, Becky,

is to have that and then lose for a second time -- Becky.

ANDERSON: David McKenzie is in Edinburgh in Scotland. Robin Oakley still with me here

outside the Palace of Westminster.

And Robin, let me just read you this tweet from Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon. This was this morning ahead of the speech that you just

heard by David Cameron saying, quote, "indeed Boris project farce has now begun, and largely, you are responsible." This

project fear as Boris Johnson suggested, the remain camp were running now being called his own -- now being called Project Farce.

[11:50:11] OAKLEY: Well, it's -- certainly there's a fair amount of fear been demonstrated on the markets, hasn't it? And in that sense, the remain

camp were justified in saying that there would be all kinds of turmoil.

Of course, the argument of Boris Johnson and others is that there will be a dividend at the end of the day, and things will settle down, and a new

style Britain will emerge from all of this.

But, of course, others involved in the scenes in the Commons today, Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Party leader, under desperate pressure to hang on to his

job, how did he do in the performance? Well, he did okay. He made fairly obvious party points, was reasonably graceful with David Cameron, but he

was emphasizing -- he said neither wing of the Conservative government has an absolute exit plan for

how Britain is going to end its relationship with Europe.

And one other key point made by Nick Clegg (ph), who was in the coalition government as Liberal Democrat leader with David Cameron, he said the new

Conservative prime minister is going to have been chosen by 0.003 of the population, i.e. the 150,000 Conservative Party members. They will be

choosing a party leader who will be prime minister. That, said Nick Clegg (ph), is a reason for an early general election.

ANDERSON: Will there be one? We will find out at some point in the next days, weeks, and months to come.

We'll be right back after this very short break. You're watching CNN. I'm Becky Anderson with my guest here outside the Houses of Parliament here in

the UK. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: Right, in the last hour outgoing British prime minister David Cameron faced parliament for the first time since the UK voted to leave the

European Union. He says there can be no doubt about the result and the decision should be accepted. He says it will fall on the next prime

minister to trigger article 50 and begin the formal process for exiting the European Union.

Mr. Cameron tried to reassure both lawmakers and the wider public after days of political turmoil.

In tonight's Parting Shots, we stay right here in London. While the eyes of the political world are watching the goings on in Westminster, about 15

kilometers away the eyes of the sporting world are on Wimbledon. The annual tennis tournament hasn't escaped the aftermath of Brexit. The prize

money is likely to be worth less following the referendum result.

Well, let's go live to Wimbledon and to World Sport's Christina Macfarlane -- Christina.

CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN WORLD SPORT: Thank you, Becky, You're absolutely right, following that pound plummet on Friday, the earnings of

the top champions here at Wimbledon are slightly diminished this year, down by 10 percent, and that's after the championship, in fact, raised the

overall prize pot for the champion to 3 million this year.

But it is not something that is overly troubling the players here. Play got underway just a couple of hours behind me with Novak Djokovic, the

defending champion, and the big question of course this year is who can stop Novak Djokovic in his tracks as he goes for that fifth straight grand

slam title. He is, of course, as well going for his third straight Wimbledon title here.

And he got off to a flying start this morning, a fairly easy opening round against James Blake of Great Britain. He defeated him in straight sets.

And just a short while ago, was in fact, speaking to his coach, Boris Becker who was telling me how important the Olympics will also factor in

all of that this year for him as well going for a potential golden slam, not just a

calendar grand slam, which is of course, all four grand slams in one year.

And on court behind me now, Becky, is also Garbine Muguruza who, you will remember, is the French Open champion of last year. She's seen as one of

the only real contenders to Serena Williams' throne this year. Remember, Serena Williams going for 22 grand slam titles. That would match Steffi

Graf's run of Grand Slam titles as well. She's also up ahead as well against Camila Giorgi of Italy.

And if she can survive these crucial opening matches, then she has a pretty good side of the draw, which could see her run all the way to the final


So, a lovely sunny opening day with very little talk of Brexit other than that prize money winning.

ANDERSON: Well, let me tell you that sum has put a smile on some people's faces down here at Westminster as well because it's been pretty grim not

just weather-wise, but news wise over the past few days. Thank you, Christina. I'm Becky Anderson. That was Connect the World for the time

being. From us, at least, thank you for watching. From the team with me working here, we wish you the best.

CNN, though, continues after this very short break. Don't go away.