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Theresa May Government Survives No-Confidence Vote; ISIS Is Claiming Responsibility For A Suicide Bombing In Syria That Killed U.S. Troops On Patrol In The City Of Manbij. Aired: 3-4p ET
Aired January 16, 2019 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
HALA GORANI, ANCHOR, CNN: Welcome back to our special coverage. I'm Hala Gorani. Theresa May has seen off a no-confidence vote against her
government. Her winning margin was 19 votes.
RICHARD QUEST, ANCHOR, CNN: The motion was called by the Opposition Labour Party after the Prime Minister's Brexit deal was overwhelmingly defeated
only last night. Seems months ago, but it was only at this time last night.
Now, we knew before today's vote that Mrs. May was likely to win, but the vote itself continues to fuel the turmoil that's engulfed Britain and its
divorce from the E.U.
GORANI: So what happens next? May immediately seized on the victory, saying her government commands the confidence of Parliament to find a
solution to Brexit, and the Prime Minister hopes to act quickly. In fact, so quickly that she hopes to start talks with leaders of the opposition
tonight about finding a way forward.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I'm pleased that this House has expressed its confidence in the government tonight. I do not take this
responsibility lightly, and my government will continue its work to increase our prosperity, guarantee our security, and to strengthen our
union. And yes, we will also continue to work to deliver on the solemn promise we made to the people of this country to deliver on the result of
the referendum and leave the European Union.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Let's bring in political analyst Carole Walker, Erin McLaughlin also joins us from Brussels for the European view. And Carole, to you,
what are the options on the table for the Prime Minister at this point? The opposition parties have said we don't want a no-deal. We're very clear
about this. It's a disaster for the country if you don't take it off the table.
CAROLE WALKER, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think Theresa May faces a big dilemma, and you saw it outlined as soon as she stood up after
surviving that no-confidence motion as we'd expected her to do. Which she only did, by the way, with the support of the Democratic Unionist Party.
And she then publicly gave this invitation to the leaders of the other political parties to join her for talks tonight. They then immediately
started saying, "Okay, well, we're happy to talk." But Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, said, "So long as you take no-deal off the table," Theresa
May has always said no-deal is better than a bad deal.
If she were to take it off the table, the Brexiteers in her own party would be absolutely furious. And then you saw the SNP leader and the Liberal
Democrat spokesman saying "Oh, well, we've got to include talks about a potential people's vote," as they put it, a second referendum, something
that Theresa May has said would be really bad for the country.
So it does show the immense difficulties that she faces. But the stark reality is that if she's going to find some sort of deal, she is going to
have to reach out across the parties, but the danger is that in doing so, if she moves onto the ground to get enough Labour MPs onto her side, then
she could provoke her serious splits, divisions, resignations from the Brexiteers in her own party.
QUEST: So Erin McLaughlin in Brussels, they will be watching tonight with something approaching alarm because Theresa May is - I mean, she has now
got the backing of her Parliament. She can go to them and say, "All right, I need you to give me something else."
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, they would ask in response to that question, Richard, what could they possibly do at this point to move
over 200 votes in Westminster in the direction of this deal. And so far the U.K. government has not been able to answer that question.
And so from the vantage point of the E.U., the answer lies in some sort of cross-party resolution. So when we saw that vote play out last night, that
crushing defeat, the almost immediate response from diplomats that I've been talking to is that Theresa May needs to go back to the drawing board,
she needs to reevaluate her own red lines, but does she have the political capacity to be able to do that?
I was speaking to one senior E.U. official just a short while ago, and he was very skeptical. He was thinking that this might just be too little too
late and so the E.U. is going to watch and wait to see what Theresa May comes forward with, what comes out of these cross-party talks on Monday, if
she's able to come up with the magic bullet to fix all of this. But in the meantime, the E.U. is preparing furiously for that no-deal option.
GORANI: Erin, thanks very much. Standby, we'll get back to you of course throughout the next few hours. Caroline Flint is a Labour MP. She joins
us now. You were a remainer, and now you back Brexit.
CAROLINE FLINT, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, LABOUR PARTY: Well, that's because I respect the outcome of the referendum. And my pledge to my constituents -
and don't forget, we've had a general election between the referendum vote and where we are today - was to respect the outcome of the referendum, work
for the best deal and that was in Labour's manifesto.
So I still believe that it is within Parliament's power with government and parties across Parliament working together to secure a deal as we leave the
European Union. And it's only impossible because I have to say, because of the actions of what's been going on in the House of Commons and of
government and that they fail to actually recognize the importance of this and finding a compromise that everyone can work with.
QUEST: What is that compromise? And to get to it, does it necessitate extending Article 50?
FLINT: No, it doesn't.
QUEST: No, it doesn't, bear in mind, you, the date is what? January --
FLINT: Oh, yes. And it should concentrate everybody's minds that there's 72 days three hours left to get to that point.
QUEST: So what is that compromise?
FLINT: So what I would say is this. The problem for Theresa May is she became Prime Minister, she called a general election thinking she would
increase her majority and of course that didn't happen. She's had to deal with the problem of that ever since. And part of her problem has been, and
this was shown in the vote on the deal on Tuesday night, is she thought in some way she could persuade the ultra Brexiteers in her own party to move
in her direction.
The truth is for some of those hard-line Brexiteers, nothing short of to be honest walking away without a deal and having World Trade Organization
rules will do, and that's a problem. So this is her dilemma. She has to reach out across the parties, and that's to the Labour Party in particular,
to reach a deal.
And I would say there's three areas that she should focus on. One is, is how do we make sure that we protect Workers' Rights, environmental
standards as we leave the E.U.? Having a discussion about a more long-term Customs Union arrangement, and also changing the tone of the debate to talk
about how she's going to be more inclusive in the transition period.
WALKER: Theresa May has already indicated that she's prepared to move on Workers' Rights. I'm sure she could give an assurance that she might
change the tone. But if she starts talking about a Customs Union, she's going to have those Brexiteers in her own party walking out on her --
QUEST: But I'm assuming your thinking is, well, she needs you lot more than she needs the Brexiteers, so she needs to start moving.
FLINT: Well, the thing is unfortunate, leaders have to start making some choices. She has tried everything to persuade the Jacob Rees-Mogg's, the
Boris Johnson's into her line of thinking and the truth is, they're not prepared to move and that was shown by the massive vote against her deal,
which was fundamentally made up of Tories who basically do feel we can walk away without a deal at all.
It is difficult there and I understand it. And to be honest, it would be difficult for any Prime Minister in this situation. But actually, at the
heart of this is about whether she actually wants to secure and her legacy be to respect the vote of the people and actually leave Brexit in an
orderly way and that is the big choice for her, and she's only got so many - there's only so many sort of paths she can take on this.
GORANI: Whenever I hear - one moment, whenever I hear "the will of the people," I do wonder what was the will of the people?
FLINT: The will of the people --
GORANI: The will of the people was to Brexit, but in what way?
FLINT: But the will of the people is to Brexit and one of those - I mean, it's very interesting. So in my constituency, 69% voted to leave. I
campaigned for remain. I have to say that even before that referendum, for a long time, I had tried to raise with my own party, the concerns about our
relationship with the European Union.
And freedom of movement is one of those issues. Interestingly, 40% of remain voters wanted changes to freedom of movement which obviously gives
free access in terms of immigration to citizens of the E.U.
I don't think any of that's changed. What I hear from the doorsteps in Doncaster and around the country is the public whether they voted leave or
remain unless they're really in sort of the activists of those core groups, they are fed up and they expect Parliament to sort this out.
WALKER: Could I ask very quickly ...
QUEST: Of course. Go ahead.
WALKER: ... whether Caroline Flint believes that there are enough Labour MPs who like yourself would be prepared to work with the government to try
to reach enough votes in Parliament to get some kind of consensus, to get a deal, even if that meant the Prime Minister having to sacrifice some of the
Brexiteers on her own side?
FLINT: Well, last week, I had a meeting with the Prime Minister with seven other Labour MPs. We tabled our amendment to try and secure protection for
Workers' Rights, health and safety, environmental standards. The government have indicated to us they're willing to look at a legally
But my answer to that, Carole, is this. At this stage, it's not good enough to reach out to people like me. She seriously has to reach out to
Jeremy Corbyn to find a way through.
QUEST: Then you have the question of a Customs Union.
QUEST: The Prime Minister has - I mean, I don't want to bog us down in the minutia of this but that really is one ...
QUEST: ... but unfortunately it is about the minutia. Where does Jeremy Corbyn stand on a Customs Union? The Prime Minister has ruled it out. Is
it a red line? And if you do have a Customs Union, you have a Norway-style Brexit ...
GORANI: But it's not a detail. This is one of the biggest issues. Exactly right. I mean, you have a Customs Union or a Norway-style
agreement, you have freedom ...
FLINT: No, no.
QUEST: So what do you stand on that? Where do you stand on Customs Union?
FLINT: Well, hang on. I mean, I think a sort of more long-term custom issue is fine. To be honest, actually, on the freedom movement, it's not
the Customs Union issue on that. That's in single market.
FLINT: The single market, which is Norway, Lichtenstein, and Iceland, let's be honest about this, Lichtenstein is a population of 37,000 people.
We are the fifth largest economy in the world. So therefore, the idea that we should have a deal that mirrors that is a bit ridiculous. And the
problem about the Norway, Lichtenstein, Iceland option is that they have a single market which they have to accept freedom of movement. That is -
that will not fly in the U.K.
So we want as close access to single market, but on the Customs Union, I would say - you know, I don't want to speak out to my own constituents, but
I think a lot of people around the country voted leave that wasn't their biggest concerns. The biggest concern I think among leave voters were
things like they don't want the political union, they don't want ever closer political union. They don't want freedom of movement in the way -
that does not mean that they're anti-immigration, but they want to us control that.
But also they want us to feel that actually we're making some decisions in this country to deal with the concerns of small town Britain and that's
been ignored for too long.
QUEST: We need to thank you.
FLINT: Thank you.
GORANI: Caroline Flint, thank you very much.
QUEST: Very good to see you, Caroline.
GORANI: So Theresa May's government survives, but we're still no closer to knowing how this riddle will be solved, and it's no clearer for millions of
Europeans waiting for Britain to make its mind up.
Earlier we spoke to the Dutch MEP, Marietje Schaake.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIETJE SCHAAKE, DUTCH MEP: The agreement is a response to the decision by the British people in the referendum, a small majority but nevertheless,
and the British government to withdraw from the European Union. And the withdrawal agreement is intended to make that orderly, predictable, and
without unnecessary damage to citizens, businesses, security and other very, very important issues.
So it is intended to accommodate the departure of the U.K. This is what's at the table. And I think it is the best way to do that. But if the U.K.
doesn't agree, we're all ears to hear what they do want.
But frankly speaking, is it any clearer to you listening to these British politicians screaming and shouting about what they don't want?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: So we're now, talking of all those politicians in the House of Commons screaming and shouting about what they don't want. We have two
Conservative MPs with us now, Peter Bone and Guy Opperman. Good to see you. Gentlemen, you've now got the Prime Minister saying she's going to
have talks across the political aisle. She didn't necessarily say with whom, but everybody's invited to come in. And I beg to ask, wasn't this
the sort of talks she should have had in the first place?
PETER BONE, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, CONSERVATIVE PARTY: Yes, I'm sure she - I assume they were having those before. I mean, the point is we delegated
the decision to the British people, either stay in the E.U. or come out. British people voted to come out. We've got to deliver it.
Cross party they should be supporting that. So far we've seen Labour not very interested in supporting coming out of the E.U.
QUEST: What do you want out of this process now?
GUY OPPPERMAN, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, CONSERVATIVE PARTY: Well, I think, I'd like Labour to stop playing politics.
QUEST: What do you want --
OPPERMAN: Bear with me. Let me answer.
QUEST: Go ahead.
OPPERMAN: So stop playing politics. Get round the table. Identify specifically what in the withdrawal agreement and the political agreement
that they manifestly disagree with because until they spell out their position and the other parties, but the main one is Labour, we don't know
where the common ground is, and that I think is rightly where the Prime Minister is trying to focus with a laser-like example as to what exactly
the Labour Party in particular stands for so that we can then explore where the future holds.
GORANI: Where do you hope that there will be common ground? Because there are only 72, 73 days left before March 29th.
OPPERMAN: I think there's still plenty of capability of agreeing a deal on a cross-party basis that sees us leaving the European Union before the 29th
GORANI: It's not just between parties you that need an agreement. You need an agreement and then you need the E.U. buy-in.
BONE: Yes, absolutely. A hundred and eleven leave Conservative MPs voted against the government, 70% of the non-payroll Conservative MPs voted - the
deal that Guy is talking about is dead as a dodo. What we have to do is get a managed no deal because that doesn't require the E.U. agreeing to
QUEST: So the CBI President this morning said that this idea of a no-deal Brexit or a managed deal would be disastrous for the economy. I'm aware
that there are others who take a different view.
QUEST: But when somebody like the President of the CBI, representing vast tranches of the U.K. economy, says it's disastrous, shouldn't we listen?
BONE: Well, one leading businessman like the Chairman of JCB says there's absolutely no problem with WTO rules. And I used to - as you know, I used
to manufacture and sell all over the world. There's no problem selling to countries. In the E.U., there was no problem selling to countries outside
the E.U. It's what now Parliament voted for.
We've got to remember, in two acts of Parliament we've said this is what's going to happen. There's only a few days left. We have to do it that way
GORANI: Are you comfortable with the no-deal scenario? Because Mr. Bone is saying there are no issues but there are many experts, in fact a
majority who say that all of a sudden, WTO rules would cause a big problem for the U.K.
BONE: How do you say the majority? Tell me, come on, how do you work that out?
GORANI: Because we can count --
BONE: We'll work it out.
GORANI: Among all the chief economists in the city we could only find one and she is not chief economist anymore, who thinks no-deal is a good idea.
BONE: So as opposed to the five economists?
QUEST: From the Bank of England - the Governor of the Bank of England.
GORANI: No, no. The Bank of England, the CBI --
BONE: And how did he do before the E.U. referendum? He had project fear and we've got massive --
QUEST: With respect, Mr. Bone, we may find the Governor's projections coming true if this country goes to the brink and over it. He was talking
about what happens if there was a Brexit before that referendum. Well, we may find out in the last few weeks whether he's right.
BONE: No, he said immediately after the referendum.
OPPERMAN: There is still a capability at this stage, albeit late is in the day, to forge a consensus and get through the House of Commons a deal that
is on a cross-party basis that you can then go back to the E.U. because fundamentally, the withdrawal agreement is not something I believe that the
Labour Party are against. They are definitely against parts of the political agreement.
GORANI: Are you comfortable with no deal if by March 29th there is no agreement?
OPPERMAN: I would far, far prefer to have a deal. I supported the Prime Minister's deal. I thought that was a good deal. If we can't get that
over the line, I think the evidence from last night is overwhelming, then we have to find another way.
QUEST: Guy, does the Prime Minister get her deal by ditching people like Peter and instead going for the opposition to get her across the line?
OPPERMAN: Well, clearly the Prime Minister is going to make her own choices. But what I do think has to happen, though, is Parliament has to
make a decision. Parliament has to decide are they going to do what it takes to get a deal done or are they going to allow no-deal to happen?
QUEST: I understand that. But what we are hearing is that the Prime Minister cannot get that deal by just relying on her own side because they
will push her too far to the right. So if she abandons the ERG, if she abandons the far right Brexiteers, then possibly a deal which Labour or
others would support can be put together. Would you be in favor of abandoning them?
OPPERMAN: Well, it's not a question of abandoning. It is finding a way in which we Brexit which has the least damage to the U.K. economy, that is the
most supported by economists and business and is best for my constituents in the northeast of England.
And let's be blunt as well. It is up to - none of this happens unless the Labour Party stop playing politics and other political parties stop playing
politics. Because if they continue to do so then there's no chance of this happening.
GORANI: Peter Bone, extending the negotiation period by just a few months. We had Sir Malcolm Rifkind on. He predicted that Brexit would happen, but
that it would be six months delayed. Why not just give your country a few more months to try to come up with a better solution?
BONE: So I take great offense to be called far right. I'm a democrat, I'm elected and I supporting the people. The idea that you associate me with
the far right, I think is appalling and you should apologize for that now.
QUEST: Well, you know what I meant when I said --
BONE: You said the far right. I'm no way the far right.
QUEST: On the right of the party.
BONE: On the right of the party. The suggestion I'm sort of some sort of fascist is outrageous.
QUEST: I did not - with respect.
BONE: You called me far right.
QUEST: On the right of the party.
BONE: No, you didn't say that. You said far right.
QUEST: Then I will clarify it for you. Do you admit to being on the right of the party?
BONE: I admit to being where the British people are. We delegate to the British people. We want to deliver what the people voted for. I was part
of one of the leave campaigns. That is what we should be doing. We should not be changing the result of the referendum and making accusation about
QUEST: You are on the right of the party.
BONE: Well, I'm a conservative. I am often by nature to the right of center. As is Guy.
QUEST: Within the - look, we can argue about --
GORANI: But can I just - I just want to --
QUEST: We can argue this on the head of a pin if you really want to.
OPPERMAN: He is not far right and he is to the right of the party.
BONE: You can coming in and insult me calling me far right is outrageous. And you should apologize unreservedly. Okay.
OPPERMAN: Move on, gents.
GORANI: Let's move on. Because the British people voted unequivocally for Brexit. What kind of - when you say we're delivering what the British
people voted for, they didn't specify. In the question there was not embedded within it what Brexit would be delivered. Just that Brexit would
BONE: No, it was leave or remain.
GORANI: That's correct.
BONE: And there was nothing about the deal or no-deal. It was leave --
GORANI: But there was nothing about the Customs Union or --
OPPERMAN: But the reality is we cannot be in a position to leave without getting the permission of the House of Commons in the way in which that we
are trying to do so.
BONE: But they've already given permission, Guy, two acts of Parliament say that we leave on the 29th of March and with substantial majorities for
that. Unless there's new legislation, that's what's going to happen.
GORANI: My point is that saying to the British people that a leave deal that maybe keeps some sort of association in terms of a Customs Union with
Europe is not denying them - denying the democratic result because there was never ever a specificity in that question.
BONE: Well, I think the thing that Theresa May has always said, effectively saying we're going to end the free movement of people, we're
not going to pay billions and billions of pounds every year to the E.U., we're going to make our own laws in our own country governed by our own
If she delivers that, I think everyone will be happy.
QUEST: Can I ask finally, your party is in government. There has been two years give or take since the referendum. Can your party be proud of the
fact that it is 72 days before the greatest decision this country has taken since probably it joined in the Second World War and your party has led it
to the point of chaos? You're the ones in government.
OPPERMAN: Well, I think the reality of the situation is that any political party who is in government now would be struggling with a very difficult
divorce after a great deal of time and there is an awful lot of nuts and bolts to this. And to pretend that this is a simple process to exit the
E.U. and it's not going to be without its difficult and strife is difficult, particularly when we have the meaningful vote process which
we've been going through, which we may not have wanted to start through this process, but that's where we are. And you have to play the cards
And to be fair, the Prime Minister, who is universally admired, has stuck with her job when many other people probably wouldn't have done so.
GORANI: Guy Opperman and Peter Bone, thank you so much to both of you for joining us. Appreciate it. Quick break on CNN. We'll be right back.
Stay with us for more of our special coverage.
GORANI: ISIS is claiming responsibility for a suicide bombing in Syria that killed U.S. troops on patrol in the City of Manbij. There were other
casualties as well of course, and we're now hearing that three Americans were killed. We're about to show you some extremely disturbing video of
the moment the blast sent a fireball onto a busy street.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Foreign language)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, that was CCTV footage from a busy street in Manbij. The attack comes just weeks after the American President, Donald Trump
announced he was withdrawing American troops from Syria, declaring that ISIS was defeated there.
Vice President Mike Pence spoke in Washington soon after the blast, not mentioning it but repeating the claim about ISIS.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are bringing our troops home. The caliphate has crumbled, and ISIS has been defeated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, our Clarissa Ward, our chief international correspondent is in Northern Syria tonight and joins me now, live with more. Tell us more
about what happened, what it says about ISIS's ability to still mount these types of attacks in Northern Syria.
CLARISSA WARD, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, Hala, from the minute we arrived here in Northern Syria nearly a week ago, the first
thing that Kurdish officials, whether it's on the military or civilian side, were telling us is don't believe that ISIS has been completely
defeated, they have not, and there are still ISIS sleeper cells all over this part of the country. Now we have clearly seen for ourselves that this
is the truth.
We just went towards the front lines. We were about two miles away from the absolute front line down in the southeast of the country towards the
border with Iraq. I can tell you that mortars were being fired off. I can tell you that air strikes were being called in. There was still a very
kinetic situation, a lot of fighting on the ground, and again, we had officials and commanders telling us, the real issue here is that you can
push ISIS out of the territory, but you can't necessarily pull the ISIS mentality out of the people. You can't always mitigate for the threat of
Important also for our viewers to understand, Hala, that Manbij, the town where today's attack took place, is nowhere near the front lines. It's a
seven-hour drive from the front lines. We were actually in the town of Manbij just three days ago. We were shooting video a couple of hundred
yards away from where this blast took place in a busy restaurant on a crowded street right next to the old Souq, or the old marketplace. This is
a humming, bustling area, but what it goes to show you, Manbij with liberated from ISIS in 2016, in September of 2016, but there are still
dangerous elements there and when they are aware that there is a power vacuum imminent, they are going to seize on that power vacuum, Hala.
GORANI: And is this a sign of things to come, if you will, with the U.S. withdrawal looming? The fact that ISIS which has lost a lot of territory,
that's undeniable, will see this vacuum as an opportunity to reform and take the fight once again to the forces opposing it in parts of Northern
and Eastern Syria?
WARD: That's certainly the very real fear here on the ground, Hala. Because in this part of Northern Syria, what you have is a kind of
intricate patchwork of different powers who have essentially carved up this entire region.
You have the Turks who are monitoring over their areas. You have the U.S. and its Kurdish allies on the ground with their areas. Just a few minutes
away from the U.S. base on the outskirts of Manbij, you have a Russian and regime base. There are many different powers who all have different
sectors here of power where they're in control of.
If you pull one of those powers out you create - you sort of upset that delicate balance. And the question is how do you prevent that balance from
being upset? Well, if you're looking at it from the Kurdish perspective here on the ground, you look at who your other options are to make a deal
And right now, the Kurds are looking very closely and are having talks through the Russians with the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Simply put,
because they don't have any other options, Hala. As we've seen today from this ISIS attack, the situation here still volatile. There are regular
bombings here. Just when we were in Manbij, there had been a killing the day before of two security officers and there were funerals taking place.
This is a tenuous situation ...
[15:30:00] CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Bombings here just when we were in Manbij, there had been a killing the day before
of two security officers, and there were funerals taking place.
This is tenuous situation and the Kurdish allies of the U.S. on the ground are going to align themselves with whoever they have to in order to protect
themselves from Turkey across the border, who they see as a great threat, and also of course from ISIS, Hala.
HALA GORANI, HOST, HALA GORANI TONIGHT: All right. Clarissa Ward in northern Syria, thanks very much. And after the Manbij attack, by the way,
President Erdogan of Turkey stated that "this attack will not change Trump's decision of withdrawal."
Unclear if there was a conversation between the two leaders that led to that statement. We'll keep our eye on that important story in Syria.
Still to come tonight, more of our special Brexit coverage, Theresa May's government has survived a no-confidence vote, but the way forward for
Brexit, well, let's just say it's still a bit hazy. We'll be right back.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN: A warm welcome on a cold evening. Let's get you up to date with what's been happening. Theresa May lives to fight another day.
The British Prime Minister's government has survived a vote of no confidence. It was tabled by the leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn.
The margin of victory was 19 votes.
GORANI: Corbyn therefore fails to force a general election for now. Theresa May said afterwards, her government commands the confidence of
parliament to find a way forward for Brexit. Right now, though, the plan for Brexit remains very unclear, let's go straight to Downing Street, Nic
Robertson is there.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, one of the reasons it remains unclear is the scale of Theresa May's challenge, and she
got a taste of that tonight. She immediately after getting that successful vote of confidence in her government said that she would speak across
party, inviting the leaders of the other parties to talks with her tonight, and then each of them proceeded to say why that would be a problem.
[15:35:00] The leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, saying that he wouldn't talk to Theresa May or wouldn't engage with her about the future
of a deal until she ruled out a no-deal Brexit. And the liberal Democrats wanting to rule out or wanting to make sure that there could be an
extension to article 50.
Everyone coming forward with something that they want. And that really is the predicament for Theresa May at the moment, for her allies at DUP.
They want something specific that the EU isn't ready to go all the way on the backstop in Northern Ireland.
The legal guarantees with that for the hard-liners in her party out of the -- out of the Customs Union, out of a single market. Can she really manage
to pull a deal together and coalesce an agreement that is going to keep them happy. So this is a scale of her challenge that she faces tonight.
She's well aware of it, and of course -- but what we don't know is precisely how she's going to tackle it. What we do know is she has a
deadline to at least get to the first stage of tackling it. And that is to show a plan B by Monday next week, 72 days until the Brexit deadline.
She is very well aware the clock's ticking, but at the moment we can just wait to hear her next words on what her new plan will be.
GORANI: All right, thank you, Nic Robertson, we'll get back to you soon.
QUEST: Joining me now, Peter Goodman; European economics correspondent for the "New York Times". Good to see you, sir.
PETER GOODMAN, EUROPEAN ECONOMICS CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK TIMES: Good to see you.
QUEST: How are you explaining this to your readers?
GOODMAN: Well, if you can come up with a new way to say no one knows what's going to happen, let me know because I've run out. I mean,
basically, anybody who knows what's happening understands that no one knows what's going to happen.
QUEST: This is a rare --
GORANI: And don't trust anyone who tells you they know what's going --
GOODMAN: Correct --
GORANI: To happen, right?
QUEST: This is rare, though --
GORANI: Yes --
QUEST: It's not very often, you know, and that's why people are drawing similarities between what's happening in the United States and in the
United Kingdom. It's not very often we really don't know what's going to happen.
GOODMAN: The participants don't know what they want. I mean, I'm not at all convinced that the prime minister has a full strategy beyond how do we
survive politically for another few days.
I mean, if push comes to shove -- it does seem as if everyone thinks that running out the clock is in their favor. That the hardcore Brexiters
think, you know, let's just get through this and eventually we'll run out of time to come to some sort of deal and we'll crash out, we'll have a real
The people don't want Brexit, think that the closer we get to the cliff edge and the chaos that, that would entail, the more likely the prime
minister is to say OK, I didn't really mean it, I'm for a second referendum if the alternative is crashing out.
And so you know, all of this just takes us further on down the road with no clarity about where the road ends.
GORANI: But there is a risk, though, that the longer this goes on, the more people just become exasperated with the process and could just
accidentally fall off a cliff. I mean, if there's no real political will or even a change in law, the U.K. is leaving.
GOODMAN: Correct. I mean, that is the default. That's why any scenario that involves, you know, assuming that cooler heads will eventually craft
a softer Brexit or the only way out of this quagmire, given that parliament can't agree on anything is a second referendum, all this requires action.
GORANI: Yes --
GOODMAN: The thing that requires just a continuation of what we've got, complete political --
GORANI: That's the status quo is a hard Brexit --
GOODMAN: That's going over the cliff, no deal --
GORANI: Status quo is a hard Brexit. The -- I mean, if you look forward over the next few weeks.
QUEST: Reading in your -- I think it was in your paper, there was this article that said that if you look closer across the Atlantic, if you look
at the position in the United States with the shutdown, the populism of Trump, the nature of the -- of what's happening, the chaos, a government
paralysis on both sides of the Atlantic --
GOODMAN: Right --
QUEST: Is the point they're making. Would you agree?
GOODMAN: These are tough days for democracy. I mean, China today just stuck 80-some-odd billion into their banking system, and suddenly the
markets around the world are rallying. I mean, you know, I'm not vouching for the people's Republic of China as the way I'd like to organize my
QUEST: Yes --
GOODMAN: But I mean, clearly, these are tough days for democracy --
GORANI: Well, they don't -- they don't have an opposition to worry about or elections or any kind of thing that can get in the way of just kind of
GORANI: Yes, wholesale.
QUEST: Do you -- sorry, where do you stand on the -- and what do you believe is the no -- on the no Brexit point? Between those who say like the
CBI would be a complete disaster, and those like lord Lamont who -- and Peter Bowen who was here earlier who say it will be fine.
GOODMAN: Well, we don't know, we know it's not fine because what we've had since the referendum two and a half years ago until now hasn't been fine.
It's not a screaming emergency. People aren't walking around England eating bark off trees.
[15:40:00] But clearly, the economy is poorer than it would have been absent this referendum. Clearly, there's no Brexit --
GORANI: Inflation is higher --
GOODMAN: Scenario, yes, inflation is higher, the pound is falling, Britain is a net importer, so Britain is paying more for its goods, investment has
cooled off because multi-national companies that like to use Britain as a base to serve the whole continent of Europe no longer see that as
necessarily a viable strategy.
GORANI: Yes --
GOODMAN: I mean, this uncertainty is not making anybody richer --
GORANI: Also what you can't quantify is investment not made because of Brexit uncertainty, right?
GOODMAN: That's right.
GORANI: I mean, this is also something that we can't necessarily put a figure on, and -- but you can't quantify contingency plans, staff -- big
numbers of staff for banks, for instance --
QUEST: Well --
GORANI: Being moved to the EU, and assets also --
GOODMAN: Right --
QUEST: Jamie Dimon speaking at the Economics Club today says that, you know, how bad a Brexit -- no-deal Brexit would be. But he went on to say
that the bank has spent hundreds of millions of dollars -- even a line from minor exaggeration -- that's you know, hundreds of millions is what he
said, preparing for not just a normal Brexit, but a no-deal Brexit.
GOODMAN: Yes, that's right. I mean, finance is a complicated subject because of course, you know, you're talking about giant institutions that
have not done a particularly good job taking their tremendous earnings and translating that into higher wages --
QUEST: Right --
GOODMAN: For working people. We've got a lot of economic inequality. That's one of the things that of course has fueled the Brexit vote in this
country, the embrace of Trump in the United States. But you know, it's fair to say that a lot of small businesses, anybody who imports anything to
make the products they make or who requires imports --
QUEST: Yes --
GOODMAN: For their services in Britain, their lives are complicated. They're having to think about getting warehouse space set up on the side of
the channel where they sell. They're worried about whether they can get enough people to work in factories or shops.
QUEST: Are your editors interested in the story?
GORANI: And readers, I was going to ask you that actually.
GOODMAN: Yes, I mean, it comes in fits and starts, but the last two days, I mean, this is a major global event. And it's been one of the top stories
on our site throughout. There's a tremendous amount of interest and we're pouring resources at it.
GORANI: Peter Goodman; European economics correspondent for the --
GOODMAN: Thank you --
GORANI: "New York Times", thanks as always for joining us. Other news now, other important news. The death toll is rising 24 hours after a
terror attack began in Nairobi. We'll bring you new video of the attackers as they laid siege to a hotel complex. Stay with us.
[15:45:00] GORANI: Welcome back. We now have surveillance video showing Tuesday's terrorist attack at the DusitD2 Hotel complex in Nairobi. Take a
look -- and by the way, the death toll has gone up just in the last hour. Police say at least 21 people were killed.
One was an American businessman who was named as Jason Spindler. A British citizen also died, he has not yet been identified. The attack went on for
several hours. It began with car bombs that were followed by a suicide blast as well as gunfire.
Al-Shabaab; the terrorist group has claimed responsibility. The Somali group now says the attack was a response to Donald Trump's decision to
recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
QUEST: In Syria, ISIS is claiming responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed U.S. troops on patrol in the city of Manbij. Pentagon
spokesman now tells us four Americans are amongst those killed. I need to warn you, the video we're about to show contains extremely disturbing
images at the moment of the blast.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: President Trump is withdrawing American troops from Syria. Today, Vice President Mike Pence said, "we will never allow the remnants of ISIS
to re-establish their evil and murderous caliphate, not now, not ever."
GORANI: It's day 26 of the longest government shutdown in American history. Talks to reopen the government are at an impasse. Now Democratic
leaders in Congress have uninvited Donald Trump from his own State of the Union address.
In a letter, the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked the president to postpone the speech or deliver it in writing instead. Pelosi notes that the Secret
Service which provides security at the State of the Union has not been funded because of the shutdown. The address was meant to take place on
QUEST: As we continue tonight, our special coverage of Brexit and Theresa May's government has survived a no confidence vote, the plan for Brexit
remains in crisis.
[15:50:00] QUEST: Welcome back. We continue our special Brexit coverage. Theresa May's scene of a no-confidence vote against her government. The
winning margin was 19 votes.
GORANI: All right, let's get final thoughts now from Labor MP Seema Malhotra, conservative MP, Dominic Grieve. Thanks to both of you for being
with us. Now, Seema, I'll start with you. Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition tabled this no-confidence motion.
He did not succeed. What's the way forward here for Brexit and for the country?
SEEMA MALHOTRA, BRITISH LABOR MP: Well, Theresa May did win that vote tonight, but it wasn't exactly a huge margin. And what I do believe is
that she's lost the argument in parliament, she's lost the argument in the country.
So the way forward is clearly got to be for parliament to now come together to start to say what are the options for how we move forward? What's the
future vision of what our relationship needs to be with the European Union, and how do we now re-engage the country in this process as well?
GORANI: You've got 72 days.
MALHOTRA: Well, we've got 72 days, I think it's in my view --
GORANI: Yes --
MALHOTRA: Going to be inevitable for us to seek an extension of article 50 at the very least to give us some space to step back. This is not a place
that we thought we'd be in. The government has run down the clock, deliberately lost the gamble, and now I think we're going to have to take
a sensible step back.
QUEST: Dominic Grieve, what realistically can come out of these negotiations or talks that the prime minister is holding? She's already
seeing the DUP this evening. What do you expect can dramatically change to reach a consensus that has been so lacking over the last two years?
DOMINIC GRIEVE, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE MP: It's difficult to see how the consensus will change through these talks, but it might. I think it really
depends on how flexible the prime minister is prepared to be. I've always been of the view that if there is an open dialogue with the House of
Commons, we will eventually find a way through this.
But at the moment, the difficulty has tended to be that the prime minister has set herself such very tight red lines that the talks seem normally
centered on whether people can be brought round to accepting her point of view. And I think we're rather past that.
But that having been said, she's been reinforced by the confidence that's been shown to her by the House of Commons this evening, and I have to say
the majority was exactly what you would expect. That was rather better slightly than you might expect in view of our working majority.
She had the full confidence of all conservative MPs in the DUP. So in those circumstances, I hope that she feels empowered to now go out and
carry out this negotiation properly.
GORANI: Do you agree that in extension of article 50 is what the country needs to give itself a little more breathing space here?
GRIEVE: Well, I think it's inevitable that we should extend article 50 in any event --
GORANI: Inevitable --
GRIEVE: Well, I think it's inevitable that --
GORANI: That it will happen --
GRIEVE: Even if she had a deal, I think we're going to have re-extend --
GORANI: Yes --
GRIEVE: Article 50 in order to tidy things up. But the difficulty is --
GORANI: Even at the parliament?
GRIEVE: That can be done very swiftly if the government wants --
GORANI: Yes --
GRIEVE: It. But the --
MALHOTRA: Or does need agreement of the rest of the EU --
GRIEVE: Yes --
MALHOTRA: Where we have to move forward --
GRIEVE: Absolutely --
MALHOTRA: To make that happen --
GRIEVE: And it's also right to say that the EU I don't think is going to give us an extension of article 50 for just any old reason.
QUEST: Yes --
GRIEVE: It's got to be because we want to hold a referendum or something, which is clearly concrete enough to justify doing it, otherwise we're just
doing some can kicking --
MALHOTRA: But I think Dominic hit the nail on the head with the need to see greater flexibility because Theresa May doesn't have the confidence in
this dialogue that she has is genuinely going to be open. I asked that question in parliament today about whether any of her red lines could
So if Theresa May is not going to be truly in these discussions in good faith, it's going to be extremely difficult. She's got the chance to
change and turn this around if she wants to.
QUEST: You are our last guest this evening. And how -- to our international viewers watching who are thinking the U.K. is some sort of
basket case, unable to govern itself, arguably not the only country in the world maybe in that position. What would you say that there's some
reassurance that there may not be anybody at the wheel or driving very carefully, but this --
MALHOTRA: I --
QUEST: The worst is not going to happen.
GRIEVE: The reassurance I would give is that the U.K. being a constant parliamentary constitutional democracy. The whole thing is centered on
parliament which is -- and if I may say so, for all our shortcomings is exactly what needs to happen.
In other countries, it sometimes manifests itself in very different ways. We are in the middle of a crisis affecting most western democracies, crisis
of legitimacy, crisis of expectations and crisis of hope. And it just so happens that here because of who we are, it's actually being played out,
fortunately, mainly in the chamber of the House of Commerce.
And that's not such a bad thing, it's not a sign that we're in a state of collapse --
MALHOTRA: It's not a sign of failure. It's not a sign of failure. I think what it is is actually a sign of his strength of our democracy --
GRIEVE: Yes --
[15:55:00] MALHOTRA: Is on the excess, but you know, we've seen huge changes in the world, both in terms of power and how it's shifting, in
terms of changes in our economy, in terms of people feeling left behind, distant from and not feeling they've got control.
I think what we're seeing is a debate that is a national debate about the role of our country in the world and what kind of country we are, and how
we want to position ourselves in an international community. You know, maybe it hasn't gone the way we expected and being triggered in the way
that we wanted.
But these are some of the underlying issues behind Brexit were deeper issues that as a nation we would have to ask and question, anyway. I think
we're going to emerge in this process somehow much stronger and much more confident about ourselves as a nation.
But we've got some difficult choices to make, and we've got to take the country with us.
GORANI: And Dominic Grieve, internationally, I mean, people might be interested in other parts of the world in the granular aspect of British
politics, but mainly the one question we get over and over again from our international viewers is, will there be another referendum?
Because I think -- actually I think the reason most people would want it is because most people that we speak outside of the U.K. believe that, that
means that remain would win if the country had a second chance. Do you support a second referendum?
GRIEVE: I do support another referendum, a further referendum I think I'll call it rather than a second one --
GORANI: OK --
GRIEVE: Because the question would not be the same as in the first. As to whether I would hope as a remainer, that I would campaign for remain to
win. But I do think that I have to accept that if you would hold such a referendum, it could be that the public said that they wanted to leave, for
example, on the terms of prime minister's negotiation being rejected by parliament.
If that happens, we're going. But what I'm not prepared to see is our being dragged out of the EU on a deal which the prime minister has, in good
faith, negotiated and probably couldn't have got better. But actually is going to be rejected and is being rejected by the vast majority of the
MALHOTRA: All leave -- all leave is no deal which I do believe the prime minister must rule out. But I do disagree with Dominic on this, because I
don't think we could put a deal to the people to vote on that parliament has so roundly rejected.
It's got to be a deal where it commands a majority in the house and put that deal that parliament agrees to the people.
GRIEVE: The difficulty with that is that no deal can be put to parliament until it's been negotiated, and the time for negotiation is over. So I
think we have to be sensible --
QUEST: Which brings us --
MALHOTRA: Time to extend our --
QUEST: Which brings us full circle to --
MALHOTRA: Yes --
QUEST: Extending. So we do need to leave it there --
GRIEVE: Yes --
GORANI: Yes --
We've heard that I think more than any other statement tonight from both parties, that they believe, as you've said, that there is some
inevitability there to an extension of the negotiation period. Seema and Dominic, thank you so much --
GRIEVE: Thank you --
GORANI: For joining us.
QUEST: That is our program for tonight. Coming up ahead, "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper. This is CNN.