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Forensic Team Combs Through The Saudi Consul General's Home; Trump Is Defending The Saudis; Trump Getting Backlash From Even Republicans On Capitol Hill; May Will Brief EU Reps And Then Leave The Dinner For Them To Deliberate Privately; Trump: Not Giving Cover To Saudi Arabia; Irish Backstop Takes Center Stage In Negotiations; British PM Faces E.U. Leaders At Critical Summit; Death Toll In Crimea Attack Climbs At Least 19; Canada Legalizes Recreational Marijuana. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired October 17, 2018 - 14:00   ET


[14:00:00] HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London, I'm Hannah Vaughn Jones sitting in for Hala Gorani.

Tonight, a forensic team combs through the Saudi Consul General's home as the investigation of what happened to the missing journalist Jamal

Khashoggi continues and Donald Trump sides with the Saudis. We will have the latest details.

Next, Theresa May makes the Brexit pitch to leaders in Brussels. They're wrapping up a working dinner that she wasn't invited to.

Top story, though, we may be getting ever closer to unraveling the mystery of the apparent killing of the Saudi journalist Khashoggi. A few hours

ago, Turkish investigators finally give access to the Saudi consul's general's residence and wore hazmat suits and came amid reports that

several members of the team of suspected of Khashoggi are closely connected to the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Turkey says it has audio

recordings that paint a grisly picture of Khashoggi's killing. Donald Trump says he wants to hear those recordings.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have asked for it if it exists. We have asked for it, Yes. I'm not sure it exists. Probably

does. Possibly does. I'll have a full report on that from Mike when he comes back.


JONES: We have reporters all over the world covering this very important story. CNN's Sam Kiley in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Arwa Damon is in

Istanbul. A huge amount of activity around the residence today. Tell us the very latest on this investigation.

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we do know that this was a critical location that Turkey wanted access to and actually

expecting the forensic investigative teams to be allowed inside yesterday. That did not happen and not exactly sure why there was such a delay but

they finally were let in a few hours ago.

A number of white vans driving up. We saw people wearing blue gloves, some of them wearing hazardous materials suits going inside. Now, remember,

this is the very same building that when that CCTV footage came out we saw that black van that departed from the consulate drive into. This is the

consul general's home and there is quite a bit of suspicion of what may have happened to Khashoggi's body or a sense to find critical clues to lead

them to the whereabouts of Khashoggi's remains.

What they have found in the consulate itself, we do know that different various officials that the entire interior of the consulate itself was

painted over. And you can see some activity happening behind us right now. And they -- it looks like they're bringing out the dogs now. Yes. They --

we think that they also had done this at the consulate itself as well.

They did bring in sniffer dogs to try to take a look at what's happening there and now we have this search under way at the consulate, consul

general's home and they also from the consulate took substances. Turkey really believing to a certain degree it is going to find very, very

critical clues inside this building, inside the residence of the consul general himself that will allow them to come up with a more concrete idea

of what it is that actually happened to Jamal Khashoggi.

JONES: Let's go to Sam Kiley standing by for us in Riyadh. The searches going on right now. My understanding is that the consul general himself

has since left his home, that is being thoroughly searched. He has returned to Saudi Arabia and been fired. How's this all playing out

amongst ordinary Saudis?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We don't know that he's been fired. I have to say, Hannah. But I think that's from an erroneous

report since withdrawn and he certainly did leave in a hurry ahead of the opportunity that could have been taken by Turkish officials to cross

question him had he agreed so to do.

[14:05:00] Let's remember whatever happened to Mr. Khashoggi happened on sovereign Saudi territory. There's no obligation whatsoever for the

diplomats to talk to police or an obligation to open up the building to searches. The reason I think perhaps that this is going on is that there

is a developing narrative that's been around privately discussed with myself and others at CNN by sources here that suggests that perhaps there

would be a statement coming out eminently from the Saudis to point the fingers at a team, a team of operators who went beyond the bounds of

decency and indeed acted without orders from above.

This is going to be a narrative, I think, subjected to intense scrutiny, not least, for example, we know that one individual who's a colonel in

Saudi intelligence was first secretary in London in 2007 appearing in a diplomatic list, has traveled widely very closely with the crown prince is

one of the people that the Turkish authorities say traveled to Istanbul on one of those two private jets that were chartered in and out on the same

day and identified as somebody that the Turks would like to talk to.

There's been no official response from Saudi Arabia about him and others named as persons of interest but they are I do know from sources here

examining those lists and even discussing amongst themselves here in Saudi Arabia what went on. I think there is a strong sense that whatever went on

there was part of an incredibly closely guarded operation and may or may not have been conducted with the knowledge of the crown prince or indeed

the king. That certainly is the line that's been taken at the moment by the United States. Mike Pompeo saying let's give them time to come to some

conclusion before anybody starts assigning blame, Hannah.

JONES: Right. And stand by for us, Sam. Arwa, as well. Kaitlan Collins joins us from the White House and Sam alluding to the latest of the

administration. Donald Trump has said he wants to see this video, hear this audio from the Turkish authorities if, indeed, it does exist but he's

also been very clear on the importance of U.S./Saudi relationships ongoing and U.S./Saudi partnerships. Let's listen to what the President's been

saying about this.


DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: Saudi Arabia's been a very important ally of ours in the Middle East. We are stopping Iran. We're not trying to stop.

We're stopping Iran. We took away that ridiculous deal that was made by the previous administration. The Iran deal which was $150 billion, $1.8

billion in cash. What was that all about? And they are an ally.


JONES: So, he's saying there that Saudi Arabia is an important ally to the United States. It seems to differ, though, from all of the evidence and

much of the speculation that's out there at the moment as to what happened to Jamal Khashoggi and the Saudi involvement in that. Is that the

overriding view of the White House that you stand by the Saudis no matter what?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: We have seen President Trump couch the statements saying we're waiting to see what the

investigation shows. He's requesting that audio, the reported audio. Casting a little bit of doubt of whether it exists and we are seeing the

President's tone change here because he went from expressing a lot of concern first talking about the disappearance of the reporter and saying

there's severe punishment and then also saying let's wait on the investigation and not giving them cover but he is stressing the importance

of that relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.

He keeps going back to that. Not only talking about the Iran deal as you heard him there but also about the arms deal and the questions here is that

something's more important to the President than whether or not they murdered someone in this consulate essentially in retaliation for things

written about them. Those are the questions facing the President.

[14:10:00] He is getting backlash from even Republicans on Capitol Hill saying essentially if they're responsible they should go after them with

everything they can, sanction them, whatever. We are not hearing that kind of language from President Trump. He's not even saying what he's going to

do if it is found that they're responsible.

He was directly asked earlier today by a reporter on Fox Business in an interview, what's the punishment going to be if it's found verifiable

they're responsible for his death and instead President Trump didn't answer but turned that question into the arms deal, the Iran deal. Talking about

the importance of that relationship. So, if that's any indication of what his response is going to be if a report does come out showing they're

responsible, it's certainly not something to please even some allies over on Capitol Hill.

JONES: Arwa, still standing by for us in Istanbul. The crime scene at the moment trying to get to the bottom of what's going on with the forensics.

Sam was alluding to the persons of interest and what possible ties they may or may not have to the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. How is that playing

out in Turkey right now? This idea of these individuals who may have had some involvement in the interrogation and perhaps the final demise of Jamal


DAMON: Well, we haven't had any sort of official response when it comes to the reporting of the ties that these individuals may have had to the crown

prince's inner circle but Turkey from the onset said it was looking at persons of interest. Remember, reminder to the viewers, 15 Saudi nationals

arrived on two separate flights, one very early morning in the day and the same day that Jamal Khashoggi went missing.

And according to some of the reporting, a number of these individuals, not only have very close ties to the crown prince, but are also fairly senior

within the government in and of itself and one of the individuals is one of the leading forensics experts. Another is a former intelligence officer

who was also a diplomat and very close to the crown prince himself.

For Turkey, this is a very tricky situation because not only do they want to try to discover, uncover what it is that exactly happened to Jamal

Khashoggi but treading a political line an you get a sense of this seeing the various leaks that take place, the rhetoric that some members among the

government are using when they feel the Saudis aren't cooperating and they feel has not really been happening to the degree that they would like to

see it take place in the course of all of this.

The Turks waited 13 days, they were actually even allowed access into the consulate. And so, it's going to be interesting to see what sort of report

and conclusion Turkey comes up with and if that is in sync with whatever it is the Saudis decide to come up with in their report, as well, because as

everyone is reporting the political dimension, the potential implications and fallout of all of this could be quite significant.

JONES: Yes. And my hanks to all three of you. I should say I made the claim earlier that the Saudi consul general in Turkey had flown home and

he'd been removed from the post and not confirmed by us here at CNN. We don't know that. My apologies for reporting that. As far as we know as

Sam Kiley was reporting he has since left Istanbul, left the residence being searched and back in Saudi Arabia but we have no reporting as to

whether or not he is still in his post or not. We'll stay across the story, of course. Moving all the time throughout the hour.

In the meantime, it's been 845 days since Britain shocked the world and made the seismic decision to leave the European Union. How that happens

has been a source of much controversy, bitter rhetoric and a whole lot of confusion. But right now, EU leaders are sitting down for dinner in

Brussels to sort out a solution. One person not there, though, Britain's Theresa May, not at dinner, that is. She's given a chance to make the

pitch on Brexit and not invited to the dinner itself. Ahead of the pitch she seemed confident that despite the obstacles, a deal can still be



THERESA MAY, UK PRIME MINISTER: Tonight, we will be able to talk about the very good progress we have made. Yes, differences remain on the North

Ireland backstop issue. By working together, I believe we can resolve those issues. I believe we can achieve a deal. As I say, a deal is in the

interest not just of the U.K. but the European Union.


[14:15:00] JONES: Take you straight to Brussels there. Erin McLaughlin with the latest. Mrs. May seeming upbeat and optimism of the gathering

dignitaries. What's the latest out of the talks?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, LONDON BUREAU: I think it's clear from the arrivals of all of the 28 EU leaders is that the will

is there for a deal to be done and that both sides recognize what's at stake. Of course, what's at stake is a no deal, hard Brexit scenario which

the President of the European Commission Jean Claude Junker himself said is catastrophic to both sides so there's a will for the deal. We're not

seeing the way at this point.

And that will be the subject of the discussion tonight. The summit has just gotten under way. Theresa May is expected to brief the EU 27 we're

told more about 30 minutes, a 30-minute long presentation. Once finished with that, then she'll leave the room. Have dinner elsewhere, working

dinner with the remaining 27 will commence.

They'll hear from the chief Brexit negotiator and then hear from Junker as well talk about the commission's preparations for that no deal scenario.

Out of that, they'll have a discussion and talk about next steps. Now, there had been a consideration for an emergency summit to take place in

November. The hope had originally been that that summit would be an opportunity for them to sign off on a final deal. However, that the point

that is in question.

EU diplomats I have been talking to say they may not have that summit in place by the end of tonight. There's also the possibility on the table

that that summit could become a scenario for a no deal summit and the sense I'm getting from conversations I'm having here in Brussels is leaving it as

an open-ended question and we heard from the chief negotiator arriving saying this process simply needs more time. Hannah?

JONES: And we have run out of time with you I'm afraid. Thank you very much. I know you're stay with the comings and goings there. We'll bring

in the former Attorney General and advocating for a people's vote. And joins me from Westminster. Welcome to the program and to People's Vote.


JONES: What exactly would people, the British people, be voting on? Would it be the same as last time, an in or out of an EU or a yes or no to a

Brexit deal on the table, no being let's just stay in?

GRIEVE: Yes. I think it would be the latter. Clearly, difficult to know exactly what can be voted on until we know whether there's a deal to

present to the electorate. But the basis of the people's vote campaign is that it's quite wrong in view of everything that's happened in the 845 days

to simply take the country out of the EU whether it's abundantly clear that the terms of any deal or possibly no deal are entirely at variance with the

issues of debated in 2016.

So to go back to the electorate and say you can see now where we are, here's either the destiny, sketched out, do you want this or is the

alternative, do you wish do remain in the European Union seems to me to be a reasonable course of action and might help lance the boil of the toxicity

of this debate which is extremely divisive and the real problem is leaving on the 29th of March on the sorts of terms under discussion I don't think

the debate is going to come to an end then at all.

JONES: If there is a people's vote, that would presumably be on the basis that you're assuming that all of those people, millions of people who voted

to leave during the referendum, have changed their minds. We have got some reporting on this, latest poll at least which I think we can bring up now

and this is a poll by the YouGov and "Sunday Times," as well.

This is in hindsight was it wrong to leave? 47 percent are saying, yes, they think they were wrong to vote leave. But that isn't a majority. So,

do you feel justified in saying that a people's vote, a second referendum if you like, give people a chance to make a better decision when it's only

now that they finally got a bit more information? But ultimately people that voted the leave still want to leave.

[14:20:00] GRIEVE: The point is a people's vote presupposed no single outcome. I'm in favor of remain. I believe we're making a historic

mistake and of everything that happened in last two years persuades me of that mistake but that said if the electorate wish to express a contrary

view, I'm a Democrat and I'll have to accept it.

JONES: But they have expressed that view.

GRIEVE: The thing to try to have -- well, I'm afraid I just simply don't agree that they have expressed a view that they want the sort of Brexit

that the government looks likely to be offering them.

JONES: Right.

GRIEVE: Go back do the 2016 referendum. Look at what was being debated. It was an abstract debate on two concepts. Are you better in or out of the

EU? Government looks likely to be offering them.

Yes, a majority decided they wanted the leave the EU and thought we would be better off out. We're 845 days down the track and quite frankly the

sorts of discussions and debates we're having at the moment are very different from what we were talking about two years ago. I recognize some

of my colleagues believe that leaving remains a very good option for the country. But I have to say that the likelihood is that the departure on

the 29th of March firstly, not leaving. We are going into two years at least of transition which means being subordinate to the EU's --

JONES: In the event of a deal.

GRIEVE: The alternative is a no deal --

JONES: And May said is better than a bad deal. She's repeatedly said no deal is better than a bad deal.

GRIEVE: Well, she has said that. But I have to say to you that I don't think parliament will allow that to happen. There is an overwhelming

majority of members of parliament that consider a no deal Brexit with no trade arrangement would be an economic catastrophe for the United Kingdom

and I for one would take the view that it was of such importance I would have to take every step I could in parliament to prevent that happening.

JONES: Do you accept, though, that she is in a tough predicament let's say in Brussels given the fact if they can agree on something, on a deal of

some sort, Brussels, politicians there have already said they know that any deal agreed there is very unlikely to be agreed back home in Westminster

for the prime minister? So, she's really stuck between a rock and a hard place.

GRIEVE: Yes, I agree with that. I think that clearly in view of the comments of some of my colleagues and indeed the widespread disquiet about

the nature of the deal and what it actually means for the country, there must be a serious risk that she cannot get the deal through parliament.

She's labored long and hard and with complete integrity to do the best for the country but the reality is that the outcome doesn't look good.

JONES: Well, you say that you feel very sorry for Theresa May. You're party leader. The prime minister. You said you encouraged polite

rebellion. Is that less polite as time ticks on?

GRIEVE: Well, I hope I'm always polite and I have to say that this is a matter which is proved so difficult that I don't have criticism of

colleagues who take a different view. I simply express my own and great respect for the prime minister whom I have known for many, many years. I

think that we are about to end up in a national failure and I don't want to see that happen.

JONES: Dominic Grieve, thank you very much for joining us on the program tonight. Thank you, sir.

Do stay with us. Plenty more on Brexit after the break and our top story on the ongoing mystery around the case of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi

journalist. Stay with us.


JONES: Welcome back. Now, the accounts of the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi are also reverberating through the business world as we have been

reporting all week. Now more high-profile figures developing of the Davos in the Desert scheduled for next week in Riyadh.

Among them, IMF managing director and the bosses of two of the biggest banks in France. Lagarde's spokesman said the trip to the Middle East is,

quote, deferred. The U.S. Treasury Steve Mnuchin is scheduled to attend for now at least. Saudi Arabia's reputation may be hurting but many

believe they can survive this controversy. Thanks to their deep and intricate ties with the U.S. and the rest of the world. We have more on

this with this report.


JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: The 33-year-old son of the king seized power last year to be crown prince. He's offered western

companies a volatile mix ever since. A high profile 2030 economic reform plan of cutting-edge mega cities coupled with heavy handed moves to

consolidate the grip on power and now the apparent death of Saudi journalist Khashoggi, a frequent critic of his leadership.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The game-changer is on the Saudi side. That they act in this way against a perceived opponent and I think U.S. businesses and

indeed all international businesses are going to have to take that in to their calculation.

DEFTERIOS: Why has western business remained engaged in the kingdom? Primarily because Saudi Arabia is number one oil exporter in the world

which has fueled an infrastructure boom well before the current crown prince came on the scene.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, you have that combination of oil income and the leadership committing to delivering key projects and investments that other

markets around the world don't have and that's why potentially Saudi Arabia is one of the most attractive markets anywhere.

[14:30:00] DEFTERIOS: Research compiled capture it is scale. $1.4 trillion of major projects, a third of which are under construction

already. Last year, I toured the train station, part of a $14 billion rail network to link the port city of Jeddah to Mecca and Medina.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is only the start. We're going bigger and better.

DEFTERIOS: The oil price collapse of 2014 and 2016 slowed down master plans of scores of projects but new [00:30:00] state of the art buildings,

metros and economic sites can be found everywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His Royal Highness, Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

DEFTERIOS: The young crown prince marched in and added a layer of complexity with the 2030 plan dependent on western know-how and political

predictability and seems to be lacking now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: U.S. businesses are going to think long and hard about how they're going to continue their relationships with Saudi Arabia when

this particular government takes actions of this nature.

DEFTERIOS: There's a big bounty in the kingdom for international business. A great risk now, as well. CNN, Abu Dhabi.


JONES: John, thank you.

Still to come tonight on the program, the stakes are high for the U.K. and the prime minister. We break down a critical day for Brexit with two

members of the European parliament.


[14:30:21] JONES: U.S. President, Donald Trump denies he is trying to get Saudi Arabia political cover. Speaking with reporters in the oval office,

Mr. Trump declared that Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo is trying to get to the truth about the suspected killing of Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.

He also said that if Turkey really has a recording implicating Saudi agents, then the U.S. wants to hear it.

Now, the Trump administration's position on Saudi Arabia appears to be a delicate balancing act, to say the least, our Stephen Collinson is standing

by for us in Washington with more on this.

And, Stephen, let's talk about the case of Jamal Khashoggi in the administration's response to it at the moment. Donald Trump seem to be

very at ease, should we say, in defending the Saudi denials of any involvement in Khashoggi's murder. And that's despite all the evidence

contrary as well.

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN SENIOR REPORTER: Right. And that fact has a lot of people, sort of, arguing the present and his administration seem more keen

to ease the pressure on the Saudi than to really find out exactly what went on in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Afterward, we've gone from position a few days ago when the president was saying that there will be severe punishments for Saudi Arabia under a lot

of pressure from Congress, by the way, if it was proven that the Saudi government was to blame for the apparent murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

To now, the president basically taking King Salman's position that this could have been the work of rogue killers, so it's not surprising and given

the fact that Secretary Pompeo has pictured smiling with Saudi leaders yesterday that some people believe that the administration is trying to

push this under the carpet and to make it go away, because Saudi Arabia is such a crucial partner for the administration in the Middle East.

JONES: Yes. And, of course, President Trump has said that the wants to hear that audio, see any video as the Turkish official say that they

currently have. They said it does indeed implicate the Saudis.

But, you know, aside from the case of Jamal Khashoggi which is obviously a priority, one would assume at least for the president at the moment.

He'd also followed a domestic politics to keep him busy as well. The latest where I understand from the special counsel Robert Mueller that he

might have some reporting on his Russia investigation quite soon.

COLLINSON: Right. We haven't heard much from Robert Mueller in the last few weeks, that is because we're heading into a midterm election campaign

and it's generally the practice of the FBI and the justice department not to get into these kind of investigations publicly at such a politically

sense of time.

We saw, for example, what happens when the former FBI director, James Comey was blamed by Democrats for throwing the election to Donald Trump in 2016

after reopening the Hilary Clinton e-mail investigation. But this is something that is out there for the president after the midterm elections

the beginning of November. There are some indications that the probe is getting closer to wrapping up, of course.

[14:35:23] The key things we're waiting to see are whether Robert Mueller, the special counsel has evidence that there was any collusion between the

Trump campaign and Russia. But it's also investigating whether the president himself, including where the firing of James Comey last year

obstructed justice, tried to stop Justice authorities getting to the bottom of all this.

So while the midterm election is the big political story right now, this black cloud is hanging over the White House and it looks like it's going to

get much more serious. And of course, if Democrats win the House of Representatives, as many pundits believe they will in November. They will

then be in the position to act on any of Robert Mueller's investigations if he finds there was wrongdoing by the president or obstruction.

JONES: Yes. And elsewhere, not so much a black crowd may be more of a blue crowd, let's say for the president, some rather unsavory tit for tat

between the president and the porn star to Stormy Daniels. What's the latest?

COLLINSON: Right. The president basically is refusing to climb down after he tweeted about Stormy Daniels yesterday calling her Horseface. In any

other context and any other presidency, this would be something that would be sort of shocking the political world. It really is not that surprising

coming from the president.

And we've seen that in his repeated use of derogatory language against women, he's not really paid a big political price, having said that. One

of the reasons why the Republicans were in such troubled in the midterm elections is that there's this big gender gap, women voters strongly

favored the Democrats.

So it's possible that this could play into what happens over the next few weeks, but I don't think it's changed anybody's mind about the character of

Donald Trump.

JONES: The characters of Stormy Daniels, one could argue. So Stephen Collinson, thank you so much. We appreciate your analysis on all things

going on in the Trump administration today.

But in the meantime, I want to get back to one of our top stories tonight. British Prime Minister Theresa May currently facing E.U. leaders at a

critical Brexit showdown in Brussels.

For now, a breakthrough in the messy divorce seeing, unlikely, but it's just hours ago, Mrs. May appeared very positive, maintaining that progress

is being made, even if it's piecemeal.

Now, earlier on Wednesday, back in London, she addressed her own country's politicians, trading verbal blows with opposition Labour leader, Jeremey

Corbyn over how this split was being handled.

And the biggest remaining sticking points is this, the 310-mile long Irish border. Britain and the European Union are stuck trying to work out how to

keep this border frictionless once Brexit happens.

For more on this, let's bring in Helen McEntee. She is Ireland's minister for European Affairs, and joins me from Brussels. Helen, thank you so much

for joining us on the program.

First up, with the negotiations that are no doubt taking place behind you. We understand all the leaders were at dinner at the moment. What's the

latest on the Ireland's position from the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar?

HELEN MCENTEE, MINISTER FOR EUROPEAN AFFAIRS, IRELAND: So in terms of position, good evening. Our position hasn't changed and the Taoiseach was

very clear in the meeting which we held for Prime Minster May just before she addressed the 27 E.U. member states, that we must have an eagerly after

vote backstop and the withdrawal agreement.

That clearly state and shows that indicates of a future relationship that doesn't address the border issue, that there never will be return to hard

border, that the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process will be protected and that citizens living north of the border of their rights, as

our citizens, as British citizens and E.U. citizens will be protected. So we have been very consistent and clear on that.

I think there is obviously disappointments that we haven't come to this home as we -- an agreement sector, a document to sign off on. However, I

would be positive myself in saying that we are making progress. Progress was made in a number of key issues, as is were obstacles in terms of other

countries and their concerns.

What we need to do now is moving away from this summit. Allow the taskforce led by Michel Barnier. The U.K. taskforce led by Theresa May to

reengage too if you want to take up where they left off last weekend and to continue to focus on getting an agreement on the Irish issue and indeed as

well on the future relationship.

JONES: And the Irish issue is, of course, so crucial in all of this. We understand that everybody wants some kind of a backstop to avoid a hard

border on the island of Ireland, but it's which backstop? And I'm wondering which backstop that Ireland, the Republic of Ireland currently


[14:40:09] Is it Theresa May's backstop, which would effectively keep Northern Ireland the whole of the U.K. in some kind of customs arrangement

with the E.U. for temporary period of time or is it the E.U. current offering of a backstop which would effectively separate Northern Ireland

off from the rest of the U.K. and keep just Northern Ireland in an E.U. customs arrangements?

MCENTEE: So you're right in things that there is a commitment from both side and by both sides, I mean, the U.K. and E.U., 27 of which Ireland is a

part of. The agreement is there that there can be no return to a hard border. The commitment is there that there must be -- wording in the

backstop behind them.

This is in again both sides -- the E.U. put forward our own positions, shall we say, in February or -- January, February of this year which we

feel the backstop can be interpreted. The E.U. have started to put forward their own proposals so far. We need to ensure is that whatever is agreed

in the text, as opposed we're running out of time so we need it to happen soon.

Whatever is agreed but it is legally off for both started in no way it lies us to return to a hard border, that it protects the peace process and all

of its process and that we can move forward. Of course we want to do all of this in the future relationship and so discussions at the moment are not

just on the Irish backstop but also on the future relationship and they're going hand and hand in parallel.

So we need to be able to move forward. I think it's the time for cool heads and kind of discussions and negotiations. And I do think that we can

reach an agreement. We have always said we will be flexible. We are, of course, however remaining within the single market and the customs union

and the integrity of -- must be upheld but obviously within the mandate that the E.U. 27 have given Michel Barnier there is some flexibility.

And I do believe that both sides are willing to come together and to find a solution.

JONES: And perhaps that dinner will help them come to some sort of solution as well. Helen McEntee, thank you very much for joining us on the


I want to get more insight then into this very, very crucial day. I'm joined live also from Brussels by not one but two members of the European

parliament. U.K. MEP, Daniel Hannan. And German MEP, David McAllister. Welcome to you both. It's a delight to see you both side by side as well

on this very divisive issue.

Daniel Hannan, if I can come to you first, I'm wondering if you think that the British prime minister Theresa May can still achieve a deal that's

rings through to her mantra, if you like, that Brexit means Brexit. Can she still get something agreed?

DANIEL HANNAN, MEMBER OF EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: Only is she drops the kind of stubbornness that is to where we are. There's no way that we can have

any kind of lasting deal if it involves a backstop that one side regards as contingent and unlikely to be used. But the other side regards as a

perfectly acceptable solution.

I mean, if that was any negotiation, you can see why immediately one side would be disincentivized for making any further concessions. And so I

think the way we're going any deal that emerges from this summit is not going to get through parliament.

JONES: David McAllister, if I can come to you, you know, the optimism for this summit have been particularly low from many different reasons. They

were arriving today. And are you still optimistic that the E.U. and the U.K. can agree to something and that we won't see come March 29th the U.K.

crashing out of the European Union?

DAVID MCALLISTER, MEMBER OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: I would say 90 percent of the negotiations are now completed. But obviously -- agreement

tonight. So the best thing -- we continue our negotiations to finalize that takes for another summit for -- of European Union leaders, mid-

November. But we have to find a deal latest in December, because we are really now running out of time.

I'm still optimistic, but of course, we have to prepare now for the worst possible scenario and that would be a no-deal Brexit.

JONES: But Daniel Hannan, my understanding is that you aren't afraid of a no-deal Brexit. You've talked a lot about -- crisis about Democracy, if we

had a second referendum, for example here in Britain. And you'd be OK with the idea of no deal and going back to well trade organization rules?

HANNAN: I must prefer there should be a deal. Of course, I would. It's not better to have amicable relations with your immediate neighbors. We

have a continuing interest in the prosperity and security of Europe. We want to have rich neighbors. We want them to be good customers and we like

them. They're old friends. So I must prefer that to be a deal.

But the paradox of always seeing playing out in the current summit is that the issue there is holding up an amicable agreement, is a complete non-


[14:45:04] And what will happen if the talks break down or if the -- because I think it's more likely the issue treaty fell to make it through

parliament, is that in a no-deal scenario, the U.K. government will not impose any frontier infrastructure in Ireland. That's been positioned from

day one.

I can't imagine any Dublin government imposing any infrastructure on its side of the line, so we would then end up with no border and no deal and we

could have caused that had no border and a deal. That's what's so bizarre about the way this whole process has played out.

JONES: So, Daniel Hannan, I want to come back to you on this point then, because so much has been made about backstops. And from what you're saying

now, you're saying that there should be no question of a backstop at all, even though both sides have agreed at least to the principle of having some

kind of a backstop, they just can't agree on which one.

If you were Prime Minister, if you were going in a negotiating -- even though she's not been invited to dinner. But if you were in her shoes

today, what would you do? What would be your first written negotiation?

HANNAN: Well, my own preference the day after the vote was that we should have taken a kind of after type solution where we'd be in the market but

outside of the political institutions. Sadly, it was rejected by remainers and leavers out of hand. But I think in retrospect that would have saved

us a lot of hassle.

But almost any outcome would be better than a backstop that leaves the U.K. in the customs union, leaving Brussels in charge of 100 percent of our

trade policy with zero percent input from us. And indeed which would then as it were have Brussels controlling the U.K. market. The fifth largest in

the world. And using it as a bold to dangle in trade talks with third countries.

So either a simple free trade deal using technology the Irish border or an after type arrangement or simply, if none of that works, if the E.U. isn't

interested in granting a deal like that, then frankly, a minimum sort of skeleton deal that just looks after the basic things that all countries do

it their neighbors, even with unfriendly neighbors like Russia or Iran or something, you know, extradition, aviation, police cooperation, that kind

of thing. Any of those outcomes would be better than the U.K. remaining in the customs union.

JONES: David McAllister, to you, Theresa May hasn't been invited to dinner. Some say the optics of this particularly favorable to the U.K. at

the moment, given the fact that the U.K. still fully signed up member of the European Union that she should perhaps be at the dinner negotiating on

her course.

What do you say that Brexit, so far, the negotiation so far, has encouraged or put other countries off from potentially going down the Brexit region

potentially leaving the Union themselves?

MCALLISTER: Well, this is happening for the first time that a country is leaving our European Union, so this is something new. It's a new challenge

for all governments and countries involved. The E.U. 27 is negotiating the British withdrawal as a bloc. And what will happen tonight is at first the

prime minister will present the latest state of play in London, our plans how we can get this done.

And then the E.U. leaders will listen very carefully and afterwards for the prime minister has left the dinner, they will discuss the way forward.

I still believe that we desperately need to find a solution. We need to get an orderly British withdrawal from the European Union done and that's

why we have to work hard.

And the European Union was very clear right from the beginning, it's not about being nasty, it's not about being -- about punishing the United

Kingdom. The United Kingdom wants to leave our family of nations. We have to respect this. We deeply regret this. But of course, they will have to

leave our family of nations according to our joint rules. And we have now concluded 90 percent of the whole negotiation agreement, but of course

nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.

And in the end -- and this is why I agree with Dan Hannan, it's the Irish - - Northern Irish border issue which still has to be resolved.

JONES: And your colleague standing next to you, David, would no doubt be dismay that the idea of this that if there was to be a second referendum,

if Britain voted to remain in the E.U., would the U.K. be welcome? Just briefly.

MCALISTER: I strongly believe that a European Union with 28 member states, including the United Kingdom would still be a better place than in E.U. of

27 member states without the United Kingdom.

HANNAN: And then that prospect is why there has been no progress in the talks because there are still people in Britain and among the 27 who think

that if they play hardball, we might somehow drop the whole idea.

MCALLISTER: And then we accept the British decision to leave, but still we're very sad that the British are leaving us.

JONES: Well, it's nice to see the two of you just side by side for now, at least. Anyway, Daniel Hannan, David McAllister, my thanks to you both.

Stay with us here on the program. Plenty more coming up after the short break.


[14:50:02] JONES: The death toll from an attack at a college in Crimea has now reached at least 19. That is according to Russian news agency.

Investigators say a student first set off a bomb in a college cafeteria in the city of Kerch. He then started shooting people and then killed


Matthew Chance has the story for us from Moscow.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the chaotic aftermath of the shocking attack that has left dozens dead or

injured at a Crimean technical college. Russian emergency workers scene in Kerch said the majority of victims are just teenagers. Initial reports

spoke of an explosion on their college campus.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): According to preliminary information, an unidentified explosive device packed with metal objects

went off in the cafeteria of Kerch Polytechnic College. We are checking information about the victims.

CHANCE: The exact moment of the explosion was captured of a car dash cam nearby. The investigators now say all of those killed died of gunshot

wounds, inflicted by a lone attacker.

And this is the suspect caught on college security cameras and identified on Russian state television as 18-year-old, Vladislav Roslyakov.

Investigators say he was carrying a second explosive device and large amounts of ammunition. He turned his weapon on himself, they say, after

opening fire inside the campus.

The coastal town of Kerch is on a Crimean side of a controversial bridge built by Russia after it annexed the territory from Ukraine in 2014. It

was opened by Vladimir Putin himself early this year.

Russian lawmakers initially suggested Ukraine may have been behind what was first suspected to be a terrorist attack. It's now labeled a mass murder

and the Kremlin is focusing on support for the victims and their families.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): I want to express condolences to the relatives of those who died and expressed hope

that the victims will recover as soon as possible. We will do everything possible for this.

CHANCE: Meanwhile, Russia has declared three days of official mourning, as it grapples with an appalling rampage.

Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.


JONES: And we're back after this very short break. Stay with us.


[14:55:46] JONES: It was a green rush in Canada today, as the country's first marijuana dispensaries opened. Hundreds of people queued up and

cheered as sales began.

Paula Newton is in Ottawa for us. And Paula, Canada, one of the first countries in the world to legalize recreational marijuana. Why now?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think it was the point the prime minister says that, look, he want it to get it off the

street, out of the hands of drug dealers, out of the hands of children and teenagers and into this regulated environment.

But the Canadian Medical Association, Hannah, is saying look, this is our Grand National experiment. No one will know the outcome. What I can tell

you, Hannah, is that other countries, especially in Europe, the United States, even some in Asia are watching carefully. Watching to see

culturally what happened. And even what happens to things like addiction rate.

And at this point in time, they're hoping that public education and as stringent, stringent regime, as you could see, Hannah, I don't have any

today, because (INAUDIBLE) you can only get it online, which means I wasn't able to go a pot store today. They're hoping that all those rules and

regulations really smooth this out for people. People who believe that really cannabis is like alcohol and tobacco and that's the way it should be


JONES: Yes. Well, Paula, we like to end the program on a high note, so I'm delighted that we ended it with you (INAUDIBLE) with cannabis. Thanks

so much. We appreciate it.

And finally on the program this evening, it's -- we've got the latest on Meghan and Harry, I believe, as well. They're of course, Down Under,

continuing their tour there. Their first world tour, of course, since they announced that they are expecting their first child as well. And the rain

wasn't enough to dampen the spirits.

All the royal couple second day of their tour, as the weather was perhaps just as welcome as the couple themselves. Actually, they've been through

droughts like in farming area of New South Wales. Harry and Meghan watched (INAUDIBLE) in the town of Dubbo and chat at the local school children,

getting hugs from one young fan who broke out a line to embrace both of them. The tour continues tomorrow.

Thank you so much for joining us on the program. Thanks for watching and stay with us here on CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.