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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
Haitians Brace For Hurricane Irma; Barbuda Ravaged By Hurricane Irma; British Parliament Debates E.U. Withdrawal Bill; U.K. Prime Minister Faces Major Test On Brexit; Labour And Liberal Democrats Oppose E.U. Repeal Bill; Irma Bears Down On The Turks And Caicos Islands. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired September 7, 2017 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to a special edition of the WORLD RIGHT NOW. I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones in for
Hala Gorani live at the Houses of Parliament where the crucial next set of Brexit is at hand.
After the United Kingdom severs ties with the European Union, the rule of law will still reign supreme and how do you move thousands of E.U. statutes
onto U.K. books? Well that is the question that lawmakers debate today and will continue to debate for the next few days at the very least. We will
have very much more in the hour ahead.
But first to Hurricane Irma, which is holding strong as a Category 5 monster storm. As we speak, Irma is about half way between the Dominican
Republic and Turks and Caicos Islands, which will be hit by the strongest part of the storm any time now.
Tomorrow the storm should make landfall in the Bahamas, then virtually all models show it barreling into the U.S. mainland into Florida. This is some
of the wreckage the storm is leaving behind in the Dominican Republic.
Some 7,000 people have been displaced there and the country is on alert for dangerous flooding and mudslides. The force of the storm clear here and
take a look at the strong winds from the British Virgin Islands earlier.
Those winds are only barely slowing down and across the Caribbean at least six people are already known to have died from Irma's strength. A strong
rainfall from Irma is threatening to cause devastating mudslides in Haiti.
Our Paula Newton is there for us. Paula, Haiti no stranger, of course, to these sort of natural disasters, presumably making the island all the more
vulnerable as well to the strength of Irma.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. All the more vulnerable and what's alarming really, unsettling, Hannah, is that they've not prepared
very well. We have local officials here in Cape Haitian (ph) telling us that look, we are not prepared for this. Not only we are not prepared for
the storm, we are unprepared for the aftermath of the storm.
Here's the thing, Hannah, this storm has now wobbled further north and further east just a thought of a big difference to Haiti and they are very
lucky as they will not be able to take a direct hit. They just can't.
They are not getting a direct hit, but even the back end of Hurricane Irma can do a lot of damage and a lot of destruction. There are tens of
thousands of people in low-lying areas right now that are at risk.
Authorities been trying to get them to get evacuate. That hasn't happened. People being very laissez-faire. We have not seen a lot of action in terms
of trying to get the goods that they need to prepare.
In a lot of cases, though, Hannah, to tell you the resources just aren't there. There isn't the food on hand. There isn't the water on hand in
order to make sure that they can withstand a hit from Hurricane Irma.
We remember what happened during Hurricane Matthew last year. Hundreds of people died. Again, a lot of it comes from the lack of an infrastructure,
not to mention just their homes. A lot of them made it out of the bare necessities to roof, you know, cardboard and wood, plywood holding up their
And it is a problem especially even in the aftermath depending on how much rain we see flooding and then there is the risk of mud floods -- Hannah.
JONES: Paula, what about shelters? When you talk about the infrastructure being very weak on the island, are there shelters in place for people to
try to get to should they choose to?
NEWTON: There are some but the point is they are not really making a move to go there. There aren't many. The two shelters that we saw did not have
food and water. It was just a place to stay that could withstand the forces of the hurricane without you being in a compromised building.
Having said that, it doesn't seem that they were ready. Government officials here telling us again, they were supposed to be getting supplies
from the capital. Port-au-Prince have yet to come in.
They do have volunteers out. Other people going even on bullhorns and calling for people to warn them about the storm. But I can tell you,
Hannah, as it is coming in even in the last few hours, we have seen very little change in terms of their status of preparedness to have the storm
Again, Hannah, they are very lucky that they will not now be taking a direct hit, still what could happen on the backend of the storm is still
JONES: OK. No direct hit. Paula Newton there for us live on the island of Haiti braced for Irma as it goes passed, you hopefully it goes passed.
Paula, we appreciate it. Thank you.
Turks and Caicos is feeling tropical storm force winds right now as the strongest part of Hurricane Irma is due to make landfall there in the next
[15:05:01] I want to cross now to Dr. Virginia Clervo (ph), director of the Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies, joining me from Grand
Turk Island. Thank you for joining us, Doctor.
Just describe the scene for us right now if you can. Has Irma made landfall yet and are you prepared for what she might bring?
Apologies. We do seem to have lost Dr. Virginia Clervo (ph), who was going us from Turks and Caicos. But no doubt would be describing for us the
situation there on those islands as they are braced waiting for Hurricane Irma to hit in the next couple of hours and will try to reestablish that
link with Dr. Virginia Clervo (ph).
It is too soon to tell exactly what the track will be when the storm hits Florida, the U.S. mainland, of course, but if Irma rolls through Miami,
Fort Lauderdale, Daytona and beyond, the destruction could be catastrophic.
And the governor has issued an urgent warning. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICK SCOTT, FLORIDA GOVERNOR: You've got to protect your family. Possessions can be replaced. Your family cannot. This is serious and we
cannot take chances. It is life-threatening. This is not a strong you can sit and wait through.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Life threatening there from that the Florida governor. The top U.S. emergency official had talked about preparations in Florida and U.S.
territories ahead of the storm.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BROCK LONG, FEMA ADMINISTRATOR: We have nearly 3,000 federal workforces in place not only in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, but also in Florida
all the way -- we are moving teams to basically South Carolina, Georgia, and North Carolina today as well.
Commodities have been pre-staged. Search and rescue has been pulled off of Texas and mobilized to the southeastern United States. Three Navy ships
are off the coast of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, to support life- saving missions today and helping them get back on track with recovery.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Well, we will take you live to Miami Beach, Florida in around 20 minutes' time so stay with us for that.
One island though that seen more than its fair share of devastations so far is Barbuda. Hurricane Irma damaged or destroyed a shocking 95 percent of
the buildings on the island.
And the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda is saying those who are still on the island need to leave and they need to leave now before another
threat that's brewing in the Atlantic, Hurricane Jose potentially causing even more damage.
But it has been described as -- we will have plenty more on what's going on with Hurricane Irma and the path of this storm throughout the program.
In the meantime, let's bring you up to speed with another story, which is the reason I'm here in the heart of London outside the Houses of
Parliament. It has been described as one of the largest legislative projects ever undertaken.
And all day, lawmakers have been in this building right behind me fiercely debating the European Union withdrawal bill, put simply it's a tool to
transfer E.U. law to U.K. legislation once Brexit actually happens.
That's scheduled for March 2019. A very, very large copy and paste, if you like, but some of the ways of transferring that power, rules that have been
there from the time of Henry VIII, have been strongly criticized by the opposition, who are calling it a power grab.
Here's what the Brexit secretary, David Davis, have said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID DAVIS, BRITISH BREXIT SECRETARY: This bill is an essential step. While it does not take us out of the European Union, that's a matter for
the Article 50 process, it does ensure that on the day we leave, businesses know where they stand. Workers' rights are upheld and consumers remain
protected. This bill is vital to ensuring that as we leave, we do so in an orderly manner.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Well, let's breakdown exactly what is at stake here. Political analyst, Carole Walker, joins me live. David Davis is talking about an
orderly manner, wishful thinking perhaps, lots at stake here and a lot to get through in very little time.
CAROLE WALKER, POLITICAL ANALYST: That's right. David Davis was saying that that this is simply a question of making sure that the laws of the
land work OK ones Britain has finally left the European Union.
But what he is talking about is transferring some 20,000 different rules, regulations, and bits of law, which were under the E.U. legislative book
and putting them on to the British statute book.
And to do so, he is saying we can't go through the whole parliamentary process every one of those. We should be able to simply transfer some, put
them across all (inaudible) without going --
JONES: There's simply not enough time.
WALKER: It would take simply years if you were to go through the full parliamentary procedure for every one of those. But of course, many MPs,
including some conservatives are saying that they are not going to just give a blank check to ministers to decide which issues can be settled like
[15:10:06] They are worried that significant changes, significant policy will become part of British law without having a chance to scrutinize them.
JONES: Because the problem here, the reason there are so many critics of what's going on at the moment is that the British democracy itself seems to
be at stake here. Effectively saying we voted for Brexit -- the country voted for Brexit, but we didn't vote an all-powerful government.
We voted for a sovereign parliament and that seems to be overwritten slightly. Just explain this Henry VIII aspect here some of our
international viewers might be particularly confused.
WALKER: Henry VIII, of course, was around an awfully long time before Brexit was voted, but back in the 16th Century, he ruled by decree. He
decided that Parliament was causing far too many problems holding him out when he wanted to instruct -- issue instructions say he would just do
And what critics of the government as saying is that they are -- it is now ministers who are acting like Henry VIII and ignoring Parliament so that
they can get their away. Now the government said this is not the case.
It's simply about sorting out the statute book, but they are going to have an almighty battle on their hands on this as on so many issues as this bill
goes through parliament.
JONES: One of the main issues which is being discussed at the moment is the immigration, on what happens to those skilled E.U. workers, low skilled
in particular when Britain eventually does divorce itself from the European Union.
And there seemed this leaked document that we had in the last couple of days just explain why that document is significant and what it might mean
for many of E.U. citizens currently residing in this country.
WALKER: Well, it is significant because it's the first real insight that we've had into the government distinction on what immigration is going to
look once Britain is outside the European Union.
Now we are told that this has not yet been signed off by ministers. So, it may well get changed, but the document that was leaked and no one in
government has denied that it is authentic, it's suggest that free movement of people would end as soon as we left the E.U.
At the moment that's a key part of being a member of the European Union. But there would be restrictions, particularly on low-skilled E.U. workers,
who would only be allowed to stay for a couple of years.
There will be restrictions on which family members could come into the country. They would have to show passports. They couldn't show I.D. cards
and even for high-skilled workers, there would be restrictions of between three and five years.
And when you think that in this country at the moment, there are tens of thousands of E.U. citizens working, not just doing some of the low skilled
work such as picking crops and so on, but really fulfilling -- in the health services.
JONES: Yes, exactly low-skilled workers are also many care workers and nurses and teachers and the like.
WALKER: There are many people in particular in the social care section, working in the health service, in the hospitality section. Businesses are
already saying, if this is the case, it's going to cause immense problem.
JONES: And if this is a problem within British domestic politics, one wonders what they making of it on the European continent as well and these
negotiation that are currently taking place, and the clock is ticking on them have pretty much stalled, am I right?
WALKER: Well, look, the government here is fighting on two fronts, fighting these battles in parliament, but it's fighting even harder to try
to get any progress in those negotiations with the European Union.
They are essentially at the moment at a stalemate because the European Union are insisting on progress, on key issues such as the amount of money
Britain pays --
JONES: Divorce pay.
WALKER: And the Irish border, before they'll start to talk about the future arrangements whereas British ministers are saying, look, the two
have got to be decided to pull together. You can't sort out the Irish border until we know what the (inaudible).
JONES: Carole, thank you very much for explaining this -- the reason why we are here this evening.
And coming up later on, on the program, I will be speaking to a conservative member of Parliament who is a prominent supporter of Brexit.
Also, we will, of course, have much more on the hurricane, Hurricane Irma, right after this break. We are going to bringing you a weather forecast as
well as the conversation with people on the ground currently in the line of this storm, in the eye of this storm across the Caribbean. Stay with us
for more on the WORLD RIGHT NOW.
JONES: Welcome back. You are watching THE WORLD RIGHT NOW with me, Hannah Vaughan Jones.
And we are going to turn our attention now back to this massive storm that we've been following for you all day here at CNN. Turks and Caicos is
feeling tropical storm force winds right now as the strongest part of Hurricane Irma is due to make landfall in the next few hours.
We were trying to speak to here earlier. I believe now Dr. Virginia Clerveaux (ph) is on the line for us. She is the director of the
Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies and joins me from Grand Turk Island.
Doctor, thank you for joining us. Just tell us what's happening right now. Has Irma hit yet and are you prepared for what she might bring?
DR. VIRGINIA CLERVEAUX, DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT OF DISASTER MANAGEMENT AND EMERGENCIES (via telephone): Currently, we are experiencing tropical force
winds. The weather has started to deteriorate throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands. As you are probably aware Turks and Caicos Island is a
multi-island chain and I am currently at the command center in Providenciales.
JONES: How many people are potentially affected by Irma?
CLERVEAUX: It is a bit too early to have good figures, but we have open shelters. We are encouraging residents in low-lying areas to evacuate to
those shelters. Persons along the coastlines (inaudible) encouraged them to move inland. Seek shelter with family and friends or they can always to
go to one of the official government shelters.
JONES: We understand that it's just a couple of hours until the full force of Irma will actually hit where you are right now. Is it too late now for
people to move? Is it safer for them to stay where they are and buckled out and try and brace for this storm coming?
CLERVEAUX: Yes. Right now, our advice would be that they shelter in place. The winds have already start picking up. We are experiencing
tropical force winds. So, it may be too dangerous to be outdoor. So, our recommendation would be to shelter in place.
JONES: OK. Well, that's just good advice and thank you for sparing the time to talk us. I know you've got a number of people, thousands of
people, potentially to look out for. Dr. Virginia Clerveaux is there in the Turks and Caicos Island. Thank you very much, Doctor. We appreciate
Now the island of St. Maarten was hit by Hurricane Irma on Wednesday and I'm joined now on the phone by Rolando Brison, the St. Maarten director of
tourism. Thank you for joining us, Sir.
These islands, of course, are so popular with tourists. You have tourists to consider, but you also have residents and locals as well. How is your
island coping right now? How is St. Maarten coping?
ROLANDO BRISON, DIRECTOR OF TOURISM, ST MAARTEN ISLAND (via telephone): (Inaudible) doing the best it can considering the difficult situation that
we've just gone through. I mean, it's by far the worst hurricane we've ever experienced. We are a resilient island, but of course, mother nature
has taken its toll.
The good news is before the storm came in, we did get moved by far most of our tourists off the island. You know, compared to what we normally had in
terms of occupancy would tell we have maybe 10 percent of the normal number of tourists.
I don't have an exact count, but we know it was a minor number. The airlines did put an extra flight to get people out before the storm came
in. A few did remain and the hotels, of course, prioritized to ensure that they were in the safest possible location of the hotel.
JONES: As we are talking to you, Mr. Brison, we are looking at aerial pictures as well of St Maarten, the islands, it looks like widespread
devastation as far as the infrastructure is concern. Can you give us any idea of how much of the island has been devastated?
[15:20:11] BRISON: A lot of it has. I mean, it's very hard to go and see any specific site at this stage. You know, we are still assessing and the
most important think is realizing that our citizens and businesses are safe.
So, far (inaudible) seemed to be looking OK in that regard, but damages are there. The airport did get hit pretty hard, but work has already begun to
try and get that cleared up so that we can get relief efforts and begin to take people who might be on the island back home or people that might need
some medical attention to also leave the island.
JONES: What is the first protocol for you, guys, when something like this happens and you'll be familiar, of course, with hurricane season, what do
you do in the first immediate aftermath of a hurricane hitting? What kind of support do you need from the international community and from
BRISON: You know, the support and I have to say I'm kind of overwhelmed with emotions of how many people have reached out to us, you know, and done
everything they can to help. I think everyone knows (inaudible) there's many ways to help and bring awareness to what has happened here.
Be it, you know, funding campaigns or whatever, but what we really focused on in the local level is really getting an assessment of what has happened,
where is damage, who needs urgent help.
We have anyone from Marines to volunteers going around and checking the different communities, the hotel properties and so on. That is the first
thing we do and we have an Emergency Management Council that is on the way constantly.
The issue of course, we have very limited communication. Telecommunications have been hit very hard in St. Maarten. So that makes
it a little difficult, but we are doing the best and everything we can.
Every single person here is praying that the storm that maybe to come as well that heads north of us and doesn't become yet another problem for the
JONES: Yes. Well, we know that -- show that everyone who can do something to help will be trying to help you as you get back on your feet and try to
recover from the effects of Irma. Rolando Brison, thank you so much for joining us on the line there from St. Maarten. Stay safe and we appreciate
your time. Thank you, sir.
BRISON: Thank you.
JONES: We've been seeing ample evidence of Hurricane Irma's brutal strength and it is still a Category 5 storm closing in on the record for
being the longest Category 5 in the Atlantic.
Let's cross now to Jackie Jeras at the CNN Weather Center. Jackie, where is Irma right now and what kind of path is it on?
JACKIE JERAS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. Irma is about 110 kilometers away from Grand Turk Island. We just heard that interview that they are
starting to feel those tropical storm force winds and I think within less than an hour, they could start to see the hurricane force winds increasing.
So, conditions are deteriorating very rapidly and ahead of Irma, there's really nothing in the atmosphere to knock this thing down. So, we think
it's going to stay a powerful Category 5 storm as it moves through the Turks and Caicos and then heads up towards the Bahamas.
We are also getting incredible amounts of rain right now over parts of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. So, the concern there for flooding as
well as mudslides and landslides.
New watches had been issued as of early this afternoon for southern parts of Florida, the Florida Keys. So now the U.S. getting in on the watches
and warnings. Storm surge is one of my greatest concerns especially for the Turks and Caicos.
Notice that the forecast for the water that gets pushed up by the wind could be as much as 4.5 to 6 meters. This would just inundate much of the
island chains in this region so some of evacuations I know have taken place in the southern Bahamas.
A little bit of good news. So, we really have all hazards associated with this storm. Not just the surge, but those catastrophic winds and look at
the focus of them just surrounding this powerful storm, which had been expanding, by the way, in size.
So, those hurricane force winds go out farther than they did even just six hours ago today. Rainfall will be the issue in this red area here. We
could see anywhere between 150 to 200 millimeters of rainfall and heavier amounts in the purple Northern Cuba up towards Southern Florida, could see
as much as 300, 400 millimeters.
But this storm will continue to move unlike what the U.S. has had to deal with, with Harvey that sat there and rained for days and days and days.
Our computer models had been shifting a little bit back and forth over the last couple of days.
And we are seeing that one new shift with the European model, which is bringing this more towards Southwest Florida, but the consensus for the
most part still kind of hugging along the eastern coastline.
So, still some uncertainty and where this is going to go down the line, and all residents in the past need to have a plan. They need to have a kit and
evacuate if told to do so. Back to you.
JONES: Yes. All those paths go to Florida, though. Jackie, thanks very much for updating us on where Irma is headed to.
[15:25:07] Well, let's return, though, to one island that is already dealing with the devastation in its wake and that's Barbuda.
Let me bring in the prime minister now. Gaston Browne is on the line from St. John, Antigua. Sir, thank you very much for joining us. We can talk
about -- a bit about Barbuda in a moment.
But first I understand that there is another storm brewing in the Atlantic, on its way to you. Tell us what you know so far and what your advice is to
the people of these islands?
GASTON BROWNE, PRIME MINISTER OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA (via telephone): That's correct. And Jose is actually approaching the region and we just
want to recommend them to being vigilant that we had for Hurricane Irma as we ensure that we are fully prepared.
In the case of Barbuda, we have taken a decision to implement the program of voluntary evacuation and if the trajectory continues (inaudible) in
Barbuda, we will certain a mandatory evacuation by tomorrow morning.
JONES: Mandatory evacuations, Sir, but where to exactly if Barbuda has been devastated already by Irma, where can people go to?
BROWNE: Mandatory evacuations to Antigua. We have made arrangement here to house them here and to take care of all their needs. In addition, we
have transportation that are really on standby to move them over to Antigua.
JONES: You said yesterday or earlier on today, forgive me, that Barbuda had been decimated by Hurricane Irma. How much devastation are we talking
about? Are we just talking about infrastructure buildings or have lives been lost as well?
BROWNE: Well, we've had (inaudible) and I think has to do with the level of preparation, but the sheer power of the storm would have resulted in
severe property destruction, up to 90 percent of the properties and (inaudible) were damaged.
And many of them significantly damaged, several have actually -- or a number of them have actually been demolished. So, the damage to home was
enormous. The infrastructure as well were severely damaged.
We have estimated overall damage to be in the region of about, well, in excess of $100 million and that will be perhaps the most significant
challenge for our government to raise the necessary funds in order to deal with the rebuilding of Barbuda.
JONES: What happens in the immediate aftermath of something like this? How do you as a prime minister then gather all the troops together and
start some kind of immediate disaster relief in terms of rebuilding and rehoming people?
BROWNE: Well, the priority was to bring relief to the people of Barbuda such as food, water and unperishable goods, medicines, those (inaudible)
have been taken care of. In fact, I'm told that the supplies (inaudible) Barbuda today to include all of the items that I just listed with such that
they were literally overwhelmed.
So, the private sector here in Antigua along with the contributions of the public sector would have been sufficient to provide the immediate needs of
the Barbuda evacuees for the next couple of days.
Clearly, this will continue for some time. So, we'll continue to (inaudible) regional and at the regional assistance. But again, as I've
said before, the real challenge will be actually rebuilding the structures and rebuild their homes.
Now in the case of Barbuda, unfortunately, the homes in Barbuda (inaudible) and this is based on condition what has happened the land in Barbuda is
actually (inaudible) and the bank generally do not give marketers for (inaudible) properties.
So (inaudible) these properties would have been built (inaudible) serving the communities over a number of years and these properties that have been
the only investment for many of these individuals, which they would have lost, if not part of it, all of it.
So, the condition is (inaudible) the cost of the government (inaudible) actual costs. It will also involve them to enable Barbudans to repair or
to rebuild their homes.
JONES: Gaston Browne, it's unimaginable really what your island, Antigua and Barbuda, have already gone through from Hurricane Irma. Unbelievable
really to think that they could be hit again, of course, by Hurricane Jose which is on its way.
We thank you, sir, for the sparing the time to talk to us on THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Gaston Browne, the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, thank
We are live here from the Houses of Parliament in the heart of London and we will have much more on a debate that happened here today. We are going
to be hearing from both sides of the issue on how to make a clean Brexit and more on Irma as well after this break.
HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN HOST, WORLD RIGHT NOW: Welcome back to a special edition of the WORLD RIGHT NOW live here in Westminster as British
lawmakers debate one of the key steps on the way to Brexit. That is the EU withdrawal bill.
The opposition Labour Party have put their foot down on this bill with the leader Jeremy Corbyn urging his MPs to vote against it. And when Labour's
shadow Brexit minister stood up in parliament, he didn't exactly mince his words.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEIR STARMER, LABOUR PARTY'S SHADOW BREXIT MINISTER: If not unprecedented power grab, rule by decree is not a misdescription. It's an affront to
parliament and to accountability. The name of this bill was changed from the Great Repeal Bill to the EU withdrawal bill.
The word great should have been preserved, but it should have been changed to "Great Power Grab Bill."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Let's talk to Bennett Jenkin. He is a conservative lawmaker and a prominent Brexiteer and leave campaigner. Thank you very much for joining
us, sir. The opposition party or opposition members are calling this a "great power grab." What do you make of that? Is that a fair assessment?
Democracy is at stake?
BERNARD JENKIN, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE MP: I don't think so. There is a certain amount of professional outrage conducted by opposition parties on
And what they are complaining about is the so-called "Henry VIII powers", which is a nickname, harking back to the 16th century, decrees issued by
Well, every one of the fast track legal instruments that the government will use in this process will be subject to scrutiny by parliament and can
be brought down by parliament. So, it's a little bit different.
JONES: But there is 20,000 odd statutes that need to be transferred from EU law into British law.
JENKIN: That's not controversial. Everybody agrees with that.
JONES: We know that the timeframe that you have, March 2019 is when we're supposed to leave the European Union, that's not enough time to discuss and
debate every single aspect of it. And, therefore, our democracy is at stake.
JENKIN: No, it isn't. Every time a country went independent from an empire, when Canada became independent from the United Kingdom, they passed
a law like this and they just translated all the laws that were being imposed on them by London into their own laws and started from there with
their own (INAUDIBLE). That's what we're doing.
JONES: OK. But, nevertheless, how precarious, though, is this particular debate that's going to rage on for the next couple of days? The EU
withdrawal bill, how precarious is that for not just for this government, but also for this prime minister, given the fact that her position is
severely weakened after the general election?
JENKIN: This is going to test her authority. There is no doubt about that. But if she gets to the second reading of this bill, her authority
will be very considerably enhanced. But this is a big hurdle.
[15:35:01] But let's keep this in proportion. This is a debate, a row in parliament, not about sovereignty because everyone now accepts we are going
to leave the European Union. This is a row about scrutiny and how we scrutinize changes to these laws as they are translated into UK law.
JONES: But it is also about sovereignty as well, isn't it? The majority of people in this country who voted for Brexit would have probably said
they did so on the basis that it would be power returned to parliament, no power returning to an all-powerful government.
JENKIN: No, no. Power is being returned to parliament. What we're replacing is the European Communities Act, which allowed the European Union
to make laws without reference to parliament at all.
And it allowed the European Court to pass down judgments, to strike down acts of parliament that had been through the whole legislative process.
They could be struck down by European law without any discussion in parliament whatsoever. So, we are restoring British democracy. There's no
doubt about that.
JONES: Nevertheless, the Labour Party, the opposition, they say that they will vote against this no matter what comes forward. They're going to vote
against it and vote it down. So, can you get this through?
JENKIN: Well, I think this will be exposed as really rather a destructive position to take because if they succeed in blocking this bill, and we get
to March 2019 without this bill on the (INAUDIBLE), well, we really would be in for chaos because none of this EU legislation will be translated into
UK law, and there will be complete chaos. Nobody would know what they were doing.
So, they've adopted a very destructive - voted for a chaotic Brexit if they voted against this bill.
JONES: While all the delays going on in the House behind us as well, in the palace of Westminster behind it, of course, there are ongoing
negotiations which seem to have stalled or gridlocked at least with the EU, with our European counterparts.
How much does what happens in here impact on what David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, can do when he goes to negotiate with Europe?
JENKIN: Actually, these are two very separate processes. This is about implementing what will happen whatever happens. The negotiations in
Brussels are a completely separate item.
JONES: But we look weaker in Europe, do we not, if things are tied up in the House of Commons?
JENKIN: I think if the prime minister were to lose this bill, her authority in Europe would be undermined. And this is why it is so
irresponsible for people to play political games with this bill.
The Labour Party have completely shifted their position. They said they were in favor of leaving the European Union. They said they were in favor
of leaving the single market and the customs union and they have reversed their position.
So, obviously, this is what oppositions do. They want to cause the government as much trouble as possible. I think we'll get this through.
JENKIN: And the important thing about the negotiations, there's a bit of stalling going on there at the moment until we have the German elections
start. And once Angela Merkel has her new mandate with President Macron, I think we'll see things move forward much more -
JONES: She does, of course. Bernard Jenkin, thank you very much for joining us. We appreciate.
JENKIN: Thank you.
JONES: Well, that's the latest on Brexit and that's why we here in Westminster for you, but we're also, of course, tracking deadly Hurricane
Irma across the Atlantic. It is tearing across the Caribbean and is now continuing its deadly assault towards the Turks and Caicos Islands, the
Bahamas and Florida.
It is currently off the Dominican Republic coast and it heads north and nearly 16 million more people are in its path.
Let's take a look at the areas that are embracing for a hit from Irma. Cyril Vanier joins us live from the capital of the Bahamas. That's Nassau.
And Rosa Flores is in Miami for us.
Cyril, to you first, how are people preparing for Irma where you are?
CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hannah, there is a real sense of urgency here. And people preparing essentially by battening down hatches. All the
houses that you see behind me, all those windows are boarded up.
The schools are closed. The businesses are all closing now or in the next few hours. And people are stocking up, buying water, buying food, buying
gasoline in bulk.
And they are preparing for maybe having to live without being able to go to shops, without being able to travel on the roads, maybe without having
power or even using a phone for days, if not longer.
The Bahamians in general, people who live in the West Indies in general are very, very sensitive to hurricanes because it's just a fact of life here.
So, they repeat this drill every year. But the sense of urgency this year comes from several things.
First of all, people have seen the devastation that Irma left in its wake in Barbuda, 95 percent destruction. So, they wonder whether their
constructions here, all these buildings that you see behind me, they are built to hurricane code, and they're supposed to withstand very strong
And this is the other reason people very nervous here. They haven't seen a hurricane this powerful in pretty much in living memory.
The last time a Category 5 hurricane came to the Bahamas was in the 1930s. So, unless you're well into your 90s here, you've never seen this before.
And so, people are just wondering whether their preparedness and what they practice year after year is going to see them through this storm.
[15:40:05] JONES: Cyril, thank you very much. Rosa Flores is in Miami, Florida for us. Rosa, of course, this storm is on its way to mainland US.
What are people there doing? Are they stockpiling their goods and sort of hunkering down braced for the storm?
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We have seen shelves go empty. We've seen long lines at gas stations and also Florida Highway Patrol saying that
there is a lot of traffic heading north, out of south Florida.
As you know, Florida is a peninsula. There is no evacuating east or west. You've got to go in that same direction.
Now, the latest here regarding evacuations is that evacuations have been expanding here in Miami-Dade County to include 650,000 people. That
includes several zones along coastal Miami-Dade. It includes the island that I'm standing in right now. It includes the island to my south.
Now, all of these folks are going to try to get gas, board up their homes, pack their cars with their children and their pets and head to higher
And, of course, Hannah, there's a lot of stress involved with all of that because there are gas shortages in Florida. And the government here trying
to get as much fuel as possible to all of the service stations in Florida, but people are having to exercise a lot of patience.
JONES: Yes. Rosa, as we're talking to you, we're seeing that satellite image of Irma barreling there towards Florida. It seems that people there
- it looks like the calm before the storm, as it were at the moment where you are, but thank you very much nonetheless for updating us on how people
are preparing there in Miami in Florida.
Well, Irma itself has already smashed into the British overseas territory of Anguilla. Josephine Gumbs-Conner has lived there for more than 20 years
and joins me on the line. Josephine, thank you for joining us. What can you tell us about what's happened on your island?
JOSEPHINE GUMBS-CONNOR, RESIDENT OF ANGUILLA: Thank you for having us. Anguilla really prides itself on construction. We live in the hurricane
belt, and so we are, I think, relatively well practiced when it comes to building homes that can withstand forces of wind. But I think that this
Hurricane Irma was really a significant test.
I think, as has been said, it has been the worst and strongest storm coming out of the Atlantic ever recorded. And it's clear, when you look at
Anguilla now, that it really did shatter those records.
Anguilla is really - I wouldn't say decimated. I think to the extent that we know what has happened in Barbuda, but we're not very far short from
There has been really significant, significant damage, and particularly not just to homes, but also to the essential services. So, our hospital is
down. Almost all of the schools are damaged. The police station is damaged. The courthouse, the prison, the airport is currently still not
able to - received damage to its tower and to its equipment. It's really nothing short of catastrophic that has really taken place in Anguilla.
JONES: And this is the problem, I guess is that once the storm like this hits the infrastructure of an entire island, can be completely wiped out
then, and therefore, with telecommunications down and the like, things are made ten times worse, aside from the flooding that obviously ensues as
Do we know how many people have been affected on the island where you are? We're not just talking about residents, but presumably tourists as well who
may have been staying there?
GUMBS-CONNOR: Absolutely. There are obviously tourists on the island. We ourselves as a villa are having a guest here and trying out best - he's
American - to see how we can get him out. But there has been such insufficient support by which we're able to access information.
And the response time unfortunately as a British overseas territory is really appalling. I would have thought -
JONES: You say insufficient support. I just want to push you on that. This idea of insufficient support, do you think that your island was not
prepared and that you have ill-prepared planning ahead of this storm hitting?
GUMBS-CONNOR: I think that our local agencies are familiar with what should accord for storm readiness, but I think that this particular storm,
given what we knew in advance, namely that it was going to be a very deadly storm, the support that ought to have come from the FCO and DFID and the
agencies that are directly responsible for disaster management, I think they fell short. I really do.
[15:45:13] We are now two days past this hurricane, bracing for Hurricane Jose, which is directly in our path again. And there is one solitary
helicopter on island doing reconnaissance. There is one solitary military ship on which - as we can see it as residents. No boots on the ground.
You're not hearing the hum of chainsaws going on, cutting down the severe foliage damage that's lying in the road, that's lying in - all around the
JONES: Yes. And, Josephine, we were just talking to the prime minister of Barbuda as well, who was also saying that Hurricane Jose, as you just
mentioned, is now on its way. So, these islands that have been so severely hit already by Irma are now having to prepare themselves and somehow
regroup for more to come.
Josephine, thank you so much for sparing the time, finding the time to talk to us on the WORLD RIGHT NOW. Stay safe and we appreciate it very much.
Now, let's bring you some more news from Westminster, including my conversation with a former remain campaigner, Gina Miller. The Emir of
Kuwait also visits the White House as well as all the other news we're bringing you on the program.
But, of course, North Korea remains the issue that - Donald Trump and the world, we cannot ignore. We will have more on the storms in the Caribbean,
more on Brexit and more on Donald Trump coming up after this break.
JONES: Welcome back. It's 14 months since Britain stunned the world and voted to leave the European Union. Since then, the road to Brexit has had
many twists and turns.
One of them involved my next guest. Gina Miller, she was one of the claimants on a momentum court ruling that made sure that parliament had a
say in triggering Article 50, which is, of course, the process that then leads to Brexit itself. Gina Miller joins me now.
The government again now - the reason we're here is because they started debating this EU withdrawal bill. It seems - the critics saying at least
that it's the government again trying to override parliament to push through Brexit. What are your concerns about what's happening now?
GINA MILLER, REMAIN CAMPAIGNER: I think it's even more dangerous than overriding parliament because, of the 66 pages in this bill, only two lines
talked about Brexit.
The rest of it is about changing the power of balance between the government and parliament. And if this bill is passed, it will allow the
government to bypass parliament and take away a huge sway of rights from people, LGBT rights, disability rights, consumer rights, all sorts of
[15:50:13] JONES: But there is an urgency to get something done, to get it passed. Otherwise, all of these EU laws that now need to become UK laws,
simply that won't happen in time. There's something like 20,000 statutes to switch over. So, it has to be done and it can't be done - everything
analyzed in full detail.
MILLER: There are two things here. One is, when it was originally, it was almost - more of a copy and paste bill originally, where what they were
going to do is bring all the EU law into the statute books.
And then, take time to go through them. That is not what's in this bill. As I said, there are only two lines that talk about Brexit. It's actually
- the majority of this bill is about changing the power of balance.
The very respected, independent (INAUDIBLE) has said this. The House of Lords Constitutional Committee had said this.
JONES: But can it be unpicked afterwards?
MILLER: It can, but it's who is going to do the unpicking, and that is a fundamental question, because under the powers of this act, if it is
passed, it is only the government and the executive, a handful of MPs, not parliament, that will be taking or deciding what we keep, what we do, what
we diminish, and what we get rid of.
And that's the problem, is who is going to decide what we keep on the statute books.
JONES: Well, it's been debated today in the House of Commons. After this, this bill goes to the committee stage and will be analyzed in much more
detail then presumably. MPs, at that point, will be able to add enough amendments to this bill, so that, by the time, it actually does get passed,
voted o, there will be something that, if it needs to be unpicked, it can be.
MILLER: I very much hope that the MPs go through this bill line by line because of how it will change that fundamental balance. As I say,
(INAUDIBLE) to the government and to a prime minister.
But what I'm worried about is the bullying tactics that were adopted last time in parliament because there are many people who are being completely
dishonest, intellectually dishonest, about this is about undoing the will of the people, this is about undoing Brexit. This is about what happens
JONES: Yes. And this idea of Brexit now becoming quite a vicious debate as well, you yourself have personally experienced that. Talk to us a bit
about what you have gone through in the aftermath of your battle to make sure that parliament is sovereign and what your concerns are for others.
MILLER: So, I asked a very legitimate question and the courts ruled in my favor, in the highest court in the land.
But, somehow, I have to be quietened for asking that question. And what has happened, which I find so shocking, is that people think it's OK to
threaten me, both sexual violence, racial violence, every part of my life has changed. My security status has changed. My family - everything has
JONES: All in the last year?
MILLER: All because I asked a legitimate question, which, ironically, was about parliamentary sovereignty.
But what I'm so concerned about is that, if this bill goes through, it will be very difficult for an individual like me to bring this bill. And it
will be very difficult for MPs to impose scrutiny because that will all be taken away because the ruling in my case was very clear. Parliament is
sovereign. If this act is passed, it will be very difficult to hold the government to account.
JONES: Just very briefly, are you concerned about the tone of the debate?
MILLER: I'm very concerned because this should be about the country. This should be about ensuring parliamentary sovereignty. It should be about
ensuring scrutiny and not to power grab. And, unfortunately, bullying tactics are being employed.
JONES: Gina Miller, thank you very much for joining us. Thank you.
And now to other news. US President Trump and the Emir of Kuwait have just held a news conference at the White House. Kuwait has tried to mediate in
the Gulf-Arab boycott of the tiny state of Qatar.
Mr. Trump said he could solve the crisis, but the first question he faced was whether he has ruled out military force against North Korea. Take a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, THE PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: Certainly be an option. Is it inevitable? Nothing is inevitable. It would be great if something else
could be worked out. We would have to look at all of the details, all of the facts.
But we've had presidents for 25 years now. They've been talking, talking, talking. And the day after an agreement is reached, new work begins in
North Korea, continuation on nuclear.
So, I would prefer not going the route of the military, but it's something certainly that could happen. Our military has never been stronger.
Hopefully, we're not going to have to use it on North Korea. If we do use it on North Korea, it will be a very sad day to North Korea.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: President Trump there in the last hour speaking at the White House alongside the Emir of Kuwait. Plenty on his entree at the moment.
Coming up on the WORLD RIGHT NOW, why the spirits of King Henry VIII is alive and well in London today and playing a key role in Brexit. We will
[15:56:05] JONES: It has been 500 years since Henry VIII sat on the English throne. But, now, as we mentioned earlier, he's suddenly become a
player in the Brexit debate.
Well, at least, one of his laws have. The Henry VIII clauses, to be specific, they allow MPs to pass legislation without debate in the House of
Commons. They were introduced way back in the 16th century, 1539 to be precise.
They empowered Henry to bypass parliament to create law. Now, the current UK government argues that it needs the same power for Brexit in order to
speed up the process, but some demonstrators opposed to that dressed up in Tudor costumes right here outside parliament earlier today.
Now, staying with royalty, one young relative of King Henry VIII is also making some news. That's Prince George. He arrived for his first day at
school accompanied by his father Prince William. His mother, the Duchess of Cambridge, had to miss the big day. Katherine is pregnant with the
couple's third child and she is currently suffering from severe nausea and is being treated at Kensington Palace.
And just before we go tonight, I do want to update you on the deadly hurricane that is currently tearing its way through the Caribbean. As far
as we know so far, six people have been confirmed to have lost their lives across several islands.
Currently, Irma is continuing towards the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Bahamas and also the US mainland, Florida in particular. We are keeping an
eye on that and will do throughout the night here at CNN.
This has been the WORLD RIGHT NOW. Thanks so much for watching. "Qwest Means Business" coming up next.