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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
At Least Nine Dead in Turkey Train Crash; Yemen Rivals Agree to Ceasefire in Strategic Port City; Alleged Russian Spy Maria Butina Pleads Guilty; Apple to Spend $1 Billion on a New Campus in Austin, Texas; Police in France Say Strasbourg Shooting Suspect has Been "Neutralized"; U.K. Parliament to Vote on Brexit Deal in January; U.S. Market Gains Fizzle, Trump Pressures Fed on Rates; GE Rallies, Launching "Internet of Things" Company; Virgin Galactic Completes Successful Space Flight. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired December 13, 2018 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, ANCHOR, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: We're in the last hour of trade on Wall Street, be twixt between and not sure. But look at the
graph, even the gains when they were there were choppy. That's the word for today, choppy because up and down, up and down. We're up 26 as we go
into the last 60 minutes. Interesting to see how that will continue.
Look at the Dow 30 and you see the good defensives are there. P&G, McDonald's, all the usuals. We'll analyze why and how as we go through the
next hour, because this is what's been driving the day. The State of the Union is uncertain. EU leaders are gathering and the continent is at a
crossroads. We'll analyze specific countries and their problems. From Japanese giants to Canadian diplomats, there's no hiding from the Huawei
scandal fallout. And Texas hold 'em. Apple is betting on a billion dollars from the lone star state. We'll talk about that in the hour,
because we're live in the world's financial capital. We're in New York City where it's Thursday, December the 13th. I'm Richard Quest. I mean
Good evening. There are growth forecasts being cut, there are protests in the street, and one member is leaving altogether and that's just the start
of the European Union's problems and difficulties. The British Prime Minister is about to leave today's summit of leaders taking place in
Brussels, but it's important to note that while she is there, she's facing leaders who have all of their own agendas and their own individual
problems. Join me over at the super screen and you'll see exactly what I mean.
This is an overview of all the problems. Everything from Brexit to Ireland to rule of law in Hungary and government confidence in Poland. But if you
narrow down on the big ones, if you like, well, first of all, the big issues at the moment, U.K. and Brexit. The U.K. is bearing the greatest
weight of Brexit even though the Irish are heavily involved as well.
And Theresa May is appealing for help. Here she is at today's -- this is today's council meeting. But the warning from the British is don't expect
an immediate breakthrough. And just remember that deadline, Parliament is to vote by January, the 21st. The Irish Prime Minister, the Taoiseach says
Brexit is hurting Europe, but he says it's up to Europe, it's up to the U.K. in all of this to find the solution.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEO VARADKAR, IRISH PRIME MINISTER: I think there's one thing that's undeniable. All these difficulties that Europe now faces, not just Ireland
but all of Europe, we now face these difficulties because of a decision that the U.K. made to leave the European Union and that is the source of
all these problems. We respect the decision that they have made, but it does mean that there's a special obligation on them now to come up with the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: From Britain to France, where months of protests are boiling over. The government may be calling for a halt. The police are focused as well
on a manhunt for a Strasbourg gunman -- all of which creates difficulties for Emmanuel Macron. And in fact, it's noticeable that when Theresa May
did her tour of Europe the other day, she didn't go to Paris, specifically because the difficulty is already faced by the President.
And then you go to Europe's largest economy, it's a leadership issue in Germany. Angela Merkel, the Chancellor, is handing over the party reins to
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer known as AKK. Now, she will be tasked with the job of holding the whole party together, but it's more serious than that
because Angela Merkel isn't seeking a new term or re-election as Chancellor, which begs the question, will AKK have the strength to take
that particular role?
And then you get to again one of Europe's largest economies, this time it's a budget issue in Italy, where Italy is avoiding barely, barely avoiding
E.U. sanctions and in the last 48 hours has agreed to lower the proposed deficit, now 2.04% of GDP, under the mass stripped 3%. The issue here of
course is whether they can actually keep that money or they can actually keep to that promise. If all of that wasn't enough, you've got the ECB
today announcing it's turning off the monetary spigot.
QUEST: QE is coming to an end. The ECB is also cutting forecasts. Mario Draghi who by the way, himself, leaves office in October of next year is
warning of really very dark economic times ahead and the uncertainty.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIO DRAGHI, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK: Overall, atmosphere has become one characterized by increased general uncertainty, which takes the
shape now and then of different phenomena. I think this is at least considered by the government council one of the reasons, if not the main
reason for this weaker data.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Now, those are some of the problems. I want you to get your phones or devices or whatever it is you happen to communicate with, quill pen if
it will do the trick, go to cnn.com/join. We're asking you which European country is in the most trouble. Is it the United Kingdom? Is it France or
Germany? cnn.com/join and you'll see the results building up on the screen.
All of these are the issues. They are serious, they are deep, and most important, they are not easy to solve, which is why we've got Fareed
Zakaria. Good to see you -- who studies all of these things. When you look at the map, it's a mess. Not the map, I mean the situations they
FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST, CNN: It is a mess and if you think one year ago, people were thinking of Europe as being the leader of the world, the
western world. Macron defied the populist, Merkel was the leader that Donald Trump was unable to be, now you have a situation -- Merkel is a lame
duck, Macron is deeply challenged, the British government is on the verge of collapse, Italy is on the verge of defaulting and perhaps by some
accounts even quitting the Eurozone. No, it's a mess.
QUEST: What's gone wrong? Because the procedures put in place after 2008 and 2009, the six pack, the four pack, all of those deficit procedures, it
was supposed to avoid many of these problems.
ZAKARIA: The fundamental problem still remains that Europe is still too wedded to an idea of austerity that is essentially a German idea, which
cannot work in slow times. It cannot work in times of stagnancy. If you look a country like Italy, it has many structural problems. But if the
Italian lira were to be able to be depreciated by 25%, it still has a powerful manufacturing sector in Northern Italy that would roar back. It
can't do that. It doesn't have control over its own currency.
QUEST: But arguably it shouldn't do that because that is a beggar thy neighbor policy. If they do that, they are only doing it at everybody
ZAKARIA: Precisely, but this is why the whole construct of the Eurozone, and I don't say the European Union, where you have one monetary policy for
the entire zone, but different fiscal policies has always been difficult. But that gets us back into the old Eurozone debate.
There's something else going on here, Richard, which is in almost every one of these countries, what you are witnessing is deep discontent amongst a
rural, less educated population that feels that the two great forces propelling these economies forward, globalization and the technological
revolution, do nothing for them.
If you're not in an urban center, if you're not connected, if you don't have capital, if you don't have education, you're lost in today's world.
And it's the same stuff happening in America, it's the same thing happening in France, the
gilet jaune protest comes from that part of the country; in Belgium the government just fell. Again, the protests come from that part of the
country. In Italy, the discontent is the same. As you know, in Brexit, the vote against Brexit -- I mean, the vote for Brexit is largely rural.
What do you do with these people? That's the problem.
QUEST: Over here, Poland and Hungary, where you have not just a populist movement on economic grounds like Brexit, but you have a right-wing
authoritarian desire by electorates.
ZAKARIA: So in those countries, what you're seeing is those people have taken over the government. And so if you listen to the Polish government,
if you listen to the Hungarian Prime Minister, what he says is I'm speaking for the real Hungary, for the real Poland, which is to say the -- you know,
the rural parts of the country, not these metropolitan elites. Everywhere you have mentioned except Germany actually, what you are seeing is a revolt
against metropolitan overeducated elites who have run the economies in this view for themselves.
QUEST: How serious is this? The E.U. has always been EC and the EEC before it, has always been a group of squabbling countries. But do you get
the feeling this is a litmus test or a watershed?
ZAKARIA: I think that it is, it's serious, and here's why. The technical discussion of monetary and fiscal policy that the E.U. has had forever and
they always muddled through, frankly.
ZAKARIA: What is different this time is you are uniting left wing and right wing populism in an attack on the very structures of government, on
the institutions. Look at Italy, the left and right have joined together. Look at what is happening in France. If you look at polls, the left-wing
populists and the right-wing populists, both support the gilet jaune movement.
QUEST: Do you agree with the "Quest Means Business" viewer, always wise to go along with what the QMB viewer says. Look at this, which E.U. country
is in the most trouble? 64% say the U.K., 18% say France, 16% Italy, only 3% say Germany even with the leadership problem. Do you agree with that?
ZAKARIA: Certainly true, the lowest is absolutely right, Germany is in the least trouble. Germany still has astonishingly low unemployment, they're
running surpluses. I'd say number one, don't rule out Italy. Italy has not solved its basic problem. It has a very bad banking sector and Italy
is too big to fail.
QUEST: We're very glad you came to help us understand all of this. Thank you very much, Fareed.
QUEST: Thank you. Now, according to those of you voting, most of you think that Britain is in the most trouble, which brings us to the Brexit
question. If you missed this vote go to cnn.com/join. This time really it's very simple. How much help -- how far should the E.U. leaders give
help or sucker or change to Theresa May? None? Some? Or as much as she needs to get the vote through Parliament? The confidence vote that she won
on Wednesday from her party meant she was still able to attend today's summit as Prime Minister. She's wrapping up the visit. It was aimed at
getting what she called reassurances from the E.U. about the controversial backstop widely criticized during the debate in the agreement.
It doesn't appear the E.U. leaders want to budge. France's Emmanuel Macron said first they wanted more clarity from Mrs. May.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT, FRANCE (Through a translator): We cannot reopen a legal agreement. We cannot renegotiate what has been negotiated
for many months. We can have a political discussion in this context, and it is up to Theresa May to tell us what is the political solution to have a
majority on this agreement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: John Longworth is the co-chair of the Leave Means Leave campaign advocating for pretty much a no-deal Brexit if that is necessary, joins me
live from London. John Longworth, it is an unholy mess, everybody says that. What do you now want Theresa May to come back with to put to
Parliament for that meaningful vote?
JOHN LONGWORTH, CO-CHAIR, LEAVE MEANS LEAVE: I'll answer that question, but just let me correct your previous interview slightly. The U.K. has a
population that's 90% urban. This is not a rural issue in the U.K. at all. And it's not the U.K. that's in trouble, it's the European Union that's in
big trouble. They have all the issues that you've already raised, whereas the U.K. economy is actually growing quite nicely.
We have very low unemployment by comparison with the rest of Europe. In fact the highest level of employment ever in our history, and wages are
rising. So the U.K. is in a good position for the very reason that we're actually deciding to leave the European Union, which is a basket case.
In terms of the U.K. and what we want the Prime Minister to do, we want the Prime Minister to do something that's very highly unlikely she's able to
do, which is come back and have a renegotiated position on the withdrawal agreement. We have a problem in the U.K. that the Prime Minister, the
Chancellor of Exchequer and the establishment who are remainers have actually negotiated a deal that they like.
QUEST: John --
LONGWORTH: But it's a deal that's actually a quisling deal which is a betrayal of the U.K.
QUEST: All right, John, when push comes to shove, if nothing else other than this deal is on the table with the backstop and all the problems, are
you in favor of a no-deal Brexit?
LONGWORTH: Yes, absolutely. A no-deal Brexit will be the very best outcome for the U.K. apart from a free trade arrangement agreed before we
QUEST: Your members in your previous existence or previous incarnation with the Chamber of Commerce, your very members used to say if we had a no-
deal Brexit, our companies would be in trouble, just in time would be in trouble, uncertainty would be in trouble. How do you reconcile with that
position you're now taking?
LONGWORTH: That's absolutely wrong actually. The fight -- the last survey the British Chamber of Commerce did, which actually the survey they did six
weeks before the referendum, showed that the only category of company who wanted not to leave the European Union were those companies that solely
trade with E.U.
LONGWORTH: Those companies that trade with the rest of the world or are domestic, which is 92% of our economy, wanted to leave. And actually
leaving on WTO terms, which is the majority of our trade at the moment, would enable us to make trade deals around the world, cut tariffs, cut the
cost of living, boost the economy, and all of those good things.
QUEST: The question of a second referendum or people's vote, whatever we want to call it, please don't tell me again about you can't keep running
elections or referenda is at the best of three. I mean, I heard the Prime Minister in the Commons. But let me put it to you another way. When the
British people voted, they voted for an ideal. They voted for an idea. Now they know what it actually looks like.
In the same way that you don't buy a house without knowing what it looks like and how you're going to go through it, even though you generally want
to buy a house, what's wrong with them and saying this is now the deal, do you still want it?
LONGWORTH: Well, it would destroy faith in the institutions and democracy in the U.K. that's what's wrong with it. We don't fear another referendum
because we would win it again. But the fact of the matter is, the original vote said very clearly, and the Prime Minister said very clearly, it was
the final decision. There was going to be no further deals, there is going to be no further referendums. The thing on the ballot paper said do you
want to remain in the E.U. or do you want to leave? It did not say do you want a deal, it said leave. And that's what 17.4 million people, the
biggest plebiscite ever in the U.K. voted for. That's why it's wrong to have a referendum because it would destroy democracy in the U.K.
QUEST: John, we'll talk to you again, please, in the future if this continues. You may be surprised our poll of how much help should the E.U.
give Theresa May, you'll not be surprised that 66% said none at all. Maybe you're not surprised. Good to see you, John. Thank you.
QUEST: Later in the hour, we'll put the other point of view, Lord Bilimoria, who probably couldn't be more diametrically opposed if it was
possible. But he found it at Cobra Beer and he is campaigning for a second Brexit referendum and we'll speak to him later.
Huawei was supposed to be the breakout tech darling of 2018. Now they might lose an important contract in Japan in a diplomatic spat over the
arrest of their CFO is getting worse.
Also a giant leap for space tourism. Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic successfully took human tourists. Well not tourists, astronauts, well,
we'll explain the bus later in the program.
QUEST: The fallout for Huawei is getting worse as accusations that it poses security risk for countries reaches a fever pitch. Huawei could lose
a major customer in Japan. Softbank says it is considering stripping Huawei hardware from its networks. Softbank instead would use Nokia or
Ericsson's stuff. Now, while a second Canadian is being detained in China, experts fear it could be retaliation for the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the
CFO of Huawei. She is accused of helping her company dodge sanctions on Iran. She currently faces extradition to the United States.
Paula Newton is in Ottawa. How angry are ordinary Canadians or the Canadian government about these two arrests in China?
PAULA NEWTON, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: They are piqued, but I have to tell you, Richardd, the anger is squarely on the shoulders of Donald Trump and not
even so much on the Chinese. I mean, look, it's rash, it's impulsive, it's impetuous on the part of the Chinese, but they are so angry about this
executive being arrested by Canada at the behest of the United States, that right now Canadians know that it is Donald Trump who's getting Canada and
putting them squarely in the middle.
The issue here all came to the fore a couple of days ago in an interview when Donald Trump said, yes, this is in fact political because if I can
negotiate a trade deal with China, I may intervene in the arrest of the CFO. And that completely went against everything that Canada had said
about this and more than that, Richard, it goes against the rule of law in both Canada and the United States.
Listen, at the end of the day, China said this arrest was completely political and Donald Trump proved them right.
QUEST: If that's the case, what happens? Because it will be a judge in Canada, a Federal judge in Canada that will have to rule on this -- on the
extradition. How much of this politicization of the arrest will weigh into a decision?
NEWTON: It will weigh heavily right now. Donald Trump has basically strengthened the hand of Huawei in trying to get this executive to be
freed. The Canadian authorities, the Canadian foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, told us yesterday, look, the Huawei lawyers, the defense lawyers
in Canada are perfectly capable now of bringing forward that argument themselves.
She warned Donald Trump that this should not be politicized, although she wouldn't name him. And then, than that, remember, Richard, as you just
pointed out at the end of the day it's actually not even the judge that gets to rule on the extradition, it is the Attorney General of Canada. I
caution everybody, though, these extradition hearings can go on for years. Likely this will be resolved politically, again, before it will be resolved
judicially. But in the meantime, Huawei really caught in the middle of it here, as is Canada. The message to allies is do not get caught in this
crossfire between U.S. and China on trade if you can at all avoid it.
QUEST: Paula, good to see you, ma'am. Thank you very much. Adding to the mounting tensions between the U.S. and China, "The New York Times" is
reporting that Washington believes hackers working for Beijing are behind the massive breach at Marriott. Five hundred million Starwood accounts
were hacked since 2014. They stole phone numbers, e-mails, passports and credit cards.
Samuel Burke is in London. All right, Samuel, why would China want to hack the reservations and interests of Marriott Hotels unless they were wanting
to make a reservation themselves?
SAMUEL BURKE, BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: The same reason that every big tech company is in business. It's all about the data. There are
many experts who believe that if this is true, the way "The New York Times" is reporting it, that this can be traced back to Chinese working for the
Ministry of State Security, that that data could be used to figure out information maybe about diplomats, maybe about competitors, get into
people's e-mail accounts and figure out information that could be of great use both to the military in China.
But I think it's important to note here, Richard, that this again has all become so murky. Just in the way that Paula was painting the picture in
Canada of the trade war, getting mixed in with so many other points of international security and marksmanship, that's the same thing that's
happened as a result of all of this.
QUEST: Okay. I'm sorry, not letting you get off the hook on this one. Those 500 million reservations or details, what does China do with them? I
mean they are hotel details. Even if they get a credit card detail, what use is it to them?
BURKE: Well, remember, I always say on "Quest Means Business," you can change your credit card number but can't change your Social Security
number. Sometimes it's just the little things on these websites like a Marriott where you have your loyalty card, what street did you grow up on?
Well, that could get you into another account and if they could get into the e-mail account of a top executive in the United States at a top firm to
figure out to figure out proprietary information, that is where it could be key.
QUEST: Right. But, if you've got 500 million of them, how do you sift the wheat from the chaff so that you're getting only 200 or 300, maybe 1,000 of
that 500 million that you're interested in?
BURKE: The number might be even more than 500 million. Some cyber security experts we were talking to, if I can just put up on the screen, if
you look back, this hack actually happened in 2014, Richard. They say this was one of a major string of attacks. Marriott, U.S. Office of Personnel
Management, the U.S. Government, Anthem Health Insurance. We could be talking about way more than 500 million.
You go, you organize it just like the big tech companies do, and then you sift through and you find the ones that are of most value to you. It's
casting the net very wide hoping that you get one, two, maybe a dozen that are of value. Of course the Chinese have always denied anything like this
and you have to remember, the Chinese accuse other sides of the same. I talked to Jack Ma once of Alibaba and he talked about the tens of thousands
of hacks actually that Alibaba faces each day, so tensions are very high in both sides here.
QUEST: Samuel, thank you for very much. Good to see you, sir. As we continue tonight on "Quest Means Business," from the Silicon Valley of
California to the Silicon Hills of Texas. Austin is being served up by a big bite of new Apple jobs. The city's mayor will be with me after the
Hello, I'm Richard Quest. There's a lot more "Quest Means Business" in just a moment when I'll be speaking to the mayor of Austin, Texas. He
didn't get the new Amazon HQ, but he has got one of the biggest rivals, $1 billion worth of Apples ...
[15:30:00] RICHARD QUEST, HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: In a moment when I'll be speaking to the mayor of Austin, Texas. Now, he didn't get the new
Amazon HQ, but he has got one of the biggest rivals, a billion dollars worth of Apple's all due to arrive.
And Sir Richard Branson celebrating a new Virgin Galactic tests whiles commiserating about Brexit. You'll hear him in just a moment. As we
continue, this is Cnn, and on this network, the facts always come first.
At least nine people have been killed and dozens injured in a horrible high street train crash in the Turkish capital at the start of rush hour. The
train collided head on with a maintenance vehicle at an Ankara station, causing part of a bridge to collapse onto two carriages. Authorities have
now launched a criminal investigation.
There's a potential breakthrough in the Yemen peace talks after more than three years of war, days of negotiations brokered by the U.N.
Representatives of Yemen's internationally recognized government and the Houthi rebels agreed to a ceasefire in the strategic port city of Hodeida.
They also agreed on a plan to swap prisoners and to hold another meeting in January.
An accused Russian spy has signed a plea agreement in a Washington court and then pleaded guilty to conspiracy. Maria Butina has also been helping
investigators, revealing her efforts to infiltrate conservative U.S. political groups. A Russian foreign ministry spokesman tells Cnn Butina
took the plea in other words to survive.
Apple is making headway in its plans to create 20,000 American jobs over the next five years. And Austin, Texas, is the big winner. Austin already
has the largest Apple offices outside of Silicon Valley. Now, it's getting a new billion dollar campus, with a capacity of 15,000 workers.
Apple is going to join Dell and Whole Foods which each have their global headquarters in Austin, and for a good reason. In time, Apple will trump
them both and become the city's largest employer. It's a lovely place, great food, wonderful people and high academic standards with UT Austin
Austin's Mayor Steve Adler joins me now. Mr. Mayor, congratulations on getting the Apple jobs. And before we talk about what benefit it will
bring to your city, how much do you think they give back or the tax breaks, the sweetness, whatever we call them, how much do you think is going to
MAYOR STEVE ADLER, AUSTIN, TEXAS: You know, it's not going to cost the city of Austin anything. We're not giving any incentives associated with
this project. Williamson County has taken the lead and apparently they're giving a tax abatement for about 15 years.
The state has a fund, and I think about $15 million is coming out of that fund, but the city of Austin is just expanding on the prior relationship
that we've had with Apple.
QUEST: How competitive, as best you know, was it to get this, bearing in mind that Apple already has a sizeable facility in the city?
ADLER: Well, you know, we certainly expect that it was competitive and that Apple looked at lots of different opportunities. But what we offer
here in Austin is a great quality of life. It's a beautiful city, in addition to your list, the music is pretty good in Austin.
We have a real skilled workforce with the university of Texas and an environment -- Apple, I think knows that it shares a real creative spark
with the city of Austin and a commitment to do big things. So we're just - -
QUEST: Yes --
ADLER: Real pleased that we can expand on and build on that relationship.
QUEST: Do you think the way Apple went about this was perhaps more transparent? I was going to use the word, "honest", but that's pejorative.
Let's say -- let's go for a neutral word of "transparent" versus Amazon and the way they went against HQ 2, which many people believe was a fixed from
start to finish.
ADLER: Well, we were never really sure about what Amazon was doing. You know, I wrote an initial letter to Amazon and then invited the conversation
that would have addressed not only what they needed, but also our big challenges which are affordability and mobility.
And that was a conversation that Amazon didn't want to engage in, they found other cities. But the relationship and the conversation with Apple
here locally --
QUEST: Right --
ADLER: Has always been pretty straightforward.
[15:35:00] QUEST: When you do get a large company that it becomes the largest single employer, has a very large footprint, is economically so
significant, how difficult is it for you as mayor and for the city council? When I -- you know, I always remember going to places like Redmond in
Washington State or you go to southern California where Disney is based.
And the answer is well, where does Disney sit? Wherever it wants to. How do you -- how do you handle that with Apple?
ADLER: Well, you know, this situation, even with this expansion and while Apple would become the largest employer if everybody else held where they
are, no single employer in this city commands such a dominant place that everything revolves around that entity.
We join together on searching for mutual community benefit. And in this case, we love the location, it's going to help create an additional
QUEST: Right --
ADLER: Urban area for our region, so we're working in pretty much in concert. But they don't have undue pull, no one does in the city right
QUEST: Mr. Mayor, when we bring QUEST MEANS BUSINESS to Austin, I hope, sir, that I can invite you to show me around, show me the best bits.
ADLER: And we would love to show it to you. We'll find some good music and some good breakfast tacos.
QUEST: Now, we're talking about -- sir, good to see you sir, thank you for taking time out of your busy day. I appreciate it, thank you.
ADLER: Good to see you too, thank you.
QUEST: Breaking news to bring you from France. Our affiliate, "Bfm TV" says that the police have in their words "neutralized Cherif Chekatt", the
suspect in today's shooting in Strasbourg that left three people dead and 13 wounded. Our correspondent is Ben Wedeman, he is in Paris.
Interesting choice of words, maybe just the translation, but "neutralized". Does that mean killed?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, initially, they were saying neutralized, Richard, now, they are saying killed, but who? And so
it does appear that he was killed this evening after -- this is in the second police operation in Strasbourg today. It appears that he was killed
very near to Neudorf, his neighborhood, the neighborhood where he grew up in Strasbourg.
And this comes 49 and a half hours after that shooting rampage at the very popular and old Strasbourg Christmas market the other evening, which as you
said left three people dead. Three people are still being described by the French Interior Minister as between life and death at the moment.
So certainly, this is a source of relief to many people in France because 48 hours is a very long time for a known killer to be on the loose. But as
they are reporting, he is now dead. Richard?
QUEST: This particular killer may be dead, but the issue of why, how, the potential of the rogue, the rogue assailant, that still remains. Now, we
think back to Berlin a couple of years ago, you think back to London and now Strasbourg. Is there any indication what was behind all of this?
WEDEMAN: No, there's not. There's no indication, for instance, that he had any accomplices. And this individual had a very troubled background.
He's only 29 years old, but has 27 convictions under his belt, dating back to the first one at the age of 13.
Now, all of those convictions were for petty crimes, theft and crimes of violence. But as a result, he spent time in prisons in France and Germany
and in Switzerland, and during that time he appears, according to French sources, to have been radicalized.
And that really fits the mold we've seen time and time again. Many of these people who lived --
QUEST: Right --
WEDEMAN: The life of crime involved with drugs --
QUEST: Right --
WEDEMAN: Prostitution, other things, and later as a result turned to terrorism. Richard?
QUEST: Ben Wedeman, thank you. We continue on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, you heard from an advocate for no deal, this time we'll have somebody arguing
for another referendum. Lord Bilimoria will be with me after the break.
[15:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
QUEST: So we turn to our top story, the Brexit uncertainty. A spokesperson for the British Prime Minister has confirmed that parliament
will vote on the withdrawal agreement in January after the government called off the vote before this. Karan Bilimoria is a member of the
British House of Lords and a campaigner for a second referendum.
We'll get to that in a moment. Lord Bilimoria joins me now, good to see you, your lordship. And very simple, what do you realistically expect
that the Prime Minister is going to come back with that might get this thing through the House of Commons?
KARAN BILIMORIA, MEMBER, BRITISH HOUSE OF LORDS: It's very unlikely that the Prime Minister, having just survived a leadership challenge, survived
it by 200 votes to 117, that means one-third of her MPs are against her, they don't want her deal.
She is trying to get her deal through, the biggest issue is the Irish backstop, the Northern Ireland backstop, which is I think a circle that
cannot be squared. And the worry is that we will be stuck in this backstop indefinitely because we unilaterally cannot withdraw from it, and that's
why it's a backstop.
So that it's there to defend the worst outcome. In that case, these negotiations could go on for many years. I mean, the political
declaration, which is 26 pages long, compared with a 585-page withdrawal agreement, those 26 pages are the future of the relationship between our
two countries, which will take years to negotiate.
So the uncertainty that's there is just endless. It's you know, to infinity and beyond. So parliament is not going to accept that deal, the
Prime Minister deal. Europe is not going to give any concessions that's going to change the withdrawal agreement, the legal agreement, so what's
going to happen then?
QUEST: But you know --
BILIMORIA: She comes back, she knows she's going to lose it in parliament again.
QUEST: So your answer is a second referendum?
BILIMORIA: Well, what are the options? If you've got a deal that parliament is not going to accept, what else can you do?
QUEST: Well, lord, John Longworth --
BILIMORIA: And you've got an EA in --
QUEST: John Longworth --
BILIMORIA: An EA --
QUEST: On this program earlier said no Brexit --
BILIMORIA: Yes --
QUEST: Deal, leave without a deal --
BILIMORIA: Yes, so the leaving without a deal is not an option. There is no support for that in parliament whatsoever. Dominic Grieve with his
amendment for a start, the meaningful vote which has to happen, it's been postponed, parliament will not, the House of Commons will not accept a no
deal, the country will not accept a no deal because that will be an --
QUEST: So --
BILIMORIA: Absolute disaster. So the only two options left are a Norway- stroke-EEA EFTA Agreement and that is a possibility. That's the least worst option where in practical terms, business will have that frictionless
trade. The movement of goods and services and people will take place.
The Northern Ireland issue needs to be sorted out --
QUEST: But you --
BILIMORIA: There's movement of people, but that there could be an emergency break there.
[15:45:00] QUEST: But obviously --
BILIMORIA: And then --
QUEST: But obviously that solution doesn't deliver the Brexit that was promised of an end to freedom of movement and to -- what makes you think
that if there was a second referendum that you'd win it?
BILIMORIA: Yes, so then the other option, which I think is the only sensible Democratic option now, is to actually go back to the people
because it's two and a half years. The referendum is two and a half years out of date for a start. The demographics have changed.
We've got 2 million more youngsters who are eligible to vote now who were not eligible to vote in 2016, including two of my children. Those
youngsters, 90 percent of them want to remain. Now, the facts are known. We know that every option of --
QUEST: Right --
BILIMORIA: Brexit is much worse than remaining. There's no question about that. So if it's the best choice for the country, the most Democratic
thing is the will of the people not in 2016, the will of the people today. And I'm convinced that over 60 percent, 60 percent today will
overwhelmingly vote to remain in the European Union --
QUEST: So --
BILIMORIA: Which is the best option by far.
QUEST: So from your point of view, the best option now -- and I'm not talking about the outcome, I'm talking about how you get there, is as much
chaos, stalemate and obstruction that eventually forces parliament into a referendum, because it is only by being forced into it that they would go
BILIMORIA: I think it will be the only option, unless this compromise for Norway, EFTA, EEA is agreed to, which takes most of the labor's six tests.
QUEST: Right --
BILIMORIA: I think the only other way to do it and with the DUP by the way, the DUP are not going to support the Prime Minister, the Northern
Irish party, not going to support the Prime Minister's deal. The DUP probably will not support a no-confidence --
QUEST: Right --
BILIMORIA: Vote by labor because that's another option is an election. If labor can get the support of the DUP, then the government will fall and
there will be an election, so Brexit will be decided through an election. Of course, we've had the European court ruling now --
QUEST: I am --
BILIMORIA: That the U.K. can unilaterally withdraw from the article 50 at any time.
QUEST: Lord Bilimoria, thank you, good to see you, sir, we'll talk more about this, of that much, I am certain. Have a good Christmas and a new
year as you celebrate --
BILIMORIA: Thank you, thank you --
QUEST: Thank you. As we continue, the promise delivered. Sir Richard Branson says he'll get astronauts into space by Christmas, and today he did
exactly that. His thoughts on a successful flight -- oh, and yes, we can't avoid Brexit.
[15:50:00] QUEST: Ten minutes of trading left on Wall Street, and choppy. That was the word, we went into it. Choppy, up and down, looking like the
mountains in the Swiss Alps, and then it looks like the deep blue sea. But in a rally towards the end, the Dow's early gets -- we now have some 68
Donald Trump is again been dragged to pressure the Fed, saying he hopes they won't be raising interest rates anymore. The Dow may be up, but the
broader market is lower and the tech is lower. But the best part of today is that the losses are not particularly serious, but then the gains aren't
that great either.
GE shares at its best, we're up some 9 percent or 10 percent, now they are up 7.5 percent. The GE was kicked out of the Dow, but now it's launching
internet of things company, IOT company and JPMorgan upgraded the stock. Clare Sebastian, 7 percent on a stock that is basically down in the toilet.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN: Yes, it's above 50 cents, Richard, to put it in context. But this is -- because largely because of this upgrade by this
JPMorgan analyst who is a known skeptic of this doc. He has had an underweight rating for the last two and a half years.
And I think events have proven him to be right because the stock is fallen about 70 percent in that time. Today, it's not exactly a ringing
endorsement from him. He's upgraded it to neutral, he's got his price target still at $6, but he says that a lot of the bad news, a lot of the
liabilities might --
QUEST: Right --
SEBASTIAN: Already be baked into the market. That's his point.
QUEST: Right, GE is in such deep water, $7.50 or so on this. What this analyst is really saying is it can't get much worse.
SEBASTIAN: That's exactly what he's saying. But he does actually outline a way in which it could get worse because he thinks that there are free
cash flow expectations of the market could still go lower. But basically, he's saying that we've seen this company throughout this year, shedding
We've got a new CEO, he is taking this extremely seriously, and he thinks given the Pacific Falls that you see accelerating over the last couple of
months that we could be approaching a bottom.
QUEST: Apple today announcing its -- you heard the mayor in Austin. It all sounds very hunky dory, but you're a little more cynical about these
6,000 or these 20,000 jobs.
SEBASTIAN: I think it's more the messaging around this, that I would urge some skepticism on. Because yes, like it's a good thing that they're
creating jobs. They say -- they said in January, they're going to create 20,000 over the next five years.
But I think they might have just done that anyway. I think part of this is to align with the president's plans for the economy that he wants to show
that his tax plan is bringing jobs back that he's been criticizing Apple for part of its supply chain being in China and calling on them to bring
So they are -- they are kind of aligning these statements without -- they're not bringing manufacturing back, Richard, these are high-tech
engineering R&D jobs.
QUEST: Good to see you, thank you. It's based on what high-tech and new ways. Space tourism took another leap forward, giantly-put. Virgin
Galactic put two astronauts into space and thank God brought them back to earth. The launch vehicle White Knight and two -- and Spaceship 2 took off
from Southern California, and as the way this thing works, they detached and Spaceship 2 reached an altitude in excess of 82 kilometers.
That is 51 miles above earth. It later touched down safely in the Mojave Desert. After touchdown, Sir Richard Branson told us it was a good day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD BRANSON, FOUNDER, VIRGIN GROUP: Completely exhilarated. I'm enormously, you know, massive mixed emotions as the spaceship was going up.
Tears of relief, tears of joy. But now -- or everybody here has got the biggest smile on their faces ever. You know, after 14 hard years of trials
and tribulations, trying to get to space, we're finally there.
And this really will open a whole new era of space travel. So you know, our wonderful engineers, our wonderful brave flight crew, they've just done
a magnificent job, so today we celebrate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: I also asked Sir Richard about the Brexit process, and once again, he called for a second referendum, saying crashing out without a deal, as
we heard on earlier in this program would be a disaster.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRANSON: I've always felt that Brexit was one of the worst things to happen to Great Britain since the second World War. A hard Brexit would be
catastrophic for Britain. And I'm just hoping that after what's happened, you know, the last few months, that the British public realizes just how
damaging a hard Brexit would be for Britain and actually for Europe as well.
[15:55:00] And I'm just hoping that sense would prevail. As a businessman, I know what --how much it's damaged our businesses ever since
the referendum. And I know that for some of our businesses, it will be close to being catastrophic if we went into a hard Brexit.
So you know, so I just hope that the vast majority of people in the House of Commons and that the vast majority of the public will stand up and make
sure that doesn't happen.
QUEST: Would you like to see the people's vote? Do you think it's time for the people's vote?
BRANSON: The people were misled, completely misled by the last referendum. They were promised lots of things that now has become a completely apparent
will not happen. And in fact, what has become apparent is the damage that a hard Brexit would do -- would do to Britain.
So I'd love to see -- I'd love to see a people's vote and I'd love to see the House of Commons being -- having a free vote on whatever is proposed at
the end. My own hope is that sense would prevail and that we'll remain part of the European Union, which is, you know, a wonderful collection of
countries and wonderful collection of trading partners, and it's worked very well for Britain up until now.
And I think, you know, it can work very well for Britain in the years to come.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Sir Richard Branson -- we'll have a profitable moment after the break.
QUEST: Tonight's profitable moment. On the show, you heard two distinct views on Brexit and a no deal. You heard John Longworth say he wants a no-
deal Brexit, it will be the best for Britain, and then you heard lord Bilimoria and Sir Richard Branson saying a no-deal Brexit, that would be a
catastrophe, says Richard Branson for his companies.
In this scenario, it's difficult to know who to believe or what to do. Anyway, Theresa May is unlikely to come back with anything from Brussels
that's meaningful. So when they have the meaningful vote before the end of January, it will probably fail once again.
We are heading towards a no-deal Brexit or at least something extremely messy, because time simply is running out. Everybody knows it, but they
can't find a key to unlock that door. And that is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight, I am Richard Quest in New York.
Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable.
The bell is ringing, the day is done!