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Terror Attack In Nairobi Kills At Least 11; "El Chapo" Guzman Associate Says Drug Kingpin Bribed Former Mexican President With $100 million; May Faces No-Confidence Vote After Brexit Defeat. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired January 16, 2019 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello, everybody. Welcome to a special edition of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause.
I'm Max Foster in London, where Theresa May made history after her Brexit plan suffered the biggest parliamentary defeat ever for a sitting British government. The prime minister now faces a no confidence vote called by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BERCOW, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS: The ayes to the right, 202. The nos to the left, 432. So the nos have it. The nos have it. Unlock.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Theresa May's divorce deal with the European Union was expected to fail but not necessarily by such a wide margin. Britain is now entering the greatest unknown with no clear path leading up to its March deadline to exit the E.U.
In spite of the confidence vote, Theresa May has three days to set out a plan B. She's expected to meet with European leaders in Brussels soon, seeking further concessions, acknowledging vanquishment (ph).
Ms. May also offered cross-party talks with members of Parliament to find a way forward.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Every day that passes without this issue resolved means more uncertainty, more bitterness and more rancor.
The government have heard -- has heard what the house has said tonight but I ask members on all sides of the house to listen to the British people who want this issue settled and to work with the government to do just that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: CNN's Hadas Gold is live for us outside 10 Downing Street.
The interesting thing here is she is looking for some consensus on a plan B, which means she doesn't have a plan B, which is quite worrying.
HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is quite worrying. It was just stunning to watch how this all worked out. Typically a defeat of more than 100 would cause a prime minister to resign but as noted, we're in uncharted territory today.
The issue is that it's not clear what sort of consensus we can find in Parliament. It's everybody seems to want something different, something else. The only consensus they came to is that they didn't like Theresa May's deal.
This no confidence vote was expected but she is also expected to win it handily. It's one thing for members of her party to vote against her deal but it's another thing to vote against their leader and against a position of power and possibly trigger a general election.
I spoke to some staffers for the Labour Party and they said we had to table a no confidence vote. There's no way that you can't do it, even though they acknowledged that they will probably not win this vote.
That vote will take place tonight. Like I said, Theresa May is expected to survive that no confidence vote but that doesn't solve this Brexit calculus and this conundrum that the U.K. found itself in today.
FOSTER: But she's had the biggest defeat ever in British political history in Parliament and she's going to carry on. She's going to stagger on in the job. That on its own is unprecedented.
She's a prime minister with no credibility, isn't she?
GOLD: That's what it seems like now.
But who else could you go to?
It's not like there's somebody waiting in the wings that could easily take over. It's not like a lot of members of Parliament want the Labour Party to take over. That's the issue here, is everybody wants something else.
Theresa May over the next few days said she's going to listen to members of Parliament. She's going to try to shake them down and see what she can get out of them and what they actually want. Maybe we'll see a few votes out of Parliament to get more of a consensus.
She'll try to get something out of Brussels. But we're heading closer and closer to either a no deal crashout scenario or probably Theresa May abandoning her current plan, which she seems to be holding strong and fast onto.
FOSTER: OK, Hadas. Thank you.
Reactions to the vote pouring in. A statement from the Irish government crucial in this whole process, "urges the U.K. to see how it proposes to move forward. We'll then consider what --
FOSTER: -- "next steps to take in consultation with our E.U. partners."
Meanwhile, the Scottish prime minister, Nicola Sturgeon, called for the Brexit process to be suspended and for another referendum.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICOLA STURGEON, SCOTTISH FIRST MINISTER: This is a defeat of literally historic proportions for the prime minister and she has seen it coming for months and it's just wasted time. We can't waste time any longer. First of all, I believe now is the time to stop the Article 50 clock to take away any risk of the U.K. crashing out of the E.U. without a deal on the 29th of March.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Well, the continent, French president Emmanuel Macron said the E.U. went as far as it could with the current Brexit deal. It added expressly for the U.K. to ask for more time to renegotiate.
European Council president Donald Tusk tweeted, "If a deal is impossible and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?"
The European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said he regrets the outcome of the votes in the House of Commons and he urges the U.K. to clarify its intentions as soon as possible. He says time is almost up.
And Spain's prime minister says his government also regrets the no vote. Pedro Sanchez tweeted the disorderly exit would be negative for the E.U. and a catastrophe for the U.K. For more reaction from Europe, CNN's Melissa Bell is with us from Brussels.
Melissa, when we look at the scale of this defeat, it's very difficult to tally with any sort of wiggle room that the Europeans may offer. They need to offer something huge basically to please the MPs, behind us which they're not going to do.
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Which they're not going to do. Let's be clear. All 27 members of the bloc negotiated with Theresa May for nearly two years, haggling over every detail of this deal and it was with a great sense of unity. Most unusual for the bloc, that the E.U. spoke in regard to these negotiations, in regard to this deal. Every time Theresa May has come back to Europe to try to extract
something else and negotiate perhaps, the details of the backstop, the sticking point, especially for the eurosceptics within her own party. Europe has been quite clear, quite firm on the fact that there were no more concessions to be made.
And of course, the clock is now ticking; 72 days until Brexit happens, until the 29th of March. And, of course, with this confidence vote today, the timings are getting tighter and tighter.
If Theresa May wins that confidence vote, she then has the crucial three days, a day one assumes for cross-party talks and a day to come back to Brussels to see what else could be had and she could get the numbers on her side if she could get from the E.U. some say a sunset clause.
For instance, on the backstop, very difficult to see how she would get that, again, given how firm Europeans have been that what they offered was as good as she could get. But one could imagine that scenario, should she survive today's confidence vote, which means she would then be back in front of MPs on Monday.
But again we come down to that fundamental problem for the British prime minister, which is crashing out of the E.U. by the United Kingdom is bad for everyone, but worst of all for the United Kingdom.
FOSTER: What does it mean, though, practically for people?
We're getting so many questions about people traveling in and out of the U.K., for example.
If we do leave at the end of March, are there systems in place?
Is there time to get systems in place to keep things flowing, even if there aren't some customs involved as a result?
BELL: This has been the argument, especially of the more headline Brexiteers who believe that a no deal is better than this deal. And they think that crashing out is essentially what the British public had voted for.
And they sort of minimized the catastrophe scenarios that have been laid out. But the experts are unanimous in saying that because we're in unchartered territory and because you're picking apart a deal that held firm for all these decades with more and more integration across the borders, across the financial systems, the list is so long in ways in which the U.K. has become inextricably linked to the E.U., all kinds of questions haven't been asked since the early 1970s.
Suddenly with a no deal Brexit, and it's 72 days away, all kinds of systems that are in place would simply fall apart. And there is, of course, the economic fallout that would follow. Equally as we look ahead now to the greater possibility that a no-deal Brexit looks likely, given the timing. This is what Jean-Claude Juncker has tweeted most recently, that the E.U. will now be stepping up the preparations to ensure that it's as smooth as possible. There's all kinds of things that no one has thought of and it will clearly be extremely messy for some time.
BELL: But for now, everyone is going to try to avoid it, even as everyone prepares even more carefully for it -- Max.
FOSTER: OK. Thank you, Melissa.
The British pound rallied after Parliament's vote, which confused a few people. The pound had fallen below $1.27. But it erased losses and finished at $1.28. Some analysts predicted the pound would rally if the prime minister's plan was defeated because it brings the chance of Brexit being delayed.
Asian markets are mixed; currently, as you can see. So they're not really too bothered, either. For more on the financial impact and uncertainty, John Defterios joins us now from Abu Dhabi.
We're rather confused on this end of things. Just explain why the markets are reacting the way that they are.
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Max, you would think the major defeat like this for a sitting U.K. prime minister, the worst, in fact, in modern history, would create panic.
It is not creating panic because this opens the way for a number of different options. And that's what the markets are hoping for.
There's three key options on the table. Yes, there's the potential for a hard falling out, a hard Brexit on March 29th. There's a thought that the deadline could be extended, as Nicola Sturgeon was suggesting from Scotland, so for further negotiation.
And the potential is probably greater now than it's been for months for perhaps a second referendum. but I don't think we can overlook the fact that the risk remains high going here.
Also add the equation of a no confidence vote and if Theresa May does not stand the no confidence vote, what does it mean for uncertainty going forward?
I know British business leaders have been frustrated by this process over the last few years. One of the major ones is the head of the British Chambers of Commerce. This is a quote from him oil and gas.
"There are no more words to describe the frustration, the impatience and growing anger amongst business after 2.5 years on high stakes political roller coaster rides that show no signs of stopping."
We have to keep in mind this could hurt supply chains going forward. There's discussion of medicine shortages and also not clear what's going to happen to this ability by the city of London, for example, to trade euro bonds and the euro going forward. So there's a relief today reflected in the Asian equity markets as well.
But because there's a number of options on the table, perhaps the deadline can be extended -- Max.
FOSTER: Yes. We'll see how that goes.
What are key European players worried about at this point?
FOSTER: Well, Melissa quoted Jean-Claude Juncker, who's been a key negotiator in this process and he's saying we need more clarity from the U.K. That was obvious I should say.
But i was looking at the subtlety of the messages that came out ahead of the vote and thereafter as well.
The new German finance minister, Olaf Scholz, was suggesting that this is a sign of rising populism in Europe. It's not limited to the U.K. Populism is rampant in and around this Brexit vote but the Yellow Vest movement in Paris, where Melissa was standing; the Five Star Movement involved in the government in Italy and the hardliners in Greece.
This is not good for Europe overall. And there's a concern, if there is a hard Brexit, this could be contagious, could be the unraveling of the European Union, at least the Eurozone. That's what the German finance minister was suggesting.
I thought the fact that the head of the Eurozone finance ministers suggesting there's openness to negotiation going forward. So maybe not enough for the headline Brexiteers, Max, but there's the option here to say let's have a dialogue and perhaps stretch the deadline and see if we can make something work going forward.
FOSTER: OK, John Defterios, thank you very much, indeed.
John Vause, that vote of confidence in the British government is in about 14 hours' time. Should have the result by then. If she loses, she'll have to resign but she's not going to lose, according to the numbers we're looking at. So the real question is what she does after that, how she takes this forward and comes up with a plan B.
VAUSE: It's one of so many things that are uncertain, as many wake up across Britain and Europe to this news to what comes next. Max, we'll check in with you in a moment. But in the meantime, we'll take a short break.
When we come back, nearly four years of relative calm shattered by a terror attack in the heart of the Kenyan capital. We'll have the very latest in a live report.
Also company and a lawyer. Bill Barr tries to reassure Democrats the Russia investigation will continue if he's sworn in as the next U.S. attorney general. But a memo from his past raising questions about his future.
VAUSE: To Kenya now, where officials say the scene of a deadly terrorist attack is being secured. There are reports of gunfire from within the upscale hotel and office complex. At least 11 people reported dead in a highly coordinated attack that began in early afternoon with two explosions, one in the parking lot of the hotel, the other a suicide bombing in the hotel's foyer.
The blasts were followed by heavy rounds of gunfire. Hours later, the assault developed into a standoff as government security forces tried to clear the complex and evacuate civilians caught in the crossfire.
The Somali Islamist terrorist group Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility. CNN's Sam Kiley live at the scene in Nairobi. He joins us now.
They say there are conflicting reports about whether the complex has been secured and the threat is over. Government officials say it is.
What do you know at this stage?
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Whatever the government officials may say, John, I can tell you that's absolute nonsense in terms of this being over.
Up until about half an hour ago, there were very heavy exchanges of rapid rates of fire, small arms fire; we could hear the detonation of either stun grenades or lethal grenades just in the buildings 50 to 100 yards behind me, just behind that blue building over there is the Dusit hotel, the scene of what we understand from eyewitnesses that I spoke to overnight, two security sources who were actually inside the building, helping with the evacuation, described scenes of absolute carnage.
One individual, an alter source of mine, saw five dead people at the entrance, another six at the cafe. Two of the victims have been confirmed as being one British and one American citizen and a number of others, obviously dead we know from our own sources, at least 11.
But the Kenyan police are saying that number has climbed to 15 but there is an anticipation here that the death toll will inevitably be much higher. There's Kenyan special forces continuing to fight for control of the Dusit complex, a very muddled area. Not just a hotel but a number of offices and other buildings, all went one way in and the same direction out.
So John, it posed, if you like, an ideal target for a terrorist attack. Clearly the attempt, my sources say, was to --
KILEY: -- try to trap as many civilians in that location as possible.
Fortunately, there's a number of armed security operators already inside the building that were able to fight back against what they estimate to be either four or five attackers.
We have seen CCTV footage that shows at least four individuals, all of them armed with AK-47s and all of them carrying a belt of grenades. The grenades have been also seen scattered across the floor. A great deal of fighting has continued at least until an hour or two after dawn.
It has gone quiet for the last half-hour and we have seen in the last few minutes some Kenyan special forces going in, reinforcements, but also a forensic team, a couple of individuals in the typical forensic investigative white suits, because, of course, the issue here in Nairobi will be the concern that, though this is a very complex attack, it came on the anniversary of the greatest military loss that the Kenyans ever had, which was at the hands of Al-Shabaab inside Somalia three years ago.
And there will be concerns here that this attack is part of what may be a planned series of attacks. So there's much intelligence that can be gathered, even as the gunfire is dying down. It's going to be vital.
VAUSE: Sam Kiley there, live on the scene with the very latest. Thanks, Sam.
Well, on Capitol Hill Tuesday, there were both jeers and cheers from Democrats as the president's nominee for attorney general was grilled by senators. Bill Barr clearly stated his position on the special counsel, Robert Mueller, and his Russia investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARR: I want special counsel Mueller to discharge his responsibilities as a federal prosecutor and exercise the judgment that he's expected to exercise under the rules and finish his job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: But unlike the man he would replace, Jeff Sessions, who, on the advice of government lawyers, recused himself from all things Russia, Barr said he would be the one to ultimately side on any question of recusal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARR: They're different kinds of recusals. Some are mandated, for example, if you have a financial interest but there's others that are judgment calls.
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D): Let's imagine it's a judgment call and the judgment by the career ethics officials in the agency are that you recuse yourself.
Under what scenario would you not follow their recommendation?
BARR: If I disagree with it.
HARRIS: What would the basis of that disagreement be?
BARR: I came to a different judgment.
HARRIS: On what basis?
BARR: The facts.
HARRIS: Such as?
BARR: Such as whatever facts are relevant to the recusal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Turned upside down when asked what he would do if the president directed him to commit an illegal act.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARR: If the president directs an attorney general to do something that is contrary to law, then I think the attorney general has to step down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Barr also testified he believed Russia interfered with or tried to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.
Jessica Levinson joins us now from Los Angeles. She's as professor of law and governance at Loyola University.
Jessica, great to have you with us. Ultimately it seems the case Bill Barr was making before the senators came down to this very one statement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL NOMINEE: I am not going to do anything that I think is wrong and I will not be bullied into doing anything that I think is wrong by anybody, whether it be editorial boards or Congress or the president. I'm going to do what I think is right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: In other words, trust me. But hanging over that is the 19- page legal memo he wrote highly critical of the Mueller investigation and widely circulated within the administration.
JESSICA LEVINSON, LOYOLA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL: Yes. Absolutely. So I think that Bill Barr is frankly a very smart choice by President Trump because he's already been picked by another president and confirmed by another Senate for this very job.
I think it calms critics in the sense that many of Trump's picks have never served in government before. If you look at his cabinet, if you look at the judiciary. But Bill Barr walks and acts and talks like someone who is the attorney general because he, in fact, was the attorney general.
Now there's a big caveat here and that's exactly what you said, well, what about this 19- page memo that he wrote, that he gave to President Trump's personal attorneys and he said basically, I think this investigation into obstruction of justice just doesn't hold any water.
Can he possibly be impartial?
Frankly, I thought he gave a great performance today which was look, I'm an old person. I'm not running for office. I've had this job before and you can't scare me.
VAUSE: Actually, he was specifically asked by the Democrats when they raised their concerns about the memo, here's part of an exchange he had during the hearing.
VAUSE: Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D), VERMONT: Some have said, on both sides, that it looked like a job application.
WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL NOMINEE: That's ludicrous. If I wanted the job and was going after the job, there are many more direct ways of me bringing myself to the president's attention than writing an 18- page legal memorandum.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: This gets back to your point, he's already been attorney general. He had a nice life. He actually didn't come looking for this job. It comes back to the argument, trust me. At the end of the day though, it seems Democrats won't, Republicans will.
JESSICA LEVINSON, LOYOLA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL: Yes, and the end game is we have to look at how many Republicans are in the Senate Judiciary Committee and how many Republicans are in the Senate.
As we know, in order to confirm an attorney general nominee, all you need is a simple majority in the Senate. We have 53 Republicans in the Senate and that means he's going to be confirmed.
But I think there's a number of questions that he left unanswered with respect to the Mueller investigation. One, obviously, you played that exchange with Kamala Harris, where he didn't really say in what circumstances he would fail to recuse himself even if professional career ethics officials said he should really recuse himself.
He also left an enormous amount of room for when, with, whether and how to make the Mueller report public. And he really wouldn't be pinned down on another issue, which is whether or not you can subpoena a sitting president.
So I think he gave a great performance but a very smart performance. He left himself an enormous amount of leeway going forward.
VAUSE: That memo, saying essentially the Mueller investigation was illegal, was based on a false allegation or no crime, if you like. So that was his belief then.
It's a belief that he held for a very long time, even the memo itself considered to be highly improper.
But what it seems here is his stance, whether it's from the findings being released or made public or the issue of recusal, whatever it is, it seems the bigger picture is that elections have consequences. He's likely to be the attorney general and he's going to be calling the shots.
And that's how it plays out now, when you have Donald Trump as president and he nominates Bill Barr for attorney general.
LEVINSON: I think that's exactly right. Look, let's not fool ourselves. He has been very open in public as you said about his thoughts on at least the obstruction of justice charge or potential charge when it comes to the Mueller investigation.
He said today, I haven't criticized the Russia investigation. But it's really interesting to listen to his words. He said the inquiry into Russian interference. That describes what we're looking at as a one-way street of just the Russians trying to influence our election. It totally negates the other side of what Mueller is looking at, which is whether or not President Trump and/or members of his administration and campaign conspired with the Russian government.
So I think we're looking at somebody that's going to be a very conservative pick and the news of the day is, will he be biased with Mueller?
What's gotten lost in the headlines is there's a lot of other things he'll have a lot of power over, whether transgender people can serve in the military, the administration's zero tolerance policy when it comes to immigration, voter fraud. That has gotten lost because we're all understandably focused on his memo and the Mueller investigation.
VAUSE: And to continue to focus on the Mueller investigation and what we have also seen on Tuesday, court filings revealing that Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, lied about when he said he had no contact with the administration.
Manafort in fact made contact with someone whose names were redacted from those comments until February of last year.
In light of that as well as the other revelations about Manafort, including the fact that he shared internal polling data with a Russian oligarch with ties to Kremlin security, Manafort seems to be allegedly emerging as a focal point of the collusion connection in all of this.
LEVINSON: Yes. Absolutely, in this investigation, we're all looking for basically tea leaves and bread crumbs. In this case, we got some today. So Manafort is looking like he might be a key player when it comes to this issue of whether or not the Trump campaign in any way conspired with the Russian government.
What's really interesting about those continuing contacts with the Trump administration is this question about basically whether or not he is trying to curry favor with the Trump administration in order to gain a pardon.
Now what a pardon would give him is a "get out of jail free" card when it comes to federal prison but maybe not when it comes to any potential state crimes. So Paul Manafort could continue to be a player even after the pardon.
[00:30:00] Right now, though, I think for the Mueller investigation, we don't know for sure exactly what his role is.
But I would say, based on what is public, he certainly seems to be kind of drawing that line that nobody in the Trump administration wanted to draw, between the campaign and the Russian government.
VAUSE: Yes, Jessica, thank you for pulling it all together. We appreciate it. Good to see you. Thank you.
LEVINSON: Good to see or good to hear you.
VAUSE: OK. We'll take a short break. When we come back, head back to London with a closer look at what lies ahead for Brexit, after Theresa May's historic, absolutely historic defeat, in parliament.
VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. Thanks for staying with us for our special edition of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause, with the headlines this hour. In Nairobi, Kenyan Special Forces are still on the scene of a deadly terror attack at a hotel and office complex which left at least 11 people dead.
Our correspondent on the scene says he could hear heavy gunfire and small arms fire within the last hour. Security sources who helped with evacuations described scenes of carnage. The Islamist terrorist group, Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.
Venezuela's opposition-controlled national assembly has declared Nicolas Maduro's presidency, illegitimate, and wants to take control. The White House has indicated support for that move. Maduro began his second term as president, last week.
A former aid to Joaquin El Chapo Guzman, says the drug kingpin once paid $100 million bribe to Mexico's former president, Enrique Pena Nieto. Testimony came out at Guzman's trial in New York. Earlier in the hearing, a spokesman told the president, called the accusation they were bribed, false and defamatory.
Let's head back now to Max Foster, live in London, when they are still digesting what was an historic day in parliament.
FOSTER: Digesting, mainly, still not managed to make much sense of it. VAUSE: Maybe it's indigestion, perhaps.
FOSTER: Prime Minister Theresa May. Indigestion, I think it's political indigestion of the highest order here, in London. She's fighting for her political life after her Brexit deal
suffered a crushing defeat here in parliament, last night. What happens next? That's the big question.
A no confidence vote is expected around 7:00 p.m. London time, on Wednesday. If Mrs. May survives that vote, she'll have three days to come up with a new Brexit plan, because parliament will not meet on Friday. The new blueprint is expected to be presented on Monday.
At some point, the British prime minister expected to meet with European leaders in an attempt to renegotiate the Brexit agreement. If Theresa May does not survive the no-confidence vote, that will likely lead to a general election and possibly a new government.
[00:35:07] Britain is still scheduled to leave the E.U. on March 29th, with or without a deal. That is the default position, currently. The U.K. could try to extend that deadline, but it would require approval by other E.U. members, although, there's even debate about that.
So, let's have more debate. CNN European Affairs Commentator Dominic Thomas joins us now from Los Angeles, and I'm joking about this, but it's really difficult to give you, as a way forward, because there's so much disagreement.
DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: Yes, it's absolutely an extraordinary day. I would say, though, that there was no surprise today that this agreement was defeated. She went away in December, having postponed a vote and came back with essentially no change to it.
What was shocking, really, with a number of people in her party who turned against her, on this particular vote and the great irony, of course, is that tomorrow, and the fate of the party, the fate of her government, really lies in the hands of the Conservatives and of the DUP, and DUP is confidence and supply, will really ultimately be tested.
And I think that, really, we're left at a crossroads tomorrow, because it will be up to them to decide whether for all intents and purposes, they keep Theresa May on as a, kind of, designated driver because nobody really wants to be in that particular seat.
And so, all of them will continue to sit behind her, telling her where to go, screaming and shouting, with no real, sort of, direction or any kind of consensus or --
And really, the pathway to that vote of no-confidence winning out in parliament tomorrow, is not that great because the numbers are not going to be that tremendously, in terms of the need, because if you line them the Lib Dems, and the Scottish National Party and the Labour Party, you're not that far away from being able to defeat this particular government. And it may, somewhat, paradoxically be the best way to go, because it would potentially avoid then, a referendum, which we all know would prove extraordinarily divisive and the outcome would be highly uncertain.
And in some ways, taking the vote to the people through a general election, would force each side of the political spectrum to state its position on Brexit, clearly and unambiguously, and may lead us to some kind of resolution.
And this may actually be the only way that the European Union provides the opportunity to extend the Brexit deal into the future. Short of that, it's very hard to see what Theresa May can do over the next few days or weeks, in any way changed the outcomes of this historic defeat she faced earlier today.
FOSTER: But that's probably going to be what we're looking at, isn't it? Because the DUP have said they're going to support her. You can't really imagine Conservative MPs going against her in allowing Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition, into Downing Street.
So, how does she handle it from here? It doesn't appear that she's got a plan B, and she's got to present one by Monday.
THOMAS: Right. Well, she has no plan B, but it's also the only outcome, you know, of the general election, it's not automatic, of course, the risk is there that you could end up, and that may also be paradoxically what brings together the Conservatives and the DUP, is the fear of a Corbyn prime ministership. And so, that's one thing that they have to, you know, take into consideration tomorrow.
But short of that, the European Union, one could argue, has done its work. You have 27 countries that are united behind this particular agreement and short of them, sacrificing the integrity over the freedoms of movement, circulation and so on, and compromising over the border with the Republic of Ireland and so on.
There seems very little that the European Union can do, and this defeat was so absolutely devastating today. It's not as if she lost it by 50, 60, or even 90 votes, it was an absolutely overwhelming denunciation of this particular -- of this particular deal. And I don't see anything that Theresa May can get from the European Union.
And the European Union is being quite clear. The problems are yours. The problems are back in the U.K. And, I think, that the reality of it is, that the Labour Party is not really interested in having any kind of discussion or reaching consensus with Theresa May's government.
And that those kinds of cross party discussions and negotiations should have started 2-1/2 years ago, and they didn't. And at this particular case, it doesn't seem like anybody is going to want to work with her on this particular -- on this particular deal.
Now, of course, for the Brexiteers, their ultimate goal is to get to that March deadline and to get out of the European Union. And so, the longer this goes on, the longer this is inscribed in law that they will essentially exit on the 29th, and we need some kind of parliamentary action and to stop this from getting to that point. But it's hard to see where we're -- how we're going to get there.
So, as each day comes around, we're faced with a new set of challenges and so on, but I would say that, at least, things are moving now and it's really getting, of course, to crunch time.
[00:40:05] FOSTER: OK, Dominic, we're betting in. Thank you very much indeed, time for a short break. When we come back, a look at how the Brexit plan defeat is playing in the British newspapers.
FOSTER: Well, the day after the biggest defeat in modern history, actually, a few hours later, newspapers and tabloids across the U.K. were playing out the significance of Theresa May's fiasco. The Guardian, calls it an historic defeat, as members of the prime minister's own party turned against her.
The Sun, taking more creative approach likening Theresa May to a Dodo bird, and calling her Brexit deal, Brextinct. The Daily Telegraph and The I, both called the defeat, a humiliation for the prime minister. And the front page of The Daily Mirror reads, no deal, no hope, no clue, no confidence, referring to the votes, today.
Now, Daily Mail says, Theresa May is fighting for her life after the Brexit vote bombshell. An Evening Standard also painted a bleak future for Mrs. May, with the cover simply saying Winter is Coming.
Now, the defeat is also making headlines across Europe. One Dutch newspaper had a drawing of Theresa May, steering a ship, with a headline that translates to heading for disaster. There'll be more commentary today, as we try to make sense of the confidence vote later on today.
Thank you for watching, though, this special edition of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Max Foster in London. Do stay tuned now for "WORLD SPORT" then, John Vause and I, we'll be back in 15 minutes. You're watching CNN.
[00:45:00] (WORLD SPORT)