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CONNECT THE WORLD
Theresa May Faces Crucial Test over Deal with the EU; U.K. Prime Minister May's Deal Expected to Be Rejected; Anti-Terror Team Deployed to Shooting Near Nairobi Hotel; Trump Privately Discussed Pulling U.S. Out of NATO; U.K. Pound Dips as Traders Await Brexit Vote; U.K. Residents Speak out before Decisive Brexit Vote; Canadian to Appeal Death Sentence in China. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired January 15, 2019 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:00] JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN HOST: Hello, I'm Julia Chatterley live from outside the U.K. Houses of Parliament. Welcome to the special edition
of CONNECT THE WORLD and what is expected to be a bruising day for the British Prime Minister and her beleaguered deal to leave the EU.
More than 900 days in the making. More than 600 lawmakers at the ready, 27 other countries watching closely and one single vote at the center of it
all. Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to Brexit day.
As we speak, MPs are preparing to say yes or no to Theresa May's hugely controversial plan for leaving the European Union. The British Prime
Minister insists her way is the best way. But right now many lawmakers even within her own party are thinking absolutely no way. We've got you
covered on a sides of this story. Matthew Chance is covering the crowds of people here around the Westminster. Nic Robertson is at Downing Street for
us. Bianca Nobilo is here outside of Parliament with me too. And Erin McLaughlin has the reaction from Brussels. Let's get to Matthew first.
Because Matthew I know you're in the thick of it. Speaking to what voters are thinking at this moment. Take it away.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Sorry. I'm having a little bit of trouble hearing you because just as you came to me and
there are a lot of protesters here who support Britain leaving the European Union. They started chanting, no deal, no problem. And it just underlines
just a difference of opinion that we're seeing being expressed outside Parliament here and it reflects a difference of opinion. Of course, inside
Parliament and across the country where you have a very divided nation at this point with people who feel that they voted in the millions for Britain
to leave the European Union and you feel that that is being thwarted or maybe thwarted by the politicians over there inside Parliament.
At the same time, there are many people here as well that want Britain to remain in the European Union and they're out in large numbers as well. And
as the momentum builds, Julia, toward this key Parliamentary vote later on into this evening and we're seeing more and more people come out onto the
streets here outside the Parliament to express their concerns. To demand that their point of view is carried out in practice. So, you're seeing
people who want Britain to remain in the European Union, people who want to see Britain leave the European Union.
What you're not seeing -- I think this is an important side for the May vote, the vote for Theresa May's deal later on today -- you don't see
anyone here who actually supports her deal. So in that sense, that's the only point of unification between all these protesters. They don't want
this deal that Theresa May has brokered with Brussels to be enacted.
CHATTERLEY: Thanks very much for that, Matthew. Just illustrating the challenge out there and the flags flying behind you both. The EU flags of
course and British flags as well. Let's bring it back to Bianca here and talk to you about what's going on. Just spell it out for us because we
have been talking about the risk here of a historic loss for Theresa May, what do we mean by that?
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We mean that Parliament may never have seen the likes of the defeat that Theresa May is likely to see this
evening. By some estimates now is that she's looking at a defeat in the triple figures, maybe in the vicinity of 220, 230. And just to put that in
contrast, the worst parliamentary defeat of the last century was in 1924 and that was by 166, also a minority government. We're looking at biggest
parliamentary rebellions -- the rebellions of the governing party against their Prime Minister. There is a rot in 2003, 139. So, she would be
beating every type of record that a Prime Minister does not want to beat this evening as she puts her deal to Parliament.
CHATTERLEY: Not just for historic losses, that's what we're looking at with this vote, of course, but as you said the fact that she still intends
to rethink at this stage to remain and continue to fight here. Let's bring in Nic Robertson because he is outside Number Ten. Nic, just lay out the
details of what next for Theresa May assuming as everyone's predicting here, if she does lose this vote tonight.
[10:05:00] NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, she'll have to assess how bad that loss was. But every indication has been
-- and she's played the Brexit negotiations very close to her chest -- taking and really keeping key decisions to herself very much along the way.
So I think people are in the dark about what she might consider a hugely damaging number, but the indication at the moment is she'll continue on the
path she has set out. That she would be prepared to go back to Brussels to see if she could get just a little bit more.
There will be four amendments that will be voted on later today in Parliament before the big vote on the withdrawal agreement. One of them
will say reject Theresa May's deal, block a no deal Brexit. Another will say reject the deal but support the will of the Scottish National Party.
Another two will try to find language that would fudge when Britain could unilaterally withdraw from the backstop agreement which is something that
Brussels, the EU at the moment is absolutely opposed to doing. Stands and very strong opposition to that.
Could she go back and try to get something on that? Is that what's in her mind? It's really not clear. But all along, she has played this close to
her chest. And as Bianca says, really, we're beginning to be in uncharted territory. What we do know is that the Labour Party, the leadership and
their senior leaders continue to say that quickly once they've done their calculations, they would potentially call a vote of no-confidence in the
government which could move things a little bit under Theresa May's feet. If that were to happen, how quickly what happened? Obviously, the Labour
Party saying that they would want to assess the situation, essentially find out if they could win any Conservatives over to their side to call a vote
of no-confidence for the Conservatives that would be in their own government.
CHATTERLEY: Nic, does the degree of loss here in terms of vote make a material difference? Because you know, it's a deja vu situation. You and
I, Nic, were doing the same conversation four weeks ago. We were discussing how Theresa May is almost like a dear in the headlights. She
needs to change course and not continue to battle with the same deal, the same kind of negotiations in Europe. She needs to do something different
here. Does the degree of loss potentially change her thinking at all and perhaps adjust the way that she approaches this after tonight?
ROBERTSON: One would imagine that a loss in the order that Bianca was talking to, 22 to 30 of that magnitude, may do that. But it really isn't
clear if it's a loss of only 50 or 60, she may be convinced that was not as bad as it could have been and then stick with the plan.
You know, I think what we have to remember is this is just a moment in the Brexit process. It is day 73 to the countdown, but everything still
continues. We're in the midst of a huge negotiation, a very tough negotiation, a multi-fronted negotiation if you were Theresa may with the
EU, Theresa May with her own back benches, Theresa May with the opposition, so multi-faceted. The negotiations underway being played out at many
levels, very complicated, the point being there.
But the reality is that tomorrow morning Theresa May will be faced with a proposition of what does she do next. The clock is ticking. The country
does have to decide. And there is at the moment no common agreement, no plan put forward. She has to come up with a plan B by Monday next week.
But there is no commonality of support in Parliament for any other plan, and this is a hugely difficult position for the country to be in. Let's
not underestimate where the country stands at the moment. It's very future and its relationship with the European Union and how it could do business
around the rest of the world remains absolutely in question. And the way out of this chaos, if you like at the moment, is absolutely unclear.
What Theresa May has said, the very thing that trips up her deal, the backstop agreement over the border with Northern Ireland and the Republic
of Ireland. If there is any other deal that backstop arrangement would be part of any other deal. So the fundamental stumbling block remains. She
is in a very difficult position. Reading her mind has been one of the hardest things to do in this whole Brexit process.
CHATTERLEY: Nic, you hesitated slightly over that term, chaos and I'm right there with you. Absolute chaos. And I think the voters behind us
are demonstrating that with the noise, the sound and fury that they're making.
Erin, I come to you now for the Brussels angle because I'm going ask you the same question. Does the degree of defeat make a difference here when
Theresa goes back if indeed, she does to Brussels and renegotiates? If she has a crushing historic defeat tonight, will it bring the European, the
other European leaders together and go we have to do something here to help her?
[10:10:00] ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think at this point, Julia, that is an open question. EU diplomats that I've been
speaking to today look at this vote as an opportunity -- if you can believe it -- for clarity that finally this open question as to how Westminster
will respond to the deal that's been brokered. Will finally be answer in terms of those numbers and those amendments. They'll be analyzing both
The expectation is that if Theresa May persists, she will come back to Brussels in pursuit of further, quote, reassurances. She outlines
specifically what she wants in the letter that she addressed to the European Union. She wants a legally enshrined start date for the
negotiation -- start date rather -- for the future relationship. And it's at this point, judging by the response by the President of the European
Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker and the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, in their letter to response, that is not an offer. They're
not going limit the backstop in a legal sense at this point that has long been the EU's position that has been negotiated back and forth across the
English Channel for months now.
So, where we go from here, once this vote finally happens, as you say, determines -- depends on the numbers as well as whether or not Theresa May
survives any potential no-confidence vote. But that is expected. There is an expectation, as I say, that she'll come back for more. But in the words
of one senior EU official I've been speaking to, there's nothing left in the tank, so to speak, when it comes to this deal itself. But we can
expect, I think, the U.K. to test that notion.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. Bottom line, if you don't want countries to leave, you make it really, really difficult. Erin, thank you for that, Matthew, Nic,
also, and Bianca, thank you all for that.
Now after months of negotiations and debates it all comes down to this crucial vote, at least for tonight. But how do the people in the U.K. feel
about it? CNN's Phil Black was out and about in the town of Basingstoke to find out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's completely messed up, primarily in a divisive process.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Do you think it should still proceed?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
BLACK: You voted to leave?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I did.
BLACK: Tell me why.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Resentment, a loss of sovereignty. Essentially that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would like to see a second referendum so that we could have a choice now when people know what the deals possibly could be
rather than an in and out that was before. And I feel for my children and my grandchildren that the economy is going to get worse if we leave the
BLACK: If I said the word Brexit, what your automatic reaction?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a huge mistake. Please let us stay.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I pray that it's going to fail and we get a people's vote. And have a chance to overturn the referendum. Because the people's
will two years ago is not necessarily a people's vote today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel it's really unfair how sort of see the older people just vote on our behalf and they sort of left a mess for us to deal
CHATTERLEY: We want to hear from you too. What do you think should happen here? You can go to CNN.com and join the conversation. The questions are,
we're asking you, what's the best Brexit option for Britain at this moment? Theresa May's deal that's going to be voted on tonight in Parliament behind
me. Leaving with no deal or turning it to a second referendum. You can cast your vote and we'll update you with the results throughout the day on
Let's look at some of the possibilities ahead if Theresa May's deal is defeated. Firstly, she could try to work on a new deal with the EU. That
would mean going back to Brussels, as you were just hearing Erin describe. Mrs. May could also present a plan B. She has just three days to come up
with an alternative or she could resign as Prime Minister and let someone else have a go. So, should there be another referendum? Let's speak
Alastair Campbell, former communications boss for Labour Prime Minister, Tony Blair. Fantastic to chat with you again. We're in a no different a
situation than we were --
ALASTAIR CAMPBELL, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, TONY BLAIR: Absolutely.
CHATTERLEY: -- than when we were when we were having the
CAMPBELL: Seems as though the bells. It's the same protesters.
CHATTERLEY: I know, it's only louder. What should happen here?
CAMPBELL: Well, her deal is going to get defeated. Every indication suggests she's going to keep going with it. And I guess just try and grind
the process out and scare people the deal of kind of going over a potential margin of 29. But I think we're getting to the point where we have to be
honest with the British people. There's no easy way of doing it. And the Brexit is now that's offered is so different than the Brexit promised. I
think it should go back to the people.
CHATTERLEY: But can you make that point to the British people?
[10:15:00] CAMPBELL: Some yes, some no.
CHATTERLEY: Because those people that argue that going back to a second referendum is not the answer. You're still going to have the fake news
problem that we had back in 2016. That actually you're going to upset the people you voted for Brexit the first time.
CAMPBELL: Some, some.
CHATTERLEY: I mean, is this the way to bring the country together? Because the noises behind us indicates that this country is deeply divided.
CAMPBELL: Well, the country hasn't come together, that's the point. And I actually think that even though it would be difficult. I think anyway out
of this mess now is flawed. It would be difficult. There would be all sorts of challenges ahead if there were to be a second referendum. But I
think it could be the beginning if it comes together. Because, let's just be honest, for all the debates by the Brexit people and their (INAUDIBLE)
in the last few days. The Brexit they promised is not being delivered because it can't be delivered. We cannot be inside and outside. We can't
be outside and have the same benefits. She's
And so all of what Theresa May's trying to do is kind of half in half out. She's ended up pleasing nobody. She's going to have a defeat so big that
in any other circumstances a Prime Minister would probably have to resign. But because they are such all of special circumstances, she's going to stay
there. She's probably going to keep going with it. And eventually I think Parliament is going to assert itself in a way that make sure that actually
other options start to get to her.
CHATTERLEY: So, let's talk about option. If we even just look at the next 24 to 48 hours, we could see and what's anticipated this vote fails. We
could see Theresa May come out and say, look, I'm going to try again. I'm going to go back to Brussels. We could think of Jeremy Corbyn, the
opposition leader, coming forth and saying, I'm going to hold a confidence vote. It doesn't look like he's got the vote. Whether or not he actually
wants to have a confidence vote at this moment is arguable at this stage. What's it going to come down to before the 29th of March? What needs to be
done by Parliament, behind me, to mitigate the risk here?
CAMPBELL: But listen, nobody knows.
CAMPBELL: That's what's so crazy about this. Listen, if you talk to ministers in her cabinet, I don't think they really what she's going to do.
CHATTERLEY: But I think it gets beyond the cabinet here. And I think -- I was watching Parliament yesterday --
CAMPBELL: Parliament is definitely asserting itself.
CHATTERLEY: So, let's talk about this now. At what point does Parliament assert itself and go, we'll rule out the worst risk perhaps, which is a no-
CAMPBELL: Well it's already started to do that. But, you know, some of the votes that happened last week were indications of that. But the
government still does control the legislative agenda and the government has legislated for us to leave on March 29 this year. So it's not as simple as
them just having these votes, but I think the politics of this will reassert themselves.
But I believe, once the MPs have voted as they're going to vote tonight, her reaction will be very, very important. It's a huge, huge defeat.
Where it's unimaginable she could bring even a version of this back and get it through. Maybe she'll start to reach out to the other parties, reach
out across the House. But it's not in her style. One of the reasons she's in such a mess, is she's never done that before. So, I think we're in a
complete mess. I think the only way out of the mess is at some point, difficult that it will be, to go back to the people. And say that you now
know a bit more about Brexit and what it means, what it entails, how hard it's been, do you still want to do it?
CHATTERLEY: Very quickly, her ability at the very least, we see an extension of Article 50. We postpone that March 29 deadline date. What's
the probability of that?
CAMPBELL: I would say if we're in a rational world, 95 percent. We're not in a rational world, so the honest answer is I don't know.
CHATTERLEY: We've been asking our viewers all day what they think the best outcome would be. Of course, this is the international viewer as well,
it's not just the U.K. but you can see at the bottom of the screen there, 80 percent saying a second referendum. What do you think the view of the
U.K. people is at the moment? Do you think if we listen to --?
CAMPBELL: It's not that. It's not that.
CAMPBELL: It's certainly moved toward that. And I think, you know, if you look at all the options of the U.K. polls, it is the most popular outcome
at the moment. But the other thing we have to do to get a second referendum is address all those issues that led those people who voted
leave to do so. So it's not simple to say that we get another referendum and everyone is going to be happy. We're going to still to have to address
those issues. I mean, listen to this. We are in a mess.
CHATTERLEY: We're in a mess.
CAMPBELL: We're in a mess.
CHATTERLEY: We're going to be discussing this in four, five, six years' time.
CAMPBELL: Listen, in her deal, we would. With her deal puts the hard stuff off. We'll be here forever with this.
CHATTERLEY: Alastair Campbell, thank you so much for that.
All right. Let's move on and continue to track a breaking news story as Kenya's anti-terror unit is responding to an attack in a hotel in Nairobi.
You are looking at live pictures at this moment. Gunshots and explosions were heard just a couple of hours ago around the Dusit hotel in a busy and
popular neighborhood at the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. CNN's Farai Sevenzo is on the scene and he joins us now. Farai, this is taken place, as you
mentioned there, just a couple of hours ago, still a very much developing story. I believe you've heard more gunshots just moments ago. Can you
bring us up to speed with the latest, what you're seeing and hearing at this moment?
[10:20:00] FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Julia, right at the moment, yes, we did hear some more gunshots a few moment ago and another big
explosion. And everything I was saying to you earlier -- I don't know if you can still hear me but I'm going to keep on talking. Everything I was
saying to you earlier about the presence of so much security personnel, now really looks like it is for a reason. I have spoken to a couple of people
who were within the hotel and have just been released. One man, a French national, told CNN he's been in there having lunch with his guest in his
room at 2:00 and then followed an exchange of fire.
What we do believe that is almost certain, that the situation is not yet under control. And there are four or five people still in the hotel and
this is why so much security presence. It seems on the face of it to be an ongoing active shooter situation.
I spoke to a lady who's part of the manager of the Dusit hotel here in Nairobi. And she was desperately looking for the CCTV footage and she had
to handed it over to her security personnel. And she said, she saw five to six people walking up to the hotel very casually and they came up on foot.
Now we are still to determine that the veracity of these eyewitness accounts. But at the moment where we are, the media on one side, security
personnel on the other, and, of course, the ambulance services all coming here.
Now remember what the day is today. It's January 15th. Three years ago at the El-Adde Camp for Kenyan soldiers, suicide attackers from Al-Shabaab
attacked the Kenyan army. It resulted in over 140 dead. Now whether this was done by Al-Shabaab to remind them of that anniversary or not, we do not
know. But we have to say that at the moment this was very unexpected. Kenya has been very peaceful since six years ago on that attack at the
Westgate center -- Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. I mean as you pointed out, this is a developing story. There's details that we simply don't know at this stage. So much of the
detail is speculation. Can you just give us a sense? Because we can see people walking behind you. We saw what appeared to be a military truck
passed you by as you began. How close to this hotel are you, and can you describe the neighborhood? Where exactly is this hotel and what's around
SEVENZO: We're on Riverside road, which is one of the most affluent roads I know in Nairobi. You go up here and you're probably heading to an even
wealthier suburb. In front of me on the right is only 50 yards is a block of flats. Another residential area to about 50 yards to my left, another
block of flats. Down this way there's little driveway, at the end of that, around the corner is where the Dusit hotel is. It has a spa, it has
restaurant, popular with tourists. That's why I just told you, a French citizen had just been in there since 2:00 this afternoon has been released
about ten minutes ago.
But he told us that at the moment what's going on is there is that there's a lot of security people that we saw these armored trucks, various sort of
high security kind of organizations that belong to security force, anti- terrorism units for example, loading up their bullets into their guns. So, what we can say in the speculation that we can only go on at the moment,
that something is sting going on at the Dusit hotel in Nairobi on the January 15, 2019.
CHATTERLEY: Farai Sevenzo, thank you so much for that update there. We will continue to keep you abreast of any further developments on that
story. For now, live from outside the U.K, Houses of Parliament, lots more to come on this critical vote ahead.
But for now, in other news, a New York court says Donald Trump has been making private threats against NATO that could send a chill down the spine
of allies. All that to come and more. Stay with CNN.
[10:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHATTERLEY: You're watching CNN, and this is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Julia Chatterley outside the British Houses of Parliament just hours before that
vote on Theresa May's Brexit deal. Welcome back. Lots more on that Brexit vote in just a few moments time.
But first, U.S. President Donald Trump's relations with Russia are under public scrutiny like never before after two bombshell reports. Now there's
another. "The New York Times" said Donald Trump privately raised a threat to withdrawing from NATO multiple times last year. The weakening of the
Western military alliance, of course, has long been a dream of Vladimir Putin. A former U.S. ambassador to Russia spoke to CNN about the
significance of President Trump's threats.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THOMAS PICKERING, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO RUSSIA: NATO has been a stalwart defense arrangement that brings us together with our European
allies on the basis that from the very beginning was developed to counter Stalin's obviously egregious occupation -- if we can put it this way -- of
Eastern Europe after the second world war. And the threat of long-standing Red Army presence in Eastern Europe gave to the Western European partners.
And so it has been the basis in many ways of a security stability for 70 years that would be in one way or another totally destroyed by U.S.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHATTERLEY: Amid these developments, a very important hearing is now under way on Capitol Hill that could affect special counsel Robert Mueller's
Russia investigation. Let's bring in CNN's Jeremy Diamond to break down all the details. Jeremy, let's start with the reports on President Trump
and his views on NATO. I mean, they are not new views, but in light of revelations in the "Washington Post" just this past weekend, perhaps the
President shielding conversations that he'd had with Vladimir Putin, it's very worrying at this moment. Talk us through it.
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right, Julia. It's really the combination of all of these things we're learning now that is
more troubling. And that is the fact that we have known for a long time that the President has been skeptical of the NATO alliance. "The New York
Times" now reporting that he has threatened multiple times privately at least, to pull the United States from that NATO alliance. We know of least
one instance from our own reporting, and that was during the last NATO Summit in 2018, when the President threatened that if NATO allies did not
begin to increase their financial contributions that the United States might go it alone. But as you mentioned, it is the combination of things.
We're now also learning, of course, of this counter counterintelligence investigation into the President. Into looking whether or not the
President was indeed acting as an agent of Russia. The President, of course, denied that just yesterday.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, exactly. For the first time, direct denial from President Trump. But it's not the only thing that's going on. Trump's
Attorney General nominee, the official who will then oversee the Russia investigation. Also facing a grilling now on Capitol Hill. Talk us
through that too, Jeremy.
DIAMOND: That's right. The attorney general nominee is Bill Barr who previously served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush.
And this morning he's facing a series of questions particularly focused around the Mueller investigation.
[10:30:00] Bill Barr actually wrote a memo before he was nominated for this position raising questions about the legitimacy of the Mueller
investigation. And this morning what he's doing is he's trying to put some of those questions to rest. He's focusing on his experience as a former
attorney general. Saying that he believes he brings the experience to bring the country together at this divided moment. And he is also made
very clear that he will allow the Mueller investigation to reach its conclusion. He said he believes it is vital for that investigation to be
finished, and he has pledged a degree of transparency about the Mueller investigations final report consistent with U.S. laws is what he said.
And so what we're seeing here is an attorney general nominee for President Trump who is trying to set himself apart from the President a bit. He said
that he does not believe that Robert Mueller -- whom he has known for a long time -- would be involved in a witch hunt. That, of course , the term
that the President has repeatedly used to characterize the special counsel's investigation. So, what we're seeing here is both an Attorney
General nominee who is very much going to be a defender of the President and a traditional Republican, but also somebody who is saying, look, as far
as the Mueller investigation is concerned, these investigations I will leave that alone and respect the integrity of those investigations.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, it's a witch hunt -- a phrase he used yesterday as well with that direct denial. I want to reiterate that with the (INAUDIBLE)
with Russia. Jeremy Diamond, thank you so much for that live from London.
This is CONNECT THE WORLD. Still ahead, we continue our coverage of Brexit decision day. The U.K. facing one of the most important political moments
in its history. More to come after the break. Stay with CNN.
[10:35:00] CHATTERLEY: You are watching CNN and this is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Julia Chatterley outside the U.K. Houses of Parliament with special
coverage of today's crucial Brexit vote. Welcome back to the show.
It is a historic day for the U.K. and for the European Union. In just a few hours' time, lawmakers will vote on the Prime Minister's Brexit deal.
Parliament is currently debating the Prime Minister's deal but it's expected to be a bruising defeat for Theresa May when they come to vote
later. If her Brexit plan is rejected, Britain could be forced to leave the EU at the end of March with no deal. And that's why Theresa May has
been fighting to save this deal, arguably her career as well.
Amid all the uncertainty were seeing slight dip in the British pound. It's currently trading slightly lower against the U.S. dollar. CNN's Anna
Stewart joins us live now and has been watching the markets for us. Anna, suspended animation I think for U.K. asset investors here, just waiting to
see what happens next.
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Yes, trading surer I think in anticipation of this vote. And what we're looking at here in terms of sterling, which is
the most sensitive asset when it comes to Brexit, is what happens, how big a defeat is that. That is the big question for analysts and I think the
margins I'm looking at when I speak to analysts, is they feel like 100 vote margin or less would be minor defeat. Anything larger than that would be
bigger. And that means a bigger impact on the pound. So a minor defeat?
The expectation is we could see the pound dip to $1.27. Not too much movement there. We wouldn't see too much movement. A big defeat, Julia,
and we could see a hit a $1.24. Not the lowest it's been throughout this Brexit process. But you got to remember that we hit the lowest after that
referendum in 2016 at $1.33. That was the lowest in 31 years. We're far off that. The lowest we've seen in the whole process, of course, was
$1.19. So we do expect to see some movement here. And of course, universally, you would expect to see the FTSE 100 to have a little rise.
Depending on how much softer selling is. That's of course the result of the fact that companies make most of their money in dollars on the FTSE
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST: OK. I'm going to pick it up from here. Good to see you, Anna. And we are following what is a momentous day in the U.K. It
certainly looks like Parliament is all but certain to deliver a decisive defeat on the Prime Minister's deal. The question will be, what happens
when it is rejected? What happens next? Well, no one really knows. But one thing many in the U.K. would like, and Theresa May has rejected, is a
second referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union. Take a look at this.
And she warned lawmakers in Parliament on Monday that not backing her deal runs the risk of a second vote. Now, when it comes to Brexit, the town of
Basingstoke is a unique reflection of the country as a whole. In 2016 people there voted in exactly the same proportion as the entire country.
More than 51 percent voted to leave the EU, 48 percent voted to remain. So, Phil Black went to Basingstoke to see how residents felt about Brexit.
BLACK: Basingstoke, about a 90-minute drive southwest of London is a relatively comfortable but pretty average Englishtown, on remarkably. But
it is that sense of averageness that perhaps best explains this town's relationship with Brexit. As the United Kingdom voted 52-48 in the
referendum in favor of leaving the European Union. That national result was mirrored here locally. The people of Basingstoke also voted in favor
of Brexit 52 to 48. So this town is a microcosm of many of the ideas, concerns, feelings on this issue that have been thrashed out across the
country over a couple of years now. So talking to people here in Basingstoke, while they have spoken about their fear, about their
frustration, and even potentially a sense of betrayal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's completely messed up by the device and politics.
BLACK: Do you think it should still proceed?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
BLACK: You voted to leave?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I did.
BLACK: Tell me why.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Resentment at a loss of sovereignty. Essentially that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would like to see a second referendum so that we could have a choice now when people know what the deals possibly could be,
rather than just an in and out that was before. And I feel for my children and my grandchildren that the economy is going to get worse if we leave the
BLACK: If I said the word "Brexit," what's your automatic reaction.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Huge mistake. Please let us stay.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I pray that it's going to fail probably and then that we get the people's vote.
[10:40:00] And have a chance to overturn the referendum. Because the people's will two years ago is not necessarily the people's will today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel it's really unfair on how, sort of, say the older people just voted on our behalf and they sort of left a mess for us
to deal with.
BLACK: So Basingstoke is a divided town in a divided country. But regardless of some of the vast differences that separate people on this
issue, there is one thing many have in common. They share a really strong sense of disappointment at the politicians in London and their inability to
get this sorted. Phil Black, CNN, Basingstoke, England.
CURNOW: So for that great to have you there with that perspective We'll go back to Julia in just a moment at Westminster. But I do want to also
update you on some other stories we're following here at CNN. In particular, a widening diplomatic divide between Canada and China after a
Canadian citizen, Robert Schellenberg was sentenced to death for drug smuggling. The former Canadian ambassador to China tells CNN, relations
between the two countries are at a crisis. He questions whether Schellenberg has been used as a bargaining chip following Canada's December
arrest of Huawei executive. Both countries have now issued travel warnings against the other. So, let's go to Paula Newton, live in Ottawa for more
on this developing. Hi, Paula, you spoke I understand with the former Canadian ambassador of China. What else is he saying?
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, he definitely says that this is incredibly serious not just for the family of Mr. Schellenberg but also for
the two Canadians, as you know, Robyn, that remain detained. All of this coming out of the case of the Huawei executive now out on bail in
Vancouver. Meng Wanzhou was in fact arrested at the behest of the U.S. authorities who wanted her extradited. And it doesn't matter how many
times Justin Trudeau has tried to convince Chinese authorities that they were bound to this. That it was respect for law and extradition treaty
that they must comply with.
For all intents and purposes, it seems that China has decided that the blowback, the principal blowback for this will be on Canada. And I have to
tell you, despite those tit-for-tat advisories, travel advisories that we saw, there was something else that really angered the Chinese today, and I
want you to listen to Justin Trudeau speaking about the case of Mr. Schellenberg.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: It is of extreme concern to us as a government as it should be to all our international friends and allies
that China has chosen to begin to arbitrarily apply death penalties in this case facing -- as in this case facing a Canadian.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: It was the issue really with arbitrary. That is what China is calling irresponsible remarks. So it's definitely no one backing down. If
we step down though, Robyn, this is really unprecedented in terms of this kind of diplomatic spat between two countries that need each other. But
again, it's not just between China and Canada. Right now Justin Trudeau has launched into an unprecedented campaign with allies, of course,
including the United States, to try and bring everyone on board to put more pressure to bear on China. High stakes game, Robyn, especially when you
consider that China and the U.S. are negotiating right now on trade. Something many are keeping an eye on.
CURNOW: Yes, certainly a disturbing new development in all of this. Paula, great to see you, thanks so much for that update and that interview.
.I'm Robyn Curnow. You're watching CNN. We're going to take a quick break. More news after the break. Stay with us.
[10:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHATTERLEY: You're watching CNN. And this is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Julia Chatterley. Welcome back. We are live from outside of the U.K.
Houses of Parliament for you. The bell is tolling, the drums are beating. We are just hours ahead of a decisive vote on British Prime Minister
Theresa May's beleaguered Brexit deal.
Let's talk about this. Richard Benyon is a Conservative member of Parliament. He's in favor of Theresa May's Brexit deal. Great to have you
with us. You're an interesting one because you are in favor of this deal and you're going to vote as you say on that tonight, and yet you come from
a constituency that voted remain.
RICHARD BENYON, CONSERVATIVE MP: Yes. I think the vast majority of the people in my constituency, whether they voted leave or like me, voted
remain and accepted the result of that referendum. This deal offers the kind of security that's not perfect for everyone. It's not perfect in
itself, but it is a good compromised deal, and I'm going to support it.
CHATTERLEY: I've been asking about a lightbulb moment for members of Parliament behind me, when we come to this vote. Do we have to accept at
this stage that this is Brexit, this is as good as it gets? If you want this you have to take it. And if you don't, you have to accept the
BENYON: If we don't accept this tonight we are in very uncharted waters. I mean, I have not been a blind supporter of the government. I voted
against it twice. Because I'm very concerned about the implications of no deal, and that's one of the motivations I have for supporting this. And
also, I think we've to get outside the SW1 bubble. Away from all this noise and just really focus on what our constituents want, and what our
small businesses. The people who really understand the complexity of supply chains that we've built up through our 45-year membership of this
trading block. And the fears they have about the possibility of no deal, the possibility of this deal not getting through.
CHATTERLEY: So they just want a decision.
BENYON: They want a decision. And you know, of course, I can't speak for everyone, and my inbox overflows with absolutely 180 degrees from each
CHATTERLEY: Of course. As we see from behind us.
BENYON: As we see from behind you. And I'm sorry, I think also this is really important. This country has been fractured by this issue, not just
for the last two years but for longer. And I really do think this is an opportunity to bring our country back together again. You know, the idea
that we're going to have months more of these kinds of arguments, the idea if we had a second referendum of many months more and the ideas of
divisions, we saw in the last one really worries me.
CHATTERLEY: The only consensus I see now is watching Parliament debate yesterday was that there is a consensus for a limit to prevent a no-deal
exit. Would you agree with that? And are you prepared for Parliament -- would you like Parliament at some point soon to step in and say we are not
going to do a no-deal exit in order to prevent a messy outcome on March 29th?
BENYON: I really do fear a no-deal exit, and my constituents have explained to me in sort of a brutal detail as have trade organizations and
many others. But you know, I think what happens if this vote goes down today -- which it looks like she will fail to get it through -- we need to
move very fast to make sure that some kind of alternative can be put in place. If you look at the flowcharts, then there are lots of negatives.
And we've got to stop thinking about what we don't want and we've got to start thinking about what we do want. And if we don't want no deal, what
the hell is that place going to support? And I find myself talking to people who are proposing something around a Norway type solution. It is
not perfect and I'm the first person to agree with that. But we have got to leave on 29 March and we've got to leave with the deal. That is what
I'm working really hard to achieve.
CHATTERLEY: Maybe, maybe not. And I guess that's why I jumped that flowchart and went straight to that point. But all throughout the day,
we've been asking you, our viewers, what is the best Brexit outcome is for Britain? We gave you three options. Theresa May's deal, that will be
voted on tonight. Leaving with no deal, as we just discussed. Or a second referendum. And you can see the results. So far about 80 percent of
people -- and this is international viewers, but not just British people voting here -- they're in favor of a second referendum. What do you think
[10:50:00] BENYON: Well, I've got lots of reasons why I personally, I'm not. I mean, politics in my constituency is a very civilized affair. We
treat each with respect. During the referendum I saw unleashed a kind of vitriol in our community that I just don't want to see happen again. But
this is really important, and we mustn't pussyfoot around this. But what I really do detect, the further you get away from place, there's a real sort
of anger at the idea that a sort of London elite, we can put the 1990s band back together, it that Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell -- you just had on --
and those sorts of people. And when you go into -- I talked to some of my friends with northern constituencies from both sides of the House, and they
say that the level of anger and so they just don't want a second referendum. You want to be really careful what they wish for. Because in
the four or five months -- which is due to government safe it would take to have that -- what kind of demons would be unleashed over that period? What
kind of nationalism and populism and to some of the people I've been accosted by, as my way to see you here, will seem pretty mild compared to
some of the emotions that it will bring?
CHATTERLEY: Richard, we're going to leave it there. Thank you so much for that. Live. This is CONNECT THE WORLD.
Coming up, an American perspective of Brexit. I'll talk to a U.S. columnist about what Brexit means and the special relationship between the
United States and U.K. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: This is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Julia Chatterley in London ahead of a key vote tonight on Theresa May's Brexit deal. Welcome back.
With the so-called meaningful vote on that Brexit deal just a few hours away. We want to look into the future of many see it as a debate over
Brexit, as a debate over Theresa May's leadership. If she fails, can she continue? And there is little question about whatever happens whether a
negotiated Brexit or no-deal Brexit, the U.K. economy is in for some serious changes too.
I want to chat a bit with Kate Andrews. She is the associate director for the Institute for Economic Affairs here in London and a frequent columnist
and commentator on the economic impact of Brexit. I feel that comes down the line. What happens if we get what we anticipate tonight? She loses.
She then has three days if she hangs around to find a new deal.
KATE ANDREWS, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, INSTITUTE OF ECONOMIC AFFAIRS: There are two scenarios tonight. One is that she loses, but it's under 100 votes
that she loses by. She'll chalk that up potentially as a win and very likely go back to the EU and try to renegotiate. To show them where they
need to get concessions to get it over the line. If she loses by more than 100 votes or by 150 votes, we're in totally unprecedented territory. It
would very much seem like the deal is dead in the water, but that doesn't necessarily mean the Prime Minister will back down from it. Of course,
today suggests their plan B, as you say in three days, and seeing what she has to come back with, still looks a lot like plan A.
CHATTERLEY: Can we start talking about other options?
[10:55:00] A Norway option, a Canada option. Is that something that could pass in Parliament behind us if not this deal?
ANDREWS: If it loses by a catastrophic level of defeat, and the Prime Minister is in a position where she could go to the Labour Party and start
arguing to bring in a customs union and get some labor support there. But that would be undermining her backbench, her MPs. That would be very
difficult for her to do that within her own party and to not face some kind of rebellion against that. So, it's very difficult to see if it loses by
100 or 150 votes, where she can go from there. There just isn't the majority in parliament for almost anything. There are for a few things.
One being not having a deal scenario. But other than that everyone has a different perspective on this.
CHATTERLEY: They continue to and that's what the noise is. Great to have you with us. You can continue to watch our special Brexit coverage leading
up to the vote and well after it. Members of Parliamentary set to begin casting their vote in about three hours' time. We'll have a live report on
the impact of Parliament's decision. I'm Julia Chatterley. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you for watching our Brexit coverage and more
news continues after this. Stay with CNN.