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Theresa May's Leadership to be Determined by a Vote; Fourteen Lives Killed by Al-Shabaab in Kenya; Trump and Kim Summit Version Two. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired January 16, 2019 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[03:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church in Atlanta.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Max Foster in London where we're following the devastating defeat of Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan. Next up for the prime minister, a no confidence vote called by the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn after the biggest defeat for any U.K. government in modern times.
(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 to the great unknown with no clear party in the March deadline to exit the E.U.
In spite of the confidence vote, Theresa May now has three days to set out a plan B. She's expected to meet with European leaders in Brussels soon seeking further concessions. Mrs. May also offered cross party talks with members of parliament to find a way forward.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Mr. Speaker, the house has spoken and the government will listen. 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.
JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER, LABOUR PARTY: The result of tonight's vote is the greatest defeat since the 1920s in this house. This is a catastrophic defeat for this government. After two years of failed negotiations, the House of Commons has delivered its verdict on her Brexit deal and that verdict is absolutely decisive. (END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: CNN's Hadas Gold is live for us in London. Melissa Bell is standing by in Brussels. Hadas, so, at what point do we see her going back to the European Union and asking for some help here effectively?
HADAS GOLD, CNN POLITICS, MEDIA AND BUSINESS REPORTER: Yes. Well, Max, we don't have any firm timing on when she might be going back, but I'm sure conversations are happening behind the scenes. First up for Theresa May is speaking to members of parliament.
As you noted, she is seeking to reach across the aisle and speak to other members who are not certainly from her party and try to see where they stand and what they want. Of course, by doing that, she could risk alienating those members of her party, who not only voted for her deal, but some of the Brexiters who were celebrating the part of the deal failing last night.
It seems the only consensus we came to in recent days here in London is that nobody wanted Theresa May's deal. As you noted, she lost by historic margin. And typically, if we see a prime minister lose by more than 100 votes or so she -- that prime minister would typically resign. But we are not in normal times now. We have seen that in the confidence vote tabled by Jeremy Corbyn.
She's expected to survive that vote because for members of her party it's one thing to vote against her, it's another thing to vote against her and against the conservative party leadership. She has a busy day ahead of her. Already Downing Street is full of activity. Lots of reporters are here.
She has prime minister's questions and then there will be the debate on that no confidence vote. That vote is expected to come at 7 p.m. All this activity though does not change the fact that we are just 72 days away from the deadline of March 29th when the United Kingdom is supposed to leave the European Union. Nobody has any idea of what's going to happen next, Max.
FOSTER: OK, Hadas, Melissa, it was such a resounding defeat yesterday for the prime minister. It's difficult to see the European Union moving enough towards the parliamentary position in order to find some way forward here. There can only offer, you know, some tinkering around the edges at best, can they?
MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, bear in mind, Max, the way that we got to this particular impasse was that Theresa May delayed the vote in the commons kept coming back to Europe to say, listen, what more can you give and what can we budge on? Because she knew that the arithmetic in the British parliament was against her.
And she essentially go as far down that road of seeking concessions with the E.U. as she could get before going into the House of Commons last night and losing that crucial vote.
[03:04:53] So what Europe is now saying to her beyond regretting the fact that the vote was lost, that its deal that have been worked on by both sides for so long had fallen was you now you need to figure out with your MPs what might be your request, what you are looking for. You need to speak with unity and work it out among yourself and then come back to us and tell us what you want.
And that would be the point of the next couple of days, those cross- party negotiations with the E.U. really saying, first of all, we need to speak with a united voice before you come back to seek anymore, (inaudible) Michel Barnier who led the negotiations for the European Union, addressing Eureopan parliament, regretting that the deal should not have passed, saying that it really was the best possible deal but that now the U.K. needed to figure out what they want. And this has been the reaction of political leaders all over Europe throughout the morning.
Let me just show you this tweet from the German foreign minister, saying, we have -- we have now -- not become clear what they want. Only what they don't want. We post two large rules for Germany to be prepared for everything but we are hoping for a reason.
Emmanuel Macron also addressed directly last night speaking in Normandy at a gathering at the beginning of his great national debate also address the defeat of that deal in the House of Commons. This is what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): I'm going to tell you how I see things after the Brexit vote, first option, they, the British, go towards a no deal so they say there's no agreement. It scares everybody. The first losers of this are the British people. So, in this context, they will have to without any transition period renegotiate a future relationship.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BELL: He went on to suggest, Max, that perhaps the only thing that might happen is if the British come back to the E.U. looking for a bit more, what they may get or might get are not so much concessions but extra time. It's very difficult to see what the E.U. could possibly give Britain at this stage beyond a few months beyond that March 29th deadline into possibly and no later than the first of July which when the next incoming parliament will sit without any British MEPs inside it, Max.
FOSTER: Melissa and Hadas, thank you very much to both of you. There is still so much uncertainty ahead for the prime minister and her government. So, what could happen next?
The no confidence vote is expected around 7 p.m. London time on Wednesday. If Mrs. May survived 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 prime minister is expected to meet with European leaders in an attempt to renegotiate that Brexit agreement. If Theresa May does not survive the no confidence vote that will likely lead to a general election and a new government. Britain still scheduled to leave the E.U. on March the 29th with or without a deal.
The U.K. could try to extend that deadline but it would require approval by the other E.U. members, nothing straightforward here.
Joining me now, Labour Party M.P., Dr. Paul Williams. What do you make of it all?
PAUL WILLIAMS, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, LABOUR PARTY: It was a big moment last night, a resounding defeat for the government. But this hasn't really made things much clearer because some members of parliament voted against the government's deal because it keeps us too close to the European Union. And some people voted against the government's deal because it pushes us too far away.
FOSTER: Which is your view, right?
WILLIAMS: Yes, absolutely. The -- I represent a manufacturing part of the United Kingdom that's really dependent on being able -- just in time manufacturing being able to get parts to and from factories then being able to export into the European Union.
FOSTER: What do they vote in the referendum?
WILLIAMS: They actually voted to leave, but people have changed their mind. Democracy is an ongoing process. And what -- they voted for me as somebody that wants to stay close to the European Union after the referendum. I was voted in 2017.
WILLIAMS: They are -- when I go out in the street and I knock on doors, people now say, well, we know certainly (ph) what we did then.
WILLIAMS: Have we really made the right decision?
FOSTER: So, you're very much for the second referendum?
WILLIAMS: Yes, I think the -- I think what's going to happen now in parliament is it is quite right that when a government suffers a resounding defeat, there is a vote of no confidence. I do think Theresa May is likely to win that. I don't know any conservative MPs that are going to vote against it.
FOSTER: Can I talk about? I'm baffled by why you have to hold it when you know you're going to lose.
WILLIAMS: Well, actually the prime minister offered it yesterday. And when a government loses on a piece of legislation that has been the mainstay of their administration --
WILLIAMS: -- it's right to ask whether that government still has the confidence of parliament. But let's not waste too much time on it.
WILLIAMS: And the country wants certainty. Our businesses, our NHS, everyone needs to plan for what's happening. So, I think it's then right to try to bring some MPs together to see whether or not there's a consensus.
WILLIAMS: People talk about the Norway option.
WILLIAMS: For some people that will be better than Theresa May's deal.
WILLIAMS: We get to stay in the customs union. We got to keep free movement of people. That's -- some people perceive that as being good but that's going to push some MPs even further away. You have to also ask the point if we're going to leave the E.U. on Norway terms what's the point of even leaving?
[03:10:07] FOSTER: Can I ask just briefly one question more on the vote of confidence? Can I ask you which way you'll be voting? Because there is some suggestion that some on your side of the Labour Party, which isn't the Corbyn end of the party, might not want a general election. Does that necessarily want Jeremy Corbyn to be the prime minister?
WILLIAMS: I want a general election. I want a Labour government. And I don't have confidence in this government. Not just Brexit but over issues to do with policing, to do with the health service, to do with the way that they are running the economy.
FOSTER: The big challenge, I'm sure you agree with this, but, you know, one of the accusations against Theresa May is that she hasn't reached out to your side of parliament enough over recent months.
She now says she will. She's got to get a deal together by Monday which is extraordinary. Just talk us through, you know, what interactions you had with her and what you expect to have with her.
WILLIAMS: Well, I think when I became a member of parliament 18 months ago, I fully expect it because there was a hung parliament for there to be that kind of dialogue. There wasn't. Theresa May laid down some red lines without even consulting her cabinet went off to Brussels and negotiated a deal. And then she then came back and was surprised that it wasn't acceptable to many of us.
I actually had conversations with her before the vote. I asked to meet her at the end of last week along with a cross-party group of MPs. And we said to her that we would back her deal if she was prepared to put it to the public in a referendum. FOSTER: Yes.
WILLIAMS: She clearly chose not to do that. And I hope that she will reconsider that.
FOSTER: She has to come back to you now, presumably. She has to talk to everyone.
WILLIAMS: I think she is going to have to talk to everybody and try and find a way after this. I mean, there is no room for being triumphant here. This is a really serious moment for our country. And whichever way MPs are voted. I mean, I think MPs are being genuine about this. They are trying to vote in the best interest of our constituents and the best interest of our country.
FOSTER: OK. Paul Williams, thank you very much indeed for joining us.
WILLIAMS: Thank you so much.
FOSTER: A busy few days here, Rosemary. I don't know how long we'll be here, but as long as we needed to be.
CHURCH: You were doing your best to find some answers here. This is a tough one, a tough mission for you. Thank you so much, Max. I appreciate it.
All right. I want to bring you another big story we have been following. Kenya's president says everything is under control in his country after a terror attack that left 14 people dead. But our correspondent on the scene says he's still hearing gunfire and seeing people being evacuated from a hotel and office complex in Nairobi. The attack started Tuesday afternoon.
You see there are people running for their lives. It began with explosions, one in the parking lot, the other in the hotel foyer then hours of gunfire. The Islamist militant group, Al-Shabaab, says it carried out the deadly assault.
Moments ago, the president spoke about the attacks and his nation's response to the threat. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UHURU KENYATTA, KENYAN PRESIDENT: We are a country governed by laws, rules and regulations, a country that embraces peaceful coexistence. We believe in these principles and values even in the face of adversity.
Even as we regret yesterday's incident, as commander in chief, I want to commend the quick and effective response by all our fighting teams for neutralizing all the terrorists involved in the attacks. We have dealt with the threat decisively and shown our enemies and the world that we, as a country, are ready to deal with any threat to our nation.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CHURCH: Well, CNN's Sam Kiley is live from Nairobi with the very latest. So, Sam, Kenya's president says everything is under control and all terrorists have been eliminated. You're there at the scene, is that what you're witnessing? Is there a sense this situation is now over and under control as the president says?
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Uhuru Kenyatta, the president, Rosemary, spoke about an hour ago and he said within the last hour the situation is under control. That would be consistent with what we've seen on the ground.
But pretty much up to that point, there were very heavy exchanges of both automatic gunfire, sound of explosions, either stun grenades or lethal grenades as the Kenya Special Forces battles with the remaining elements of this terrorist attack team. They are either numbered four or five. There's confusion over the exact numbers. But no doubt, that will shake itself out over the next few hours.
Now, Mr. Kenyatta said that four of the attackers had been killed. There was a report of one also detonating a suicide vest inside the lobby of the DusitD2 hotel, just about 150 yards behind me.
[03:15:07] And the president said that there were 14 people who had been killed -- that is killed by the terrorists in this attack. We know that among those dead is one British and one American citizen. We don't know the nationalities of the other dead. And of course, there are numerous casualties.
This was a very complex operation both from the terrorist perspective involving an attack over using some kind of bomb on the doors, on the entrance to the Dusit hotel which set some cars to flame, then the suicide bombing reportedly, then these four gunmen trapping people in a wide complex of buildings that only have one entrance and exit, and that's the one right behind me.
So, from a terrorist perspective, it was kind of an ideal target able to trap people in for a sustain period of time. And there were people being evacuated until seven or eight this morning, some wounded and some badly -- some being taken out in ambulances.
And there were also American Special Forces on the ground working alongside, at least as mentors if not directly involved in the fighting, with the Kenyan Special Forces who are police unit and we know also some British Special Forces were around last might.
So, this is the sort of thing that Kenyans sadly has seen before. We remember of course the Westgate massacres four years ago. But it also fell, Rosemary, on the anniversary of the Al-Shabaab's most successful spectacular attack inside Somalia against Kenyan forces where up to 140 Kenyans were killed then. So, they were clearly trying to make a mark by marking their anniversary, Rosemary.
CHURCH: Yes, clearly. But it has come to an end at this point, although 14 people killed in this terror attack. Sam Kiley bringing us the very latest there from the scene in Nairobi, Kenya, many thanks. Well, sources tell CNN North Korea's top negotiator is to travel to
Washington this week for talks, possibly with Secretary of State Pompeo and President Donald Trump. It's believed preparations for a second summit between Mr. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un could be finalized.
The two leaders exchanged letters earlier this month. President Trump wrote that the U.S. would consider Bangkok or Hanoi as possible locations. The North Koreans have not said if they will agree to either.
Well, the markets don't like uncertainty and the Brexit defeat served up more of it. How investors are responding? We'll take a look at that. And putting an emphasis on independence from President Trump, the nominee for U.S. attorney general tries to reassure senators on the Russia investigation. Back to that in just a moment.
[03:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
FOSTER: Welcome back to Westminster. Despite the uncertainty here the European markets opened about 20 minutes ago, mostly flat after that resounding defeat for the prime minister in the British parliament.
We can show you the numbers there of the stock market. You can see they are all up, apart from the FTSE which is sounding down very slightly. On Tuesday, the pound had fallen below $1.27, but the losses were raised. After the vote in parliament, it's actually up to $1.28 when the vote came through.
Anna Stewart is going to explain that one for us. Hi, Anna.
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Hello. Well, I think yesterday what we saw was investor sitting on their hands for much of the day, waiting for that vote. A defeat was expected. But by this scale, I think it's taken many people by surprise.
But as you see there more surprising still is the reaction of the British pound, expectations were for much stronger dip. Now, it did dip below the $1.27 marks straight after the vote. But as you can see it has rallied ever since. It's now a $1.28 up on the day as well.
Now why is this? Partly, you can think of the size of this defeat. Not only does it mean that May's deal is essentially dead, but it also raises the possibility that the parliament will take more control of the Brexit process.
And we know, Max, from last week's amendment that there is no appetite for a no deal in parliament, and that is really the biggest risk for investors here.
Secondly, you got to think about, you know, if she's going to negotiate a new deal she's going to try and get more concessions from the E.U. if she has to take into account all these different opinions in parliament. That is going to take time. So that essentially makes it much more likely that she has to push back Article 50 and give them more time. As you can see, the European markets generally positive here. The FTSE 100 down ever so slightly and pretty flat.
FOSTER: But business leaders weren't pleased, were they, with the result last night. I know there's a call with the chancellor last night and they are pretty dissatisfied by that as well. So, how are they going to try to get what they want out of government?
STEWART: Very different reaction from business of course. The short- term risk may be dissipating for investors. But that's not the case for business. Essentially, the period of uncertainty just got extended making plans, making investments, that's all on hold for many, many businesses in the U.K.
And actually, I think one of the most interesting reactions we had was from the British Chamber of Commerce. Let me read to you what they said. They said, "Every second that ticks by seed more businesses spending money on unwanted changes, activating contingency plans or battening down the hatches and halting investment, as they try to anticipate a future that is no clearer now than it was at the time of the referendum results"
So, a contingency planning, Max, will continue. And we've seen this already. Many banks have already put their contingency planning into place. We saw in a report just last week that a trillion dollars of assets is essentially moved from the U.K. to the E.U. in terms of banks and financial institutions.
FOSTER: OK. Anna, thank you. Business leaders have been hoping for more Brexit clarity, of course, instead, they're getting more anxiety.
The head of the federation of British industries have been warning if the U.K. crashes out of the E.U. there's no way to manage a no deal Brexit.
I'm joined now by Jonathan Portes with the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. First of all, how did you interpret those movements on the financial markets last night?
JONATHAN PORTES, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RESEARCH: Well, I think, as Anna said, what's clear is that the markets are expecting that -- given that there is no majority in parliament for a no deal Brexit that parliament will somehow manage to either delay Brexit or to avert Brexit entirely or to come up with a much softer Brexit. All of it could be at least over the medium in term, relatively good news for the British economy compared to the alternative.
FOSTER: Sorry. And what do you understand about this call between the chancellor and business leaders last night?
PORTES: Well, I think the odd thing about the call was just an illustration of the chaos that's going on in the government at the moment is that the message that the business leaders got from the chancellor which was we need and we will do everything we can to avert a no deal Brexit was completely different from the message that the secretary of state for exiting the European Union, Steve Barkley, also a member of the cabinet, was giving them which was basically, well, the default option is no deal.
PORTES: So, really, the cabinet is still negotiating with itself about what points of action to take.
FOSTER: And how this business plan when the government is so clearly divided?
PORTES: Well, I think business has to plan not on the assumption that there will be no deal but this still remains a meaningful probability of a no deal.
[03:25:02] FOSTER: Yes.
PORTES: And therefore, it would be foolish to ignore that. I still think the most likely option is that parliament will get intact together --
PORTES: -- and will find a way through it. I think it's quite unlikely there will have no deal as it opposes of an extension of a protest on March 29th. But the business has to plan on this -- on that -- there's at least a major risk of no deal.
FOSTER: There's more talk here about a second referendum. Is that something presumably business would prefer that to no deal currently because it also delays Brexit?
PORTES: Business would certainly prefer that to no deal. And there are probably a second referendum is certainly gone up. But let's not pretend a second referendum is easy. Very few people agree on what the question should be even before we get to the question --
PORTES: -- what the answer will be. And the answer might be simply leave again.
FOSTER: OK. So, if parliament takes more control of Brexit, is that good or bad for --
PORTES: Well, I think given what a mess Theresa May and the government of May leaving us in this position two and half years on still entails, parliament, which fully has a majority against a no deal Brexit, is a much better option than the alternative.
PORTES: But it does have to settle on a specific way forward. FOSTER: OK. Thank you very much indeed for joining us. A dizzying day then in the British parliament and another one kicking off just in a few hours as well. What's next for the Prime Minister Theresa May today and Brexit?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAY: Every day that passes without this issue being 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Welcome back to CNN Newsroom. I'm Rosemary Church with this check of your headlines this hour.
Kenya's president says that within the last hour the terror threat at a hotel complex in Nairobi has been dealt with. Fourteen people are dead. Hundreds of others were evacuated from the property, which was attacked by terrorists on Tuesday afternoon. The Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab claims responsibility for that deadly assault.
Sources tell CNN North Korea's top negotiator will travel to Washington on Thursday to finalize plans for a second summit between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump. Kim Yong-chol is expected to meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and possibly President Trump himself.
[03:29:59] President Trump's choice to become U.S. attorney general told senators he would protect the Russia investigation from political pressure. William Barr said he wouldn't be bullied in doing anything he thought was wrong. He is expected to win confirmation and would then oversee the Russia investigation.
Venezuela's opposition controlled National Assembly has declared Nicolas Maduro's presidency illegitimate and wants to take control. The White House has indicated it supports such a move. Maduro began his second term as Venezuela's President last week.
Let's head back to our Max Foster now for more on the future of Brexit.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Rosemary, now that Parliament had roundly rejected Theresa May's Brexit deal, we know what the MPs are against it, but what's it's actually for? That's the question perhaps is uncertain is, Mrs. May's political future. Here's CNN's Nick Glass.
NICK GLASS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A month or so late, but finally, yes, finally, a day of reckoning. Our Prime Minister has postponed the Brexit vote once before just before Christmas.
Now, after a total of eight days of fractious debate, there was no avoiding it. No more delays, just the last plea from Mrs. May to save her deal. She was on her feet for over 20 minutes.
THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER, BRITISH: Mr. Speaker, this is the most significant vote that any of us will ever be part of in our political career. After all of the debate, all disagreements, all of the division, the time has now come for all of us in this house to make a decision.
GLASS: Mrs. May again argued her case, but the house was in raucous combative mood, the speaker had to calm things down.
JOHN BERCOW, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS: The house must calm itself, then restraint, patience.
GLASS: The Prime Minister had already made a point of attacking the man across from her, the Labour opposition leader.
MAY: Because he has failed in his -- in his responsibility -- in his responsibility to provide a credible alternative to the government of today by pursuing from the start a cynical course designed to serve his own political interests and not the national interests.
GLASS: By the end, she was almost having to shout.
MAY: We each have a solemn responsibility to deliver Brexit and take this country forward and with my whole heart, I call on this house to discharge that responsibility together and I commend this motion to the house.
GLASS: Mrs. May must have already known what was about to happen. She didn't have to read the morning newspapers. How big would her defeat be, we didn't have long to wait.
BERCOW: The ayes to the right, 202, the nos to the left 432.
GLASS: The Brexit motion last by 230 votes, simply the largest government defeat in modern British Parliamentary history. Jeremy Corbyn rose to his feet.
JEREMY CORBYN, BRITISH LABOUR LEADER: I have now tabled a motion of no confidence in this government.
GLASS: And in his excitement, off came the glasses.
CORBYN: And I'm pleased -- I'm pleased that motion will be debated tomorrow. So this House can get its verdict on the sheer incompetence of this government and pass that motion of no confidence in the government.
GLASS: Voices are evidently being strained on all sides and there'll be more to come, and hopefully one day, some clarity about Britain's future in and out of Europe.
Nick Glass, CNN, Westminster.
(END VIDEOTAPE) FOSTER: Joining me now, Jonathan Powell, he served as Chief of Staff
to former Prime Minister Tony Blair. I bet you're glad you're not in Downing Street at the moment.
JONATHAN POWELL, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR: Well, I would like to think it would be a mess like this if we were in Downing Street.
POWELL: Unfortunately, there's been a failure of the political class and that's what we're seeing.
FOSTER: And her failure to speak to other parties, other views, really throughout this process, she's known for that. Some people describe it as a tactic and now it is being described as a failure. Do you agree?
POWELL: I think she has resorted (ph) it in 10 year for a politician. Normally politicians pick up the sensitivities. I particularly focused on her relationship to the DUP in Northern Ireland and she has misjudged them time and time again. She misjudged them a year ago, when her deal fell over, and she's misjudged them again now. I've had some experience in negotiations with the DUP. It is very sensible to take them literally when they say they're not going to support something.
FOSTER: But they are going to save her tonight -- in tonight's vote because --
POWELL: They'll certainly save her -- they'll save her in the confidence vote because they don't want to have a Labour government. They don't have Jeremy Corbyn. But they will defeat her again on her deal if she tries to come back with it and if she gets rid of the backstop, and it is perfectly clear, you can't get rid of the backstop.
[03:35:05] FOSTER: You've also got a great deal of expertise on Ireland. What's the way through on that?
POWELL: Well, there isn't an obvious way through. I've been warning for three years, the backstop is what Brexit will trip over and that's exactly what's happened. And the reason for that is there is a logical dilemma. If you have a different customs policy, if you have a different regulatory policy, you have to have a border. That's why countries have borders.
And there are only a limited number of ways around that, one of which is Northern Ireland remaining the single market in the Customs Union, and the other, which is the whole of the U.K. remaining in it. Beyond that, there is no solution. They've been looking for one for three years and they haven't found it. So, the backstop has to stay there. It can't be time limited, because it is condition based. It can only be replaced as an alternative. FOSTER: How does Europe help on this one though?
POWELL: Well, Europe will do what it can to help by coming out with warm words, reassurances. That is going to cut no ice with the Brexiteers and with the DUP. They are going to resist that it has to go or that U.K. can walk out of it. As I said, that defeats the logic of the backstop. So, what they want is not achievable.
FOSTER: She is going to speak to these other party leaders, particularly Jeremy Corbyn. If she moves toward his position, she's going to lose the Brexiteers within her cabinet. Is there anything that she can do to keep them all together?
POWELL: No. So, the problem she's had from the very beginning in this negotiation. Remember, for two years, this was a negotiations internally in the Conservative Party, nothing to do with Brussels. They had to negotiate their own position.
She can't actually bridge the gap on her own party and try to get Labour on board or loses a good part of her party. So there is no way forward for her. In the end, what she'll do is she'll try every single possible avenue out. She would ask for more time. And in the end, she'll come back to referendum, because that is the only she is going to find a solution.
FOSTER: Or their election. Some people suggested that she'll call an election herself.
POWELL: I think a Conservative Party would do everything they can to stop her calling an election because election would risk Conservative Party losing path. Actually, I think, she would probably win her election at the moment, if you look at the Opinion Polls, but they don't want to risk it.
FORBES: Are you very depressed by the shenanigans going on in Parliament right now?
POWELL: I would not just -- the shenanigans in Parliament, I'm depressed by the failure of the government, the failure of the opposition, because we don't even have an opposition on the European issue. Corbyn takes broadly the same position.
And I fear, also, the failure of the Civil Service. We've seen over the drone at Gatwick over the preparations for no deal Brexit. I'm afraid our political system is in a crisis and it is going to have to flip out of quite soon or the country is going to be in a very serious position.
FOSTER: And you talked about the Civil Service, we're heading towards, aren't we, this no deal Brexit if things carry on as they are. How can the Civil Service -- how the system be ready for that? And, you know, people talk about, you know, no food being on the shelves. That is a very realistic issue, even if the supermarket is ready, because everything has to move through the Civil Service.
POWELL: Well, I'm relatively (ph) confident there won't be a no deal Brexit, not because of Shenanigans in Parliament, but because of the reality of what would happen if we did that.
When we were in government in 2000, we had the fuel crisis and the fuel depots were shut down. No petrol is getting through, no oil is getting through. We came within hours of having to impose emergency pass because there was no money getting in the cash points, no pod (ph) in the hospitals. That kind of crisis leads to a government collapse. You have support fell through the floor.
POWELL: The same thing would happen to the (ph) government if they do that. So they will in the end pull the emergency brake, stop Article 50, and find more time. They will not allow a no deal Brexit to happen.
FOSTER: Jonathan Powell, thank you very much indeed.
POWELL: Thank you.
FOSTER: Rosemary, back to you.
CHURCH: And we'll come back to you very soon as well. Thanks so much Max.
Well, President Trump's pick for the next U.S. Attorney General appeared in front of Congress and offered reassurances that he will protect the Russia investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM BARR, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY GENERAL PICK: I also believe that is very important that the public and Congress be informed of the results of the Special Counsel's work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[03:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHURCH: Welcome back everyone. Well, the confirmation hearing for President Trump's pick for Attorney General focused on the Russia investigation. William Barr spent hours reassuring Senators he would protect the probe from interference. Manu Raju has the details.
BARR: And I do not be bullied --
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Today Attorney General Nominee, Bill Barr, vow to protect the independence of the Justice Department and stand up to President Trump, if he crosses the line.
BARR: I am not going to do anything that I think is wrong and I will not be bullied into doing anything 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. RAJU: Under persistent questioning, Barr told Senators at his confirmation hearing gives Special Counsel Robert Mueller space to finish his investigation.
SEN DIANNE FEINSTEIN, (D) CALIFORNIA: Will you commit to no interference with the scope of the Special Counsel's investigation?
BARR: The scope of the Special Counsel's investigation is set by his charter and by the regulations and I will insure that those are maintained.
FEINSTEIN: Will you commit to providing Mr. Mueller with the resources, funds and time needed to complete this investigation?
RAJU: He's had to reassure Senators uneasy about the president's handling of the probe.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Would you say you have a close relationship with Mr. Mueller?
BARR: I would say we we're good friends.
GRAHAM: Would you say that you understand him to be a fair-minded person?
GRAHAM: Do you trust him to be fair to the president and the country as a whole?
RAJU: Disagree with the president that Mueller Investigation is a witch-hunt.
BARR: I don't believe Mr. Mueller would be involved in a witch-hunt.
RAJU: He also said the former Attorney General Jeff Sessions was correct in recusing himself from the Mueller Probe, even though Sessions' move infuriated the President.
BARR: I think he probably did the right thing recusing himself.
RAJU: When asked if he would quit if Trump ordered him to fire Mueller, Barr said --
BARR: Assuming there was no good cause, I would not carry out that instruction.
RAJU: But Barr could not fully commit to publicly releasing Mueller's report detailing the findings of his investigation.
BARR: I'm in favor of as much transparency as there can be, consistent with the rules and the law. FEINSTEIN: Will you provide Mueller's report to Congress, not your rewrite or a summary?
BARR: The Regs do say that Mueller is supposed to do a summary report of his prosecutive and his declination decisions and that they will be handled as a confidential document. My objective and goal is to get as much as I can of the information to Congress and the public.
RAJU: However, he vowed to prevent Trump's legal team from editing the report.
SEN. PATRICK LEAHY, (D) VERMONT: And Mr. Giuliani said the president should be able to correct the Mueller report before the public release. You commit that would not happen if you were Attorney General?
BARR: That will not happen.
RAJU: When asked if he would allowed Mueller to proceed with a subpoena to question Trump, he said --
BARR: If there was a factual basis for doing it, and I couldn't say it violated established policies, then I wouldn't interfere.
RAJU: Barr defended his June 2018 memo calling Mueller's obstruction investigation into the President, quote, "fatally misconceived," saying his concern was narrow in scope. Democrats said the memo should be grounds for his recusal from the Mueller investigation.
SEN. MAZIE HIRONO (D), HAWAII: Just asking us to trust you is not enough.
BARR: I am not going to surrender the responsibilities of the Attorney General to get the title, I don't --
[03:45:00] RAJU: Barr did reveal a 2017 conversation with Trump as he turned down an offer made first by the president's ambassador to Israel to join Trump's legal defense team.
BARR: He said, oh, you know Bob Mueller? How well do you know Bob Mueller? And I told him how well I knew Bob Mueller, and how, you know, the Barrs and Muellers were good friends. And he was interested in that and wanted to know, you know, what I thought about, you know, Mueller's integrity and so forth and so on, and I said Bob is a straight shooter and should be dealt with as such.
RAJU: Now the chances that he actually gets confirmed for the job, very high. Republicans who controlled this chamber are lock step behind him. No one is yet signaling that they are going to vote against him. And even one Democrat, Chris Coons, signal-committed, he's open to supporting him and still wants to view, look at some of his views a little closer, including that immigration, but he's vowed to protect the Mueller Investigation going over very well with Republican and at least one Democrat.
Manu Raju, CNN, Capitol Hill. (END VIDEOTAPE)
CHURCH: President Trump's former campaign chair is under even more scrutiny. Special Counsel Robert Mueller says Paul Manafort lied about not having recent contact with the Trump administration. That is according to a 31-page court filing from Tuesday.
It's heavily redacted but appears to show Manafort tried to get people appointed to the administration at the start of the presidency. He also spoke to a federal grand jury last fall about his contacts with alleged Russian agent, Konstantin Kilimnik. That concerns Kilimnik is central to the grand jury's efforts.
Well, Venezuela's Parliament wants to be rid of President Nicolas Maduro and the opposition trying to oust him is now gaining international support.
Sources tell CNN, President Trump is considering recognizing opposition leader, Juan Guaido, as the legitimate President of the country. Mr. Maduro began his disputed second-term as Venezuela's president last week. The opposition controlled national assembly has declared his presidency illegitimate.
Well, after a short break, we will check how voters from both sides of the Brexit aisle are reacting to Prime Minister Theresa May's historic defeat in Parliament. We're back in just a moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHEL BARNIER, EU CHIEF BREXIT NEGOTIATOR (through translator): We regret profoundly this vote because we built this withdrawal agreement together with the British government, taking into account our shared demands to insure we don't have a border in Ireland.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: We're hearing for the first time from the E.U.'s Chief Brexit Negotiator since Tuesday's parliamentary vote. Michel Barnier said it is too early to assess all the consequences of the vote, but he said the deal rejected by lawmakers was the best possible compromise.
Beyond the Brexit uncertainty, Prime Minister Theresa May's political future also hangs in the balance as she is facing a no confidence vote in the coming hours after the crushing defeat of her deal.
Crowds gather outside Parliament on Tuesday night, reacting to the outcome of the historic vote. Not far away, E.U. supporters turned out for people's vote rally. They're calling for public ballot on the final Brexit deal between the U.K. and the European Union.
[03:49:58] Newspapers and tabloids across the U.K. playing up the significance of May's Brexit fiasco. The Guardians calls it a 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 deal Brextinct. The Daily Telegraph and the I (ph), both called the defeat a humiliation for the Prime Minister. The front page of the Daily Mirror reads, No deal, No hope, No clue, No confidence.
The Daily Mail says Theresa May is fighting for her life after the Brexit vote bombshell. The Evening Standard also painted a bleak future for Mrs. May with a cover, simply saying, Winter is Coming. The defeat is also making headlines across Europe. One Dutch newspaper had her drawing of Theresa May steering a ship with the headline that translates to heading for disaster.
Joining me now, Robin Oakley. She is going to survive though, so, it's not actually an end for her.
ROBIN OAKLEY, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, the expectation is she will survive this confidence vote, though it may not be the last of this confidence vote.
Yes, because the rebels who wanted to get rid of her planned withdrawal treaty from the E.U. they're going to come back and support her in the no confidence motion called by the Labour leader, so will the DUP in Northern Ireland MPs, 10 of those.
So, OK, she should have the votes for that, but things can happen. Accidents can happen. Feelings are running very high. All sorts of tactical things come into play that could just be some tory rebels who could upset the applecart, not likely.
But supposing that she did lost the motion of no confidence, then there would be 14 days for the conservatives under her or even under another leader to come back and have another go at a confidence motion in the Commons and possibly survive that. If that went down as well, then we would be pitched into a general election.
But problems for both parties there because what do the Conservative Brexiteers do? Do they go into an election and still supporting May's plan? Can they possibly support her in any circumstances?
Remember too that she only survived her party's vote of confidence in her a little while ago by promising that she would not lead the Conservative Party until the next planned general election.
So, it is difficult for the conservatives to give her the kind of support that an election need -- ever needed. But what about Labour? Last time around, the last election they said, we will uphold Brexit. Now, they are asking for a softer version at least than Theresa May and a lot of Labour supporters are remainers. Does Jeremy Corbyn again go into an election supporting Brexit? He likes Brexit, but not all of his party does.
FOSTER: She is going to be speaking to him she says she will over the coming days. She is going to offer many things just to mini-toss his position. We're hearing from Theresa May's former spokesperson that actually the person we should focusing on right now is Michael Gove, who is a Brexiteers within her cabinet. She can only keep her cabinet together and move towards the Labour position if Michael Gove is on board.
OAKLEY: Yes. Yes, Michael Gove is becoming a bit of a key figure because he is a Brexiteer who the remainers in his party can talk to and regard as a reasonable man open to some kind of deal and not -- you know, on a suicidal path as they would see others.
So, you know, Michael Gove foes become an important figure. What is interesting in terms of Theresa May's future is that you see all the other potential contenders for the Conservative Party Leadership rapidly pitching themselves into a lot of engagements at a moment to show their own capabilities.
FOSTER: And he's most likely to take over from her because they got nothing, really straight away --
OAKLEY: Yes, I mean, it's difficult to say, there are supporters for different people, Jeremy Hunt is safe pair of hands (ph). There's a lot of Parliamentarian when want to stop Boris Johnson doing it. But the Tory Party procedure is the MPs choose two candidates and then they go out to the party faithful to vote on --
OAKLEY: -- and if Boris Johnson can get on the ticket, the former Foreign Secretary, those two MPs, he would probably be elected.
FOSTER: But he survived the past as well.
OAKLEY: He does.
FOSTER: Doesn't he?
OAKLEY: They haven't really got time for that.
FOSTER: Let's just look at Jeremy Corbyn's predicament. I mean, you're alluding to this. He's Eurosceptic. His party isn't Eurosceptic. The only way out for him on this is surely to offer a second referendum if he can't get an election.
OAKLEY: Yes. That is where the problem comes for Jeremy Corbyn because he -- once he's used this no confidence motion tactic, he's used that weapon, OK, she survives, what his party has instructed him to do is to -- in that case, you know, first try for a general election. If that doesn't work, go for a second referendum.
That's the clear wish of the Labour Party activists. It's not a clear wish of Jeremy Corbyn. How long can he hold off against that pressure? It's a mounting pressure. And remember that the Labour Party feels that they got a strong appeal to young people, particularly to young remainers who are disappointed by the referendum results.
[03:55:07] Do they want to disappoint them? On the other hand if Jeremy Corbyn by pressing for a referendum is the man who brings it about, the Brexiteers in the country, including the Brexiteers in the Labour Party, are not going to forgive the person who denies them what they got out of the first referendum.
OAKLEY: So, he's got -- he's got a dilemma too.
FOSTER: OK, well, the next thing were looking to is this vote of confidence. It happens at 7 p.m. local time. We will, of course, bring it to you and the fallout that comes after that.
Thanks for watching this special edition of CNN Newsroom. I'm Max Foster in London. Back with a full summary of what is going to happen today ahead at the top of the hour. You're watching CNN.