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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Crucial Day for Theresa May Over Draft Brexit Deal; British Prime Minister Says Cabinet Backs Draft Brexit Deal. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired November 14, 2018 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:00] HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Good evening, we are live here at Westminster where just down the road the British prime minister, Theresa
May, is facing a crucial test.
In number 10 Downing Street, she's been locked in a meeting with her cabinet. She's been trying everything she can to try to convince them to
back a draft Brexit deal. Ministers went in the front door five hours ago. That door you see on the right of your screen. That's two hours longer
than what we were told to expect earlier. Is that a bad sign for the prime minister? Mrs. May is expected to make a short statement when the meeting
wraps up. She will not be holding a news conference or anything like that. We'll bring you that when it happens live. It could happen any minute.
Earlier in parliament behind me, the prime minister launched a fiery defense of that draft deal. Listen to Theresa May.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER, UK: We will not rerun the referendum. We will not renege on the decision of the British people, we will leave the
customs union, we will leave the common fisheries policy, we will leave the common agricultural policy, and we will take back control of our money,
laws and borders. We will deliver Brexit and the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union on the 29th of March 2019.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: If things go badly for the prime minister, maybe Brexit will be delivered, but will it be delivered by her? Let's get the latest
developments, Bianca Nobilo is outside number 10 Downing Street. Erin McLaughlin is in Brussels.
First of all, Bianca, to you, when do we expect the prime minister this evening? I understand her Brexit secretary who was meant to go to Brussels
has cancelled that trip. What can we read into that?
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We understand that statement from here at 10 Downing Street happened imminently. They put out the microphone
where the prime minister will deliver it about two hours ago. Then the cabinet continued to rumble on. We are about five hours and counting,
which is an incredibly long cabinet meeting. People are reading into that a multitude of things. It wasn't easy for them to come to an agreement,
but also the talks haven't entirely broken down.
So. the prime minister will be trying desperately to win her cabinet to get them to support this draft Brexit text, but it's no easy feat because
she's trying to convince extreme Brexiteers and staunch Remainers to get on side, particularly on that very contentious point of how to avoid the hard
border in North Ireland.
I can tell you that the fact that this cabinet meeting has gone so long, the mood has really shifted from being positive this morning to one which
is quite different and done nothing to dispel that unrelenting talk of Theresa May's leadership. Hers is linked with her ability to deliver on
that referendum result and to deliver Brexit. Now the longer that cabinet meeting goes on behind me, the less likely she will be able to deliver that
to the talk and rumors continue.
GORANI: What are sources telling you in Brussels about their take about what's going on in London? And Theresa May is trying to convince her
cabinet to back this draft text.
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, LONDON BUREAU: Well, EU officials and diplomats and leaders were very much in wait and see mode. I
was speaking to one EU diplomat who told me that the ambassadors met today, all 27 of them for 3 hours and 40 minutes. They had been waiting for some
sort of signal from Theresa May's cabinet. Green lighting that deal. But when that didn't happen and as the delays persisted, the ambassador decided
to end their meeting. Now according to the diplomat during that meeting, the deputy negotiator for Michel Barnier briefed the ambassadors on the
content of the draft text as well as the political declaration going into detail on the backstop. But stopped short of distributing the draft text
to the member states, which had been expected in. The event of a green light tonight. That's not happened. And again, this point Brussels very
much watching and waiting.
GORANI: And just really the heart of the most important question here as far as the government is concerned is whether or not the prime minister can
survive all of this. If several ministers resign of the cabinet does not back this draft text. Can she stay on?
[14:05;00] NOBILO: I think her position looks untenable. It's interesting that even though the cabinet meeting, which goes on behind me, is the key
members of government. The most powerful members of Theresa May's cabinet and government. But it is, in fact, her back benches that she really needs
to worry about because they are the ones with the power to depose her. That's how the Conservative
Party's leadership party works in the U.K. It only takes 48 of her own MPs to write letters of no confidence to trigger a vote of no confidence in
her. So even though the power is within the moment and the decision maker are in there, she has to be conscious of fact that those letters could be
going in from her own MPs. And if that happens, it will cause even more instability here in the U.K. at a time she really can't handle more than
she's got. And as I mentioned before, her ability to deliver Brexit is tied up with her leadership. If they feel that can't be delivered with
Theresa May as prime minister, I think the party will have to look elsewhere.
GORANI: We continue to keep our eye on that black door at 10 Downing Street. Don't go anywhere. We'll get back to you shortly. I want to dig
deeper into this and I'll be speaking to two members of parliament on opposite sides of the issue. James
is Whitehall editor for the "Financial Times," what do you expect here? This meeting has gone on for two more hours than expected. The Brexit
secretary is not going to Brussels. This is looking bad for the prime minister?
JAMES BLITZ, WHITEHALL EDITOR, "FINANCIAL TIMES": It's hard to make a judgment. It might be that Mrs. May at an important moment is letting
every one of these 20 plus cabinet ministers say their bit on a really important moment and they are taking a long time to say it. There's
something that's gone wrong with the statement. So, something new is developing and it may be, it's not impossible, that there's a more
sustained attempt to try to end this kind of deal that she's doing from within the cabinet, she has more object signatures. But we don't know.
The thing that is we do know and which the correspondent was mentioning, but really is worrying is there's a real mood inside the house of commons
that these letters are going in for a vote of no confidence.
GORANI: Which means what?
BLITZ: It means there's 48 letters go in, a vote of no confidence has to happen. That would happen within the next ten days very roughly. If 159
of the 318 plus Tory MPs vote against her and say they don't want it to go on, there would have to be a full-scale leadership election.
GORANI: And we will get a new prime minister.
BLITZ: You would of course but under conservative party rules that could take a long time. As far as the outside world is concerned, we are
supposed to be leaving the EU on March 29th, 2019. This is going to be a really chaotic series of events. So, whether this will lead to anything, I
don't know. But the mood both within the parliamentary party and potentially within the cabinet is hard to say it's looking febrile.
GORANI: Why would the conservative party do this now? Do they feel like they are in a strong enough position to mount a leadership contest when
their party couldn't achieve a majority in the last general election? They had to rely on the DUP of Northern Ireland.
BLITZ: What's happening is that Mrs. May is delivering a Brexit deal, which the hard Brexiters inside the Conservative Party and it also must be
said a lot of pro Europeans don't like. They don't want to go on with us anymore. If they want to go down the road of topping the her, the hard
Brexiters have to have a plan. They have to have an idea of who they would put forward as a replacement or caretaker person. I have no idea, frankly,
whether they have that. From the outside frankly the whole thing looks irrational but it's a sign of grave unhappiness with this kind of middle of
the way deal she's produced.
GORANI: Outside the U.K., the most common question we hear is will there be another referendum. Will they have another go at this question?
BLITZ: She has to lose the vote -- there has to be a vote in the house of commons on this deal. Once the deal is signed with the EU, she comes back
in December and puts a vote. If that vote is lost there's a real chance it will be lost because she doesn't have the numbers at the moment, then we
enter a kind of political no man's land in which the possibility of putting her deal to the British people or staying in the EU becomes a much, much
more likely possibility.
GORANI: Another question I hear a lot abroad is why doesn't the Labour Party take advantage of this? It's a weakened Conservative Party divided
amongst themselves. Why wouldn't they swoop in and try to find a way to force a general election and kind of reverse course on Brexit.
[14:10:00] BLITZ: A general election, I think objectively, is not what we want. That's the one thing we don't want. A general election could
produce a hung parliament. We have two main parties who are split on Brexit. That's something we don't want. The question people ask in this
question is why doesn't the Labour leader put his full weight behind the second referendum? Because in the end there are a lot of Labour voters who
actually want the U.K. to go down that road. But he isn't doing it.
GORANI: But in his public pronouncement when asked the question, he doesn't sound like an EU enthusiast.
BLITZ: It's hard to say. His heart isn't in the idea of a second referendum. Some say he's not that focused on Brexit. The party does have
a clear policy. It must be said. If the vote is lost in the commons, they will try to force an election. They probably won't get it. Then they will
look at a referendum. So, the party has that policy. The point is he as leader is not pursuing the kind of energy people would like to see.
GORANI: I'm keeping an eye on the door there at 10 Downing Street because shortly, any minute now, the prime minister will make a statement. It's
not a full blown q and u exchange. What do you read it's going to be a quick statement at
the end of this cabinet meeting that's gone over time?
BLITZ: She has to make a statement. The reason she has to make a statement is financial markets are looking at all this and they want the to
know that the U.K. is moving to the next phase, which is a summit around November 25th. So, she has to make that statement. There was an idea of
having a press conference, but in parliament a lot of leaders stood up and said you can't have a press conference. You have to come to parliament
tomorrow first and say what the situation is. So, I don't read too much into that. She has to make a statement. If she's unable to make a
statement tonight, that will be seen as pretty bad news. It will mean that there was a much more substantial opposition to the deal within cabinet.
GORANI: Typically, would we have seen ministers walk out if more than a small number of ministers were willing to walk out and withdraw their
backing for the prime minister? Would we have seen them walk out the door?
BLITZ: No. There's no rule book on this. Michael Heseltine, the former Conservative minister, famously walked out of cabinet in 1986 over an
argument over European industry that was EU related. But that's the only time that's ever happened. What would happen is that she would hold this
cabinet, she would come out if she's had one or two designations of lower level ministers, she can probably make the statement and they will resign
overnight. If she's got more substantial it figures, if those people are really digging in and saying you've got to go back to Europe and try to get
something else, then she's got a problem. But then I think the reaction internationally and in markets tomorrow will be fairly negative.
GORANI: she doesn't really have that much time to come up with another deal, does she? We're at the 11th hour here.
BLITZ: We really are at the 11th hour. The real reason why there was so much pressure now on this is if she can't agree today on this deal on in
negotiating position, she can't hold a summit with the EU on November 25th. Which is the last possible date to hold a summit. Before we get into a new
cycle of events, she would have to wait until middle of December for the summit and the council. But the key point is the white hall system is
saying if you don't have a deal by December 1st in the bag, we have to put into motion all of our no-deal planning. Which will be an extremely,
troubling set of announcements that the government has to make. The reason why I think ministers in the end will come around and back this is they
know they don't like this deal.
GORANI: Many Remainers don't like this deal either.
BLITZ: a lot of people don't like it, the trouble is that if they do not go with it, we are into a much more serious degree of no deal planning.
GORANI: And the reason many on both sides don't like it is because if it keeps the UK in some sort of customs arrangement with the EU, it would mean
the U.K. would have to abide by rules without having any power to vote on them or change.
[14:15:00] BLITZ: Yes, I agree with you, I think if Mrs. May can come up with this deal tonight -- at least not the deal, the negotiating position.
The hardest question she will have in the next four weeks in the run-up to the vote is, isn't this better than what we've got now as EU members? The
reality is it just isn't. It's a very hard position.
GORANI: What alternative did the prime minister have? She needed EU buy in and the EU was never going to agree to a situation they had as good as
it did when it was a member by being outside of the union.
BLITZ: She didn't have any. Certainly, for Remainers, she didn't have any alternative.
The bottom line is that the U.K. is leaving the EU. That means that we will do a substantial amount of damage to our trading relationship
especially in terms of access to the single market. The only way to do that and not do damage to the
manufacturing industry and the legacy of the Good Friday agreement was to have a close relationship. The Brexiters don't want that.
GORANI: The Remainers say, why would we want that, we'd rather be members. At least we can vote and have a say.
GORANI: At least we can vote. At least we have a say.
BLITZ: I think in the run-up to the vote over the next three or four weeks, the hardest question for the prime minister is going to be, why is
this better than what the British actually have? Because it is very hard to argue it is. Because we remain very closely aligned to the EU. We
remain for a considerable period of time at the very least in the customs union relationship. But at the same time, we are not sitting at the table
of decision-making in Brussels. So, we have almost the same situation that we have now but we are not actually rule makers.
GORANI: Do you think the majority of Britons have had a change of heart? Some polls suggest that's the case.
BLITZ: I don't think so. Not as much as Remainers would like to think. The strange things about this whole process is while there's an enormous
amount of agitation and animation in Westminster and London, the public hasn't moved in the polls nearly as much.
GORANI: We have seen a Channel 4 poll that a majority and a substantial majority would like another referendum.
BLITZ: If you look at the poll of polls very roughly, it's about 52 to 48 to stay. But it's only really gone in that direction because a lot of new
people are coming into the electoral roll and people who want to leave are pretty much where they were. They have stuck pretty if you remember to
that view. So, a big problem, I think, for those who want a second referendum is if we were to have that poll and the minister to resign, you
couldn't discount the possibility that the British people would vote to leave with no deal. It's not a completely safe direction of travel for
remainers. Because the British public hasn't really changed as much people would like to think.
GORANI: The currency markets as far as the pound is concerned, corporations are making provisions and planning for a no deal. It's
objectively whether you are a Brexiteer or Remainer going to hurt the economy. Is it not?
BLITZ: It is hurting the British economy.
GORANI: Already it is.
BLITZ: I mean yes obviously there are different views about this. But the bottom line is that the British economy is growing at a slower rate than is
European counterparts and has done for most of the time since the referendum. There's no question in the years ahead, the treasury, the
latest budget was projected fairly low levels of growth for the years ahead. But the point is the British public is to some degree prepared to
take economic pain to deliver on the end of free movement. I don't think it's necessarily prepared to take as much economic pain as we're going to
GORANI: There was an interesting poll last year among Brexiteers that a majority said they would be OK with losing their own job or a loved one
losing their job if it meant exiting the EU. It was an emotional decision more so than a logical economic decision.
BLITZ: I think that's a very important observation. There's a very strong feeling that people have along those lines. Also, there are quite a number
of people who voted to stay in the EU in 2016 who say, well, we had a Democratic vote and we need to abide by that vote. So, there's still, as I
say, a lot of resistance within the leave community to stay in the EU if we had a second referendum.
[14:20:00] GORANI: Just reminding our viewers, thank you so much for being so patient with us. We are expecting the prime minister to make an
announcement shortly. She will be reading a statement is what we're hearing from reports. There you have a live image coming to us from 10
Downing Street. Are you hearing anything from your side of things about when we might hear from the prime minister?
If you can hear me at 10 Downing Street, your side of things about when we might hear from the prime minister? If you can hear me at 10 Downing
NOBILO: Hala. Are you there?
GORANI: Yes, can you hear me? We'll try to reconnect with her once we have established the lines there. You were saying this delay doesn't
necessarily mean that it's a horror scenario for the prime minister. One moment. I believe the prime minister is coming out. Let's go to that live
and listen to what she has to say. She'll be reading a statement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAY: The cabinet has just had a long, detailed and impassioned debate on the draft withdrawal agreement and the political declaration on our future
relationship with the European Union. These documents were the result of thousands of hours of hard negotiation by U.K. officials, many, many
meetings held with our EU counterparts. I firmly believe that the draft withdrawal agreement was the best that could be negotiated and it was for
the cabinet to decide whether to move on in the talks. The choices were difficult in particular to the backstop. The collective decision of
cabinet was at the government should agree the draft withdrawal agreement and the outlying political declaration. This is a decisive step, which
enables us to move on and finalize the deal in the days ahead. These decisions were not taken lightly, but I believe it's a decision that's
firmly in the national interest. When you strip away the detail, the choice before us is clear. This deal which delivers on the vote of the
referendum, which brings back control of our money, laws and borders, ends free movement, protects jobs, security and our union, all leave with no
deal or no Brexit at all. There will be difficult days ahead. This is a decision which will come under intense scrutiny and that is entirely as it
should be and entirely understandable. But the choice was this deal which enables us to take back control and to build a brighter future for our
country or going back to square one with more division and uncertainty and a failure to deliver on the referendum. It's my job as prime minister to
explain the decisions that the government has taken and I stand ready to do that beginning tomorrow with a statement in parliament. If I may end by
saying this. I believe that what I owe to this country is to take decisions that are in the national interest. And I firmly believe with my
head and my heart this is a decision which is in the best interests of our entire United Kingdom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, this is a victory for the prime minister. Her cabinet has backed this draft agreement after what she called a long, impassioned
debate over this draft withdrawal agreement. She's repeated that she believes this is the best possible deal for the U.K. That essentially it
protects jobs, provides security for the country and is a much better alternative than crashing out of the EU with no deal. She acknowledges,
obviously, that this decision will come under intense scrutiny. The time line is going from this moment here and then it will go to parliament.
That will be the next hurdle for the prime minister.
Her cabinet has backed her. It is a sigh of relief for the prime minister. What happens in parliament is the question. James, very quickly, your
reaction to what we just heard?
[14:25:00] BLITZ: She's across the big hurdle she had to cross today. She talked about there being collective agreement, which we'll have to see.
But it looks like everybody has come around. There's resignations. The big problem is whether there are now attempts to have a leadership
challenge within the conservative party. She said despite this because she's said she expected difficult days ahead. The question is whether the
cabinet backs her fully and crushed that attempt on the back benches. We'll have to wait and see. I still think even if that is over the big
challenge for her now is she'll go to a summit November 25th, sign that, then she's got a vote in the house of commons, that's the big question.
Has she got the numbers. Right now, most people looking at this from inside that building behind us say she doesn't have the numbers.
GORANI: We're going to have reaction a little bit later in the reaction. Thank you so much. You have been so helpful. It was wonderful having you
on the program to cover this breaking news. Bianca, let's get to you. We heard from the prime minister and we were discussing with James, no
resignations it seems from her cabinet, that also is a victory for Theresa May.
NOBILO: We heard from the prime minister after waiting for five hours for a long cabinet meeting. This was concern about whether she had succeeded
in getting her cabinet, which is fiercely divided over the issue of Brexit. She came out and just announced the cabinet has made the collective
decision to agree on the draft. And to progress that forward to the next stage. She also said that it she stands ready to explain hers and the
cabinet's decision and that that will begin to tomorrow in a statement to the house of commons. That marks the next hurdle she had will need and
that's trying to sell the deal to the nation and to the house of commons, which is even more split and even hard tore deal with in terms of the
Brexit math and whether she will be able to pass this deal than the cabinet itself. The cabinet saw itself as something of a litmus test to whether or
not this deal has any chance of getting itself through parliament. So, she can progress this draft text forward to the next stages.
GORANI: When will we get to see this draft text? Because we have just been speculating and relying on leaks. When will this come out officially?
NOBILO: The draft text, we should either get a copy when the paper is released. The timing is still to be confirmed. It's also expected that
the EU will release a publication of the draft Brexit text. So, it's likely it will be released from both sides at a similar time. It caused a
lot of concern among Brexiters in the U.K. and plenty of speculation as to whether or not this would make Theresa May's position as leader even less
tenable, especially if she wasn't able to sell the most contentious part of this draft Brexit text, namely those around the issue of avoiding the hoard
border in North Ireland to the Brexiters in the cabinet. And many of us were discussing earlier there's huge media that if she could avoid any
resignations this evening, it would be somewhat of a political feat for her. That shows you how low the bar is in this incredibly fractious and
difficult Brexit process.
GORANI: Thanks very much at 10 Downing Street. We will have a lot more on our breaking news. Theresa May's cabinet backs her Brexit draft proposal.
It is a win for the prime minister, but there are many more hurdles ahead for her and for the country. We'll be right back. Stay with CNN.
[14:30:21] HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Let's return now to our top story. We are live in Westminster where the fate of Theresa May and
her Brexit deal will be decided now. It was a victory, just minutes ago, for the prime minister, her cabinet backed her draft, Brexit agreement but
that's just the first hurdle that we've been reporting.
Mrs. May said herself that there are difficult days ahead. So perhaps there'll be some sort of leadership challenge that will certainly be
something that will put her position in doubt.
I am joined now by Erin McLaughlin. I'm told she's in Brussels. Erin, you have some breaking news. Fill us in.
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Hala. We are told by the European commission that at the top of the hour, on light
of the latest developments out of Downing Street, we expect the chief Brexit negotiator for the E.U., Michel Barnier, to give a briefing from the
commission which you see just behind me is expected to signal that sufficient progress has been made in these negotiations which would pave
the way for the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, to call an extraordinary summit here in Brussels, which is expected, although not
confirmed now for November 25th. It's the date of the various officials and diplomats have been talking about throughout today.
Once that is done, the draft text of the withdrawal agreement and the political declaration is expected to be distributed to the capitals, all 27
remaining E.U. member states will be given an opportunity to scrutinize this text, ask their questions. They will have concerns, they will want
assurances from the commission that Michel Barnier has adequately represented their interests at the negotiating table.
There's also parliamentary procedures to contend with Leo Varadkar, Irish Taoiseach, earlier today, in Irish parliament saying that his parliament
will want to vote on this text. He will want debate there in Dublin about that contentious backstop solution.
Once the parliamentary procedures are done that will pave the way for this extraordinary summit where there it will be expected that at the political
level the 27 will sign off on this agreement. Hala.
GORANI: Thank you, Erin McLaughlin. I'm joined now by two members of parliament on different sides of the Brexit debate. Daniel Kawczynski is a
Brexit supporter. Peter Kyle is a remainer.
I'm going to start with you, Daniel. What do you make of what happened tonight? Presumably, you don't like whatever -- even though you haven't
read the text itself. But what we expect is in this draft agreement, you're not a supporter of.
DANIEL KAWCZYNSKI, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE MP & BREXIT SUPPORTER: Well, I will decide how to vote when I have actually engaged with my local
association in Shrewsbury and I take it very seriously getting a steer from my party members. This is a very polarizing issue and people in our own
constituency have very, very widely contrasting views as to what they -- how they felt when they were voting for Brexit and what they expect from
the deal brought back by the prime minister.
So, clearly, we have to engage with our party members and constituents before we decide how to vote. But one thing which has surprised me is that
leading Brexiteers Dr. Fox and Penny Mordaunt and Andrea Leadsom and the others, people who manned the barricades, so to speak, with us during
Brexit. They have gone along with this compromise.
[14:35:00] GORANI: Yes. If there's a vote of no-confidence, will you vote - will you vote with that group of MPs who would vote in favor of a no-
confidence move against the prime minister?
KAWCZYNSKI: I think it would be very, very unfortunate and wrong to have a challenge to the prime minister at this moment in time.
KAWCZYNSKI: Simply because we are in the throes of a very intricate complex negotiation with the European Union and to change party leaders at
this stage, I think would not only potentially delay the process, but actually create even more difficulties for the governments.
So, no, stick with the team captain. But whether or not her agreement gets through the House of Commons, only time will tell.
GORANI: Peter Kyle, your take on what we've heard from the prime minister this evening. She survived the first hurdle. She's gone over that one.
PETER KYLE, BRUTISH LABOUR MP & REMAIN SUPPORTER: Yes. But even if you are selling this as some kind of victory for her, but look at her own
language. He was hardly listen with the first (INAUDIBLE)
GORANI: It could have been a lot -- it could have been a lot worse. Our baseline expectation was that potentially she wouldn't even survived.
KYLE: When you have the prime minister making announcement, which is the most significant thing facing your country and she announces it by saying
there's going to be bumps in the road, then there's going to be some massive shocks going forward.
Now, we don't know yet with what's going to happen with the cabinet ministers. Just because I have agreed tonight, it doesn't mean I'll agree
tomorrow morning. We've seen it at other stages down this pathway, the people who have -- Boris Johnson, for example, he left cabinet, you know,
the day after. He'd approved something. The Chequers agreement. It got through checkers and it was a day after that he left. And then other
ministers were leaving subsequently to that.
So this is a very unstable time. This is a deal that is has at its heart problems. It is not as good as the deal we have now. That is something
that's going to be very difficult getting through parliament. I don't have to go back to my constituency party to ask them, what's in the best
interest of our community here?
Because I know that the Chequers deal means more barriers to trade. It means seeding power in sovereignty from Britain to the E.U., not the other
way around. And it means that we've got to pay them 45 billion pounds just to do that.
GORANI: What do you make of that? I mean, do you agree with that?
KAWCZYNSKI: Peter and I get on very well.
GORANI: Isn't staying in the E.U. a better deal than what --
KAWCZYNSKI: We disagree on this fundamentally because you see, what -- I'm the first polish born British born British member of parliament. So I go
back to Poland a great deal and try to explain to them what has happened to us over the last 46 years. We joined the economic community on the day I
was born. So we've got 46 years of experience of this organization and where it's going to, the direction of travel and the speed of travel.
And, of course, in Poland, the big debate is going to be, do we ditch our national currency in the next couple years? Once you've ditched your
national currency --
GORANI: But that was never on the table for the U.K.
KAWCZYNSKI: No, it wasn't on the table in the U.K., but we protected our currency. But now, the European Union is moving towards single currency
for the remainder of the countries, single European army, single parliament, single president of the commission and single flag.
KYLE: And all of these things are going to happen because Britain is opting out.
KYLE: We -- the retraining force on all these things. Now, everything the E.U. does affects us. We can't move our country away. We're not going to
suddenly join North American treaty. Instead, we are anchored where we are. And the biggest trading partner is the E.U. I believe the biggest
principal party -- countries and allies are in the E.U. And they are going to have a single defense force now because the reason they haven't had one
is because Britain --
GORANI: Although there's been talk of a single defense force for decades. It's never really materialized. But also Britain has never been forced to
join any group of in terms of the single currency, it's not been forced to join that. It's never had laws imposed on it. That superseded laws in the
KYLE: All of Daniel's worst nightmares are more likely to happen now that we are - now that we are leaving. And it's going to be a threat to NATO.
It's going to be a threat to our relationship with the United States. All of these things are more likely to happen if the Chequers agreement goes
through, which is why parliament is going to struggle to get it through.
GORANI: Big picture. Can this -- but let me ask you first. Do you think that this can be reversed? That parts of this can be reversed, that it
could be a Brexit in name only if this is the deal that kind of goes through, this Chequers deal?
KYLE: Theresa May has been offered all these opportunities to get Brexit through parliament. There was a majority in the House of Commons to stay
in the single market and leaving the political institutions.
There's a majority in the House of Commons, for the Customs Union and leaving the single market and the political institutions. There's a
majority for the Norway-plus an as the model.
All of these things, I had difficulty with this as a remainer. But I had to accept there was a majority in the House of Commons. She said no to
every one of them. She got us in this position. And now, she can't -- there's no reverse gear for Theresa May. She's driving forward into the
GORANI: Do you agree no reverse gear, Daniel?
KAWCZYNSKI: I fundamentally disagree. And I have to say to you the Americans who are our closest trading partner, actually America is --
GORANI: But not your largest.
KAWCZYNSKI: As a country by itself, we trade more with America than any other country in the world.
GORANI: Because America is the largest economy in the world.
KAWCZYNSKI: The America which is $15 trillion economy larger than the whole of the European Union is our single trade -- biggest trading partner
as a country.
KYLE: The single market is a single market. The U.S. economy is a single market.
[14:40:01] KAWCZYNSKI: Yes.
KYLE: It's a single market, the E.U. single market is worth almost 10 times the value to Britain in terms of our exports than the American one.
KAWCZYNSKI: OK. When I got first elected in 2005, 53 percent of our exports went to the European Union. That figure is now down to 40 percent
and falling every single year. Why? Because the European Union is getting smaller and smaller as a percentage of global GDP.
And as you know, 95 percent --
KYLE: We've had the E.U. and we've expanded our trade around the world at the same time. The E.U. has not held us back in any way, shape or form.
Britain's economy has been a remarkable success story inside the E.U. trading also around the rest of the world. And most of the trade that
Daniel just mentioned is via trade arrangements made with the E.U. on Britain's behalf.
GORANI: The reality is this country needs clear answers now, right? Because this limbo is bad for markets, is bad for moral. You have big
corporations and also industry groups that are making provisions for a no deal Brexit. How do you get back on a clear path here?
KAWCZYNSKI: Let me just finish the point I was making earlier which is that the United States of America, which is our single largest partner and
also the most important defense partner. The Americans haven't forced us over the last 40 years to take their rules and regulations. The Americans
KYLE: They have, actually.
KAWCZYNSKI: -- the American Supreme Court hasn't overwritten the decisions of our own court. The Americans work with us in trade and defense without
imposing on us the same sort of regulatory framework that the E.U. wants to impose.
GORANI: How do you respond to that before we get to the question about finding a clear path?
KYLE: American judges -- on the WTO, it makes judgment on Britain, our economy, all the time. We live in a complex multilateral world where
sovereignty is pooled in some areas. We pool it with America via the World Trade Organization. We pool it with America and all of our allies in NATO.
We pool in the E.U. economically and politically and we have done so successfully.
The idea that we are this sort of island nation in terms of political and geopolitical activity is complete nonsense. Your point about going
forward. You asked a question about stability going forward. The bad news is there is no way forward that has complete political stability for our
country or economic stability.
If we do, you have to get a deal through. We are then going to enter a two-year period of implementation where there is complete uncertainty on
what happens after that. So the negotiations are going to get on and on. What we've seen for the last two years would be the new normal. If we do
vote to have a referendum to go back to the people, there will be a period that will be really quite traumatic for our country. And there will be
resolution at the end of it.
GORANI: You'd back a second referendum?
KYLE: Of course, I do. And I think they started with the referendum. And just to make it very quick --
GORANI: And you're hoping it ends with a referendum.
KYLE: Your previous guest said that it'd be the same result. It's a different question. The first referendum is based on promises. This one
will be based on fact. And actually, when people look at the deal, they don't like the deal.
GORANI: Daniel, what about asking Britain's if they like the deal? This isn't a referendum about leaving or staying. It's about -- it's a
KAWCZYNSKI: I haven't interrupt to Peter at all when he's been speaking, so I hope you'll let me speak this time. We've had the referendum. And
17.4 million people voted to pull out of the European Union. I think they knew what they were doing.
The British electorate is very sophisticated and very intelligent. And there were -- we had operation fear from (INAUDIBLE) saying that
unemployment will go through the roof and that mortgage or interest rates would drive up interest payments on their homes. None of that has
happened. We're a very strong and resilient country. And we must standby the referendum result.
And by the way, to answer Peter's point. Look, we tried very hard to work with these people. We pulled arms of the EPP-ED group in the European
Parliament. We worked with likeminded parties from other countries for 15 years to try to change the direction of the European Union away from the
federalist agenda. It failed.
But we didn't do this referendum just whimsically. We spent 15 years trying to avoid this position. And Germany and France are hell-bent on the
course of creating a supranational state, which by the way will serve their interests but not the interests of small countries like Greece who have
been sacrificing from the author of the supernatural state.
KYLE: This is complete mumbo jumbo conspiracy theory where people taking over the world. Nonsense. I was in Poland just yesterday. I was in
Poland just yesterday and I visited Auschwitz and then you stand there and see how far that country and our continent has come since those dark times.
It's come together. It's come to these places and created stability, economic stability, political stability, and 70 years of peace because of
our coming together to tackle problems.
There is federalism, there's a movement of federalism in the E.U. The reason it hasn't happened in the 40 years is because Britain has been a
GORANI: Do you accept that?
KYLE: And we abused the opt-out and the veto which we are about to give up. Believe me, we are going to be as influenced by the EU as before.
GORANI: The British veto will be gone and the opt-out will be gone.
KAWCZYNSKI: The most important thing the European Union hasn't kept the peace in the continent of Europe. It's NATO, an organization that hasn't
lost a square inch of territory since its inception 70 years ago anchored, I might say, and the strength of the world's only superpower.
[14:45:12] What these people are trying to do and we've seen it with Macron, already, is push away the Americans and create the single European
army. If they do that, it will be catastrophic for the defense of this country.
GORANI: He is very clear about making a decision between the Americans and some of the issues she has with the Trump administration.
KYLE: Political institutions have delivered peace.
GORANI: Quick last word.
KYLE: Not military threat. That is what's delivered peace. And it's been the hard one. Hard one. Political stability and peace from political
institutions. The threats of having tanks and people deciding about military positions across the E.U. nations via NATO has been an important
fact of creating stability from our external borders, not internal peace within the E.U.
GORANI: Peter Kyle, Labour MP, thanks so much. Daniel Kawczynski, conservative MP, thanks to both of you for this spirited, and as Theresa
May called, the debate in her cabinet this impassioned debate this evening. Appreciate it.
We'll be right back. A lot more of our breaking news on CNN, after a quick break. Do stay with us.
GORANI: Well, it's well known that the prime minister is facing serious backlash within her own party over this Brexit deal. And things got very
personal during prime minister's questions earlier when one MP Member of Parliament warned Theresa May that she risked losing support from
conservative and millions of voters across the country if she pushed this draft text. Let's listen to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETER BONE, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE MP & BREXIT SUPPORTER: Is the prime minister aware that if the media reports about the E.U. agreement are in
any way accurate, you are not delivering the Brexit people voted for? And today, you will lose the support of many conservative MPs and millions of
voters across the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: That is the conservative MP Peter Bone. What does this all mean for the future of Brexit, for the future of Theresa May? Let's bring in
CNN's international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson.
Let's take a bird's eye view of this. Where are we here in terms of Europe, in terms of the E.U.? Where are we headed?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, I think we have a very tired prime minister right now. I think when we heard her speak
earlier a few minutes ago, she sounded very tired, difficult, long, impassioned she said. And that's probably felt on the European Union side
as well. The E.U. that have been waiting a long time for the British government to get its act together. They've been waiting a long time for
them to articulate a position.
And remember, what we're talking about here is the divorce agreement that was supposed to be agreed a year ago, would then be -- then would open the
doors to moving on to what came next.
[14:50:00] So I think if you take in this big view from what is everyone else thinking at the moment, they're probably thinking this does not sound
good. Here's a prime minister who's done best to keep a cabinet together. Who, sort of, dynamically is hanging over her head now that there could a
vote of no-confidence and later this week? And even if she manages --
GORANI: Although, I will say Daniel Kawczynski, who is a passionate Brexiteer, said now is not the time. He's a conservative. He said now is
not the time. We got to keep the captain we have. And I found out very interesting because if --
ROBERTSON: Reassuring for Theresa May.
GORANI: If someone like Daniel Kawczynski is ready to say, I will back the prime minister, she's the person who's essentially captaining this ship,
then perhaps this is a reflection of the wider sentiment within the Tory Party.
ROBERTSON: We know that there are hard aligned members of her party who feel that -- who've said, all along, that they're willing to support her up
to a point when it appears she's not delivering the things that she said she would deliver leaving the Customs Union, leaving the single market and
we're hearing from them now saying that's not what she's delivering on.
So will there be these 48 letters to the 19 chairman of the 1922 committee triggering a vote with no-confidence. So it only requires 48. That doesn't
mean she would lose the vote.
But again, if you're taking this thousand yard view from the European Union, you're wondering, OK. We've got something agreed here. But are we
going to get to the finish line with it? Or is something else going to happen?
GORANI: Well, I think the E.U. will be breathing a sigh of relief tonight.
ROBERTSON: Tonight. They have to be because (INAUDIBLE) for a while.
GORANI: There's talk that perhaps she'd face several resignations that would mean she wouldn't survive the night, that she would have to resign,
that there'd be another leadership contest. That's not on the table right now.
ROBERTSON: It doesn't appear to be.
GORANI: And Barnier is coming out at 9:00 p.m. Brussels time which shows you he some degree of confidence.
ROBERTSON: It shows you he has something to say that will be, perhaps, a benefit to Theresa May in terms of support.
But again, we were talking about in the break, the level of paranoia that exist of what is the European Union going to do next? How are they going
to use this against us? This is the concern of some.
It leaves Theresa May in a terribly difficult position. And I'm not sure what Michel Barnier can do tonight when he speaks that would make a
difference to those MPs who are considering triggering a vote of no- confidence.
GORANI: Well, who's his audience though tonight? I mean, it's not necessarily British MPs who might be considering a vote of no-confidence.
It could be the wider European audience telling them we're ready to move on to the next phase. It's not as chaotic an uncertain as it looked a few
ROBERTSON: I think that's what everyone has to do. If you're in the process of negotiating and you're also in the process of trying to make
sure that it works, that steadying the ship, as it goes, is one of those things.
GORANI: You have to worry about markets, you have to worry about corporations. You have to worry about your currency. I mean, you need to
send a message that we've got things at least a little bit under control.
ROBERTSON: The alternative, as we stand right now, would be a change of leadership in the conservative party. Possibly a general election.
Possibly missing the deadline or missing the deadline the 29th of March coming out of the European Union, which would potentially be crushing out
of the European Union.
As difficult and as damaging for the European Union and Michel Barnier, who also has something of a political career at stake here. A success in these
negotiations is a feather in his cap for whatever he may want to achieve.
GORANI: He's outlived already --
ROBERTSON: This is not about his career. This is about negotiating Brexit and that is the most important thing. But everyone has something at stake
here and he has an awful lot at stake on make --
GORANI: You're talking about Barnier?
GORANI: Yes. Well, everybody. I mean, he's already outlived one other Brexit secretary in the left and now we have Dominic Raab, who's the
current Brexit secretary. The thinking when we heard reports that Dominic Raab had cancelled the trip to Brussels was on, you know, potentially that
something had fallen apart within that cabinet meeting.
Which is why there was some degree of surprise when she came out to Theresa May and announced the cabinet is backing me on this.
ROBERTSON: When she began, one could see her, because when Theresa May speaks, she generally likes to lay things out and lead the punchline to
come later. And when she began to lay that out, it did feel like she was laying the groundwork to say, I have done my best, but this is as far as I
could go. She didn't.
But she talked about the bumpy road ahead. She talked about how difficult it is. And then she laid out all the points that she has been over the
many, many months now -- well, more than 800 days, in fact, of what she's doing, why this is the best deal for the U.K.
And that is where she is at. So -- yes, we were worried. There's no doubt about it. It did look as if it was coming off the rails at that point.
GORANI: And in this country, you have an opposition party, the Labour Party, that is not necessarily, as enthusiastically pro-Brexit as some of
its members and adherence for them.
[14:55:06] ROBERTSON: A party that's divided. A party who's top leadership Jeremy Corbyn can't bring himself to say what some of the other
people and its parties appear to want to say, which is let's back a second referendum. The party, however, that has said they will put six tests to
the deal that Theresa May gets in this negotiation and --
GORANI: Can I just jump in? Because I'm hearing that Erin McLaughlin in Brussels has gotten her hands on a copy of the draft text.
ROBERTSON: That would be the first.
GORANI: Erin, what can you -- it's several hundred pages. I don't expect you to speed read. But what can you tell us?
MCLAUGHLIN: Yes, that's right. The commission has just published this draft agreement and we're just looking at it online, Hala. We understand
that hard copies also are being distributed at the E.U. commission, which is of course, just behind me.
All 585 pages now available for the public to scrutinize. This will, no doubt, be looked at by remainers and Brexiteers, very closely there, in the
United Kingdom. The British press, no doubt, also be looking at this text for what exactly is inside the Northern Ireland backstop solution.
Up until this point, really the commission have the text and Downing Street had the text. They were keeping this tightly closed. They're worried
about the optics of this situation. They're very aware that Theresa May is an incredibly fragile, political predicament there in the U.K.
But now that the cabinet has given a green light to this deal, it has been published. We also understand from E.U. officials that it'll be translated
into any number of languages and distributed to the capitals to look at as well.
There's a number of procedures there that are expected once we get that green light from Barnier, which is expected very shortly. He's expected to
address the press, expected to say that sufficient progress has been made in these negotiations paving the way for Donald Tusk to schedule a summit,
the date that's been talked about for that is November 25th.
But again, this is the first time we are taking a look or getting a look at this draft agreement. All 585 pages. Hala.
GORANI: OK. I'll let you go so you can start reading. Erin McLaughlin in Brussels.
We'll take a quick break. The breaking news this evening is that the prime minister of the U.K. Theresa May has received the support of her cabinet
for this draft Brexit deal. It is a victory for her, but there are many challenges ahead.
We'll have more coverage on the other side of this break. Stay with CNN.