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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
EU to Conditionally Extend Brexit to May 22nd; Israel Thanks President Trump Over Decision on Golan Heights; New Zealand PM Confident that New Zealand Supports Tighter Gun Law; Explosion at Chinese Chemical Plant Kills At Least Six; Iraq Ferry Accident Kills At Least 77; Journalists Across Europe Gather in Brussels to Await Statements from Donald Tusk, Jean-Claude Juncker and Theresa May About Brexit; Northern Ireland Citizens Worried They'll Be Abandoned; Pound Sterling Falls, Lifts U.K. Stocks; U.S. Issues Subpoenas in Boeing Probe; Levi Strauss Shares Soar in IPO. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired March 21, 2019 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Extension nearly granted, perhaps, maybe -- a deal seems in the back end Brussels or at least, it
did, a short while ago. It looks like mission improbable from the U.K. The E.U. is set to allow to Theresa May more time until Britain leaves the
E.U., but on what terms and it all depends on getting a Brexit deal through the British Parliament. If that fails, which is likely, Britain is still
at serious risk of crashing out without a deal. And the final E.U. intervention who knows, what could happen then.
Tonight in Brussels, Donald Tusk, Jean-Claude Juncker, Theresa May are all about to get more details over the next hours or so. We are live in
Brussels, the heart of the E.U. on Thursday, March 21th. I'm Richard Quest, and at Council building, of course, I mean business.
Good evening. Tonight, Theresa May gets a Brexit delay from Brussels whilst in London, the political hurdles remain unchanged. This is where we
stand, and let me emphasize that I will be quite blunt about coming back to you in saying everything has changed in the last five minutes. Because
that's the sort of nature of the night. It is.
According to a draft statement circulating in the building, the Europeans have agreed to extend the Brexit deadline until May the 22nd. But that's
if and only if Parliament in Westminster passes the withdrawal agreements they negotiated with Theresa May. Remember, Parliament has declined to
pass that twice, by record majorities.
Mrs. May wanted an extension until the end of June. She will now have to try and get a third vote in Parliament and a deal that's been soundly
defeated, and if none of this happens, the E.U. could still crash out of the deal with no deal in eight days' time. We're awaiting press
conferences where Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker are expected to speak. They are awaiting -- and then of course Theresa May is going to
Erin McLaughlin is with me in Brussels. Let's just go before we go through who is going to speak when, let's go through the tick tock, if you like,
the Prime Minister spoke to the leaders --
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: For an hour and a half, which is an incredibly long period of time considering when you compare that to
previous Summits where she spoke to them.
QUEST: Erin, one would imagine they questioned her sharply.
MCLAUGHLIN: Yes, they did, and I was told by one E.U. diplomat with knowledge of what happened during this questioning, she provided no clarity
and was evasive, and that's really what E.U. leaders are looking for at this point, is clarity in terms of her game plan.
QUEST: So there was a rumor going around here that she was going to get an extension until May the 23rd.
MCLAUGHLIN: Yes, so once she left the room, then Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council tabled draft conclusions which were
agreed upon by the E.U. Ambassadors last night. Those are the conclusions that are expected to frame the discussion of the 27. As soon as he tabled
those conclusions, they leaked out to the Summit, and that's where we got the May 22nd date, which was expected based on what I was hearing from
QUEST: But now there's a rumor -- and let's be honest about this, we don't know whether this is actually the situation. But there is a rumor and
since all thing is up in the air, that a new phraseology is coming to display.
MCLAUGHLIN: Exactly, a new phrase potentially to make that May 22nd date a bit more vague in the conclusions. We don't know that for sure. I'm
checking with my sources. But that is a rumor circulating right now in the room.
I was told prior to that rumor leaking from one diplomat that some member States weren't necessarily happy with it being so specific within the
QUEST: Let's bring Hadas -- Hadas is in London, whatever happens here, the locus moves to London, where the possibility of passing the deal is what?
HADAS GOLD, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Still, it doesn't seem incredibly likely, Richard, I mean, you have to remember the numbers by which Theresa May lost
the last two attempts she had at getting this deal through Parliament. The first time she lost by least 200 votes. The second time she lost by 149
votes. So we're looking at a numbers game here that unless some big numbers start shifting, she needs 75 members to shift from that last vote,
then we still don't have any more likelihood of success.
GOLD: Nothing really so far has changed on this deal other than the few legally binding assurances that she got, which clearly that wasn't enough.
I mean, we still have to remember that we have the whole issue with the Speaker who caused a lot of news the other day when he said that she cannot
-- Theresa May cannot bring back her deal once again for another vote unless it is meaningfully changed in some way.
There does seem to be a sense that there will be a way around that somehow. They'll add something that will make the speaker say that it's okay. But
there's a lot still going on here internally beyond whatever they managed to get with the European Union with the leaders there right now that she
then has to come back here, and she still faces the same situation that she has been in four months.
Now there is some talk, there are some reports about some more cross party conversations perhaps tomorrow that will be going on with other Members of
Parliament from the different parties. But we don't have any indication that we are seeing 75 members coming across now to suddenly support her
MCLAUGHLIN: Yes, and this is part of the problem, Richard, just the deep uncertainty playing out there in the United Kingdom, one diplomat saying to
me, who is leading the U.K.? If we want something done in the United Kingdom right now, who do we call? Does Theresa May represent her country?
Does she represent her party? Does she represent your government? Those are all questions being asked right now, and she did not help her case,
according to this diplomat today in her presentation to the 27, continuing to be evasive, continuing to not provide clarity.
QUEST: Hadas, back to you in London. I mean, time is very short. The Prime Minister spoke last night in Downing Street. She blamed MPs, but
they're the people she has to get this through next week.
GOLD: Yes, Richard, this is a really stunning moment to watch Theresa May at 10 Downing Street, come out and speak to the public in a sort of speech
that often a lot of people think, the first thing they think, "Oh, she's going to call another election," or "She's going to resign," or something
but -- and instead, she came out and blames the exact people that she needs desperately to get on her side and said to the public, to the British
public, "It's all Parliament's fault. I'm with you. I'm on your side. I'm on the public side. I want this to get done. You want this to get
done. I'm very disappointed that there has to be a delay. It's Parliament fault."
And you saw some anger from Members of Parliament after that. We heard from one Member of Parliament who even though he voted for the last
meaningful vote, voted for the Brexit deal is now wavering, again, because of a delay. But also there's partly anger at the way that she has handled
this, the way that she is treating the exact people that she needs to get her deal through.
QUEST: Hadas, thank you. Do not go too far away because we will need you. Erin, I will allow you to get back to your news gathering duties and find
out what's happening while we talked to Dan Dalton, who is the chief whip of the Tory MEPs here in Brussels. So the rubber is really hitting the
road now, Dan Dalton. At the end of the day, how is Theresa May? Let's say she gets until May the 22nd or another configuration, which is the
other wording going around, how is she going to get it through Parliament?
DAN DALTON, CHIEF WHIP, EUROPEAN CONSERVATIVES AND REFORMIST GROUP: Well, I think they -- it was moving over the weekend. I think there's
still a potential that MPs will come on board. I mean, it's not guaranteed at the moment. It is still too close to call. But definitely movement was
going that way. So there's still a chance she can get it through.
QUEST: A chance. Yes. But let's deal in the world of reality, if she does not get it through, as many people are projecting, and I agree, we
don't know. But this is a wide -- it's a widespread prediction, then what point is the extension? Because then you're back to square one?
DALTON: I think we're in a different position then, yes, definitely. And I mean, this time next week, the question about the extension will be very
different if the deal has not gone through, I think the debate will be having here will be very different. I think it's for that reason that you
know, we're really encouraging MPs to vote for it. Because if not in a week's time, we're going to be in a really difficult situation. I think
the E.U. will probably grow as an extension in that case as well. But the question is, what are we going to do with that extension if we get it?
QUEST: The Prime Minister has said she would not ask for an extension beyond June 30th. That's what she was talking about in Downing Street. So
one could assume she would now say May the 22nd. That implies she would resign.
DALTON: Not necessarily. I mean, it also implies that she will continue to try to get the deal through because ultimately, there are only three
choices on the table here. There is this deal. There is no deal at all or there is no Brexit, and really the one deal that is most palatable out of
the three of them is the deal, and the delay will give her a little bit more time to try and get that through.
QUEST: Okay, so, I mean, at what point will in your view, the Europeans say, we're not giving you another extension. We are going to agree that a
no-deal Brexit is pretty much the only way forward?
DALTON: Well, I don't think anyone wants a no-deal. I think we'd only get to that situation, when really the whole process towards getting a deal
through is exhausted and everyone comes to the conclusion that there's no chance of going any further. And also, both sides need to be ready and
prepared for it. I mean, a no-deal is a really, really serious issue for the economy, not just between the E.U. and the U.K., but I think there'll
be ripples on the global economy. So I don't think really in any circumstances anyone wants to go there.
QUEST: I agree. Nobody he wants to go there. But Dan Dalton, if you get to the stage where Parliament has rejected the deal, a long delay would
invariably mean starting from scratch, wouldn't it? Can we agree on that? You'll be looking at to Norway plus, Customs Union, EEA -- all the options
will be back on the table if it doesn't go through, and she has to ask for a really long extension.
DALTON: Well, yes, everything is on the table at that stage. There's no doubt about it. But I mean, the bottom line is no deal is really a failure
from everyone on all sides if we get to that position. So I do think that there will be the time and space for the U.K. to try and shape, whatever
new approaches it is going to have. But the way to avoid all of this is, is for MPs devote the deal through this week. And I think that's why
there's so much pressure on them to vote it through and get us to the next stage.
QUEST: Dan Dalton, there's universal criticism at the way the Prime Minister put this together. Allegations that she kept people out. She
didn't seek cross party support. She made a secretive -- the whole process secretive. She did not seek the middle ground concept. And most
importantly, she relied on her own Party alone to get this through. Hence the ERG able to hold hostage.
DALTON: Yes, Yeah, but it depends what you mean by the middle ground. I mean, the challenge here is what a lot of people perceive to be the middle
ground, i.e. staying in the single market or staying in the Customs Union, actually, in many ways is worse for the U.K. than being in the E.U. because
it has no say over those rules going forward.
So the approach the Prime Minister took actually was that approach that more or less united the Conservative Party in terms of we wanted to
basically go towards the Free Trade Agreement approach. The difficulty with this, of course, is from the E.U. side, they made it very clear that
the negotiations had to be in two sort of tranches. The first tranche about the withdrawal issues, which also included the Northern Irish order
and the second tranche on the trade deal.
The problem is, we can't really know how to keep the Northern Irish order open until we know what the trade deal element is. And I think that's
actually probably what's sort of put us into this position now.
QUEST: Dan Dalton, we have only a few more days as this goes on; you and I will talk more, I hope in the future. We're very grateful that you're
talking to us tonight. I appreciate it. As we go into a break, it is worth me just pointing out the logistics of where we are.
We are in a Council room. Over there is the doorway that takes you into the meeting areas and then beyond that is where the press conference will
be held. And the room which of course is designed for of course the media of 28 different countries, it rarely gets to this feverish pitch, I think
during the Greek referendum and the Greek budget crisis and the Greek deals, then we saw similarly large numbers, even more in fact, but there's
no doubt about it. Tonight, there is a real air of a real expectation of history being made of what comes next because a no-deal Brexit is bad for
Sweden predicts problems all over the place. How Sweden will cope along with others, next. It is a special "Quest Means Business" from Brussels.
QUEST: Welcome back to Brussels, the onus is on Theresa May to get a deal through Parliament. Brexit may not be Europe's fault. It's Europe's
problem. Hans Dahlgren is Sweden's Minister for E.U. Affairs, and he's warning problems all over the place. Before we get to the problems all
over the place, Minister, let's just talk about what you understand the position to be now.
HANS DAHLGREN, SWEDEN'S MINISTER FOR E.U. AFFAIRS: Well, we have our leaders sitting in the meeting that is taking a long time. They started at
three o'clock; now, it's quarter past eight here in Brussels, and so they spent almost more than five hours.
QUEST: What are they talking about?
DAHLGREN: They're talking about how to deal with the letter from Theresa May, asking for an extension of the period that is supposed to end on the
29th of March. This is next Friday.
QUEST: Right. But they've asked -- she asked for the 30th. We hear that they've agreed to 22nd of May, which of course is the last day before the
European elections. And now I'm hearing rumors of another word, phrases like -- another configuration or a different configuration. Who does that
DAHLGREN: Well, we don't know. The meeting is still going on. We don't know the result there. I believe there will be a written conclusion from
the meeting where the leaders will state what their take on this is, and you know, up till now, these 27 have always been on the same line. They've
always been able to unite on the guideline from the negotiations. So I'm confident they will unite also tonight on how to respond to the letter from
the British Prime Minister.
QUEST: What is the point of coming up with a date for a delay with a condition namely to get this to Parliament that is highly unlikely? Are
you not just building in defeat to this very process tonight?
DAHLGREN: I don't think that's really the reason. I mean, we have said many times that if there is a request for a prolongation, there must also
be a reason, because to have this discussion just go on and on and on without a plan. That is no good. It's not good for us because we need to
go to work to do other things. We have problems to solve in Europe. We have to create jobs. We have to fix the climate. We have to fix security.
I mean, these are very important items for us to deal with. So Brexit must take its process, then we can turn to the other items that are so important
QUEST: Are you frustrated that Brexit has taken up so much time? I mean, it is one thing for the Brits to decide to leave. It's quite another for
them to bugger up the whole process and all the institutions in the process.
DAHLGREN: Well, we have to respect them taking a democratic his decision, it has to be implemented. We have to take -- treat that with respect that
we have to make and then take the steps that we need to take. But we do long to do other things than just dealing with this process.
QUEST: So, the reason I'm pushing you with respect, Minister, is because it's not in the realms of fantasy that she doesn't get the deal through
Parliament. We're back here next Wednesday or Thursday.
QUEST: Just a day before the deadline, and she's asking for or somebody on Britain's behalf is asking for a much longer extension with no new plan.
Effectively, you'll be negotiating a new plan.
DAHLGREN: I think we have every reason to expect a new plan if there is a new request for a prolongation. But I won't go into the various options
that may present themselves next week. Now, we are focusing on this thing to get the documents that are approved tonight, you know, the so-called
Strasbourg Agreement so that she can go to Parliament and ask for a new vote, and hopefully, that will close the deal, because to us, this
withdrawal agreement is the only one possible. It makes it safe and clear for the citizens, it gives us the money we have the right to and it
prevents a hard border on Ireland.
QUEST: So allow me to drift off into the realms of speculation.
DAHLGREN: You can do that.
QUEST: Which actually, I'll invite you to join in with.
DAHLGREN: Let's see.
QUEST: Let's say, this doesn't go through, there's a year-long extension or name it -- a year-long extension, a new government, and then of course,
this withdrawal agreement would fall with that government and now we're talking about Canada plus, Norway plus, Customs Union as Labour's
opposition. Jeremy Corbyn, the opposition leader has been in Brussels this week. Are you preparing to go back and think of all these things anew?
DAHLGREN: Two answers for that. First of all, the withdrawal agreement, which is kind of the divorce settlement, that cannot be changed, we've done
that, and it's a good deal both for the U.K. and for us. But for the future, we are ready to discuss anything that the U.K. wants. We have said
that from the beginning, if the United Kingdom wants another kind of relationship for the European Union, then they have the outline so far.
QUEST: But assuming you've agreed the amount of money to be paid the divorce, what is so wrong with -- what is so wrong with negotiating the
free trade or the future relationship before they leave? After all, Article 50 does suggest that the future relationship should be considered
within the terms of the article.
DAHLGREN: Yes, but we first must fix the terms of the departure. That must come first. When we have done and the Brexit has taken place, then we
can start the negotiation, we cannot have a double and parallel negotiations.
QUEST: Are you an optimist or a pessimist tonight or a realist?
DAHLGREN: I'm a realist. I think there are clear interests on both sides to make this work for the benefit of our citizens. So let's do that.
QUEST: Minister, good to see you, sir. Thank you very much indeed. Now, Manfred Weber is the chair of the European People's Party and a possible
successor to Jean-Claude Juncker, the Commission President. He says uncertainty is likely to remain.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
MANFRED WEBER, CHAIRMAN, EUROPEAN PEOPLE'S PARTY: If you have a majority in Parliament, then everything is fine. But it is not very likely that we
get any kind of change in the House of Commons in the upcoming weeks. That's why we still have the uncertainty ahead of us and the development
over last night, the speech of Theresa May was not really promising when you're when you're attacking your own Parliament, it is not bringing you
closer to any kind of results.
QUEST: So which would you prefer next week? Assuming Parliament does not pass it, assuming Parliament does not pass it, which would you prefer?
Would you prefer to go ahead with a no-deal Brexit on March 29th? Or would you prefer a year or two-year extension being offered to the U.K.?
WEBER: I would prefer to get clarity from the British friends what Brexit means. Is it a Norway model? Is it a Switzerland model? It is a set up
like what we have with the Canadians. Please tell us what you want.
Great Britain is leaving the E.U. and not the E.U. is leaving Great Britain. That's why they have to tell us what they want to achieve and
that is our basic problem that they have no idea what they want to achieve and that is bringing the uncertainty.
QUEST: But isn't that problem because they can't negotiate what they want. They can't negotiate the future until they've left. It's a chicken and egg
situation that's bedeviled the process from day one.
WEBER: No, no, not at all. Not at all. Because when you are leaving the European Union, you must have an idea. That is not our responsibility.
But the country who is leaving the European Union must have an idea what is the future relationship between Britain and the European Union and it is
their job to do so and frankly speaking, the political class is failing and that is a big, big risk for the future because people are going to vote for
populists. It's a political class. It is not any more capable to deliver on the most important even historic decisions, which are in front of the
(END VIDEO TAPE)
QUEST: Manfred Weber who may or may not be the next Commission President. A non-binding petition to revoke Article 50 and cancel Brexit has now
received one and a quarter million signatures. Nearly 2000 people are signing it per hour -- per minute, I beg your pardon -- per minute is a
record setting rate according to the U.K. Petitions Committee.
QUEST: The Parliament's petitions site reportedly crashed from the traffic which is now back and up. So, excuse me, we know what the people who
signed the petition wants. Where do you stand? Go to cnn.com/join -- a simple yes or a no. This is really simple. Should Theresa May or for that
we can rephrase that to the British government -- should the British revoke Article 50, and in doing so, stay in the E.U.?
Remember, you can -- the European Court said you can revoke Article 50, which is the bit that says you can leave, but you can't just do it again
and again and again. There has to be a democratic change of circumstance. So let's see -- should Theresa May revoke Article 50? Forgive me looking
down. I want to just see where we're going on this. Because I think it's going to be a bit overwhelming yes, keep. We will continue.
We are waiting for a press conference from Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk. We are waiting for the British Prime Minister Theresa May to give a
press conference after that, and we have no idea really, we can't confirm what they've agreed. You're getting the idea. It's a very busy night in
QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest, there is more "Quest Means Business" in just a moment. We are waiting for news on the E.U. extending the Brexit
deadline, but for how long and until when. That just all depends on Theresa May getting her deal through Parliament, what are the chances of
Boeing is subpoenaed as the 737 disasters turn into a criminal investigation.
Before that, this is CNN and in here, on this network, the facts always come first.
As we mentioned, Britain could get more time to leave the E.U. according to a draft agreement. European leaders are to extend the Brexit deadlines
possibly until May the 22nd, only if parliament approves Theresa May's Brexit withdrawal plan by next Friday.
Mrs. May and those EU leaders are due to speak, well, Friday's time now. Israel's Prime Minister is thanking Donald Trump, saying, you made history.
U.S. president announced on Twitter it is time for America to recognize Israel's sovereignty of the Golan Heights.
Israel annexed the territory from Syria in a move that was never recognized by any country in the world. New Zealand's Prime Minister says she is
confident the country will support a ban on military-style assault weapons. If parliament approves it, Jacinda Ardern hopes the new law will go into
effect on April the 11th. There're plans for the government to buy back banned guns for their owners.
Authorities in eastern China are investigating a powerful explosion at a chemical plant. At least six killed were killed, dozens more injured. A
blast damaged nearby homes and forced the evacuation of residents from homes over fears of toxic fumes. Over 70 people have been killed when an
overcrowded ferry capsized in Iraq's Tigris River. At least, 12 of the victims were children. The authorities say the ferry was carrying twice
its limited capacity to a tourist site to celebrate the Persian new year.
We're waiting for press conferences from EU leaders and Theresa May. So far, the EU leaders are holding the line on Brexit delays. Luxembourg's
Prime Minister foreshadowed what we're hearing, they wouldn't support an extension beyond parliamentary elections.
How much -- how much before was a matter of debate. The Dutch PM says the ball is in parliament -- U.K. parliament's court. As it will hope here
that a third vote will succeed. Meanwhile, President Macron is warning that leads -- all lead roads lead to a no-deal Brexit.
Few leaders are saying not public, Theresa May spoke earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: What is important is that parliament delivers on the results of the referendum and that we deliver
Brexit for the British people. I sincerely hope that we can do that with a deal. I'm still working on ensuring that parliament can agree a deal so
that we can leave in an orderly way. What matters is that we deliver on the vote of the British people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Busy day in Brussels, eight days to Brexit, we're grateful that David Herszenhorn; the chief Brussels correspondent of "Politico" has
joined us. Good to see you, sir, I know you're very busy, thank you. What is happening at the moment?
DAVID HERSZENHORN, CHIEF BRUSSELS CORRESPONDENT, POLITICO: Well, the leaders of the EU 27 remaining countries are debating very rigorously right
now, exactly when to set this new cliff edge, this new Brexit deadline by which the U.K. either has to have a deal in place or be automatically
They were focused as you were saying on May 22nd right before the European parliament election. Now, it seems thanks to the intervention of French
President Emmanuel Macron and others, they're looking at May 7th, pulling that deadline even further forward.
So right before a special summit that the leaders have scheduled in CEU(ph) in remaining here to talk about the future of the bloc.
QUEST: Right, well, hang on. That summit, just to talk about the future, that just -- I mean, that's a long way down the road in the sense that
she's still got to get the deal through parliament.
HERSZENHORN: Well, this is all contingent on her getting a third vote and actually changing the results of the previous few, getting a ratification
of this agreement. Nobody expects that. So there's some sense that all of this is an exercise in futility because she or someone representing the
U.K. government will have to come back and ask for a longer extension.
QUEST: Right, so which is why I'm finding it fascinating that they are arguing over the date whether it's May the 7th -- I understand there's a
political legal reality that it's got to be before certain dates and all of that sort of stuff. But nobody expected to get it through.
HERSZENHORN: No, but the EU is focused not on the U.K., but on the EU, and on risk mitigation for this bloc for the integrity of its institutions.
They have said quite clearly, if the U.K. is still a member, by treaty, it must hold European parliament elections. It must participate. If you push
this deadline right up until right before the election the day before, it's impossible for the U.K. to organize such an election --
QUEST: Sure, so --
HERSZENHORN: Yes --
QUEST: Play along with me, let's say she doesn't get it through, you and I and everybody else are back here next week because March the 29th is still
the legal deadline --
HERSZENHORN: That's right.
QUEST: And then they would have to agree a longer extension.
HERSZENHORN: They would have to agree potentially on a longer extension. But remember, the U.K. also has the right to unilaterally withdraw the
article 50 notification by which it triggered negotiations on its departure. That's a ruling of the European Court of Justice.
[15:35:00] So if they were to grant an extension at any point, even if the House of Commons has voted and signaled that it's ready to approve this
deal, if the deal isn't formally ratified, if it isn't a done and dusted situation, then there's always the chance the risk for the EU that, at that
last moment for some reason or another, Brexit gets undone. In that case, they've got to be ready, how to safeguard their entire operations.
That May 7th deadline might give them a little more time for that.
QUEST: OK, but that May 7th deadline only kicks in if she gets it through. If she doesn't get it through parliament, it's still March the 29th.
HERSZENHORN: This was a question that they were asking her today. An hour and 45 minutes of grilling Theresa May, and unfortunately for EU leaders,
it was a replay of December when she came after the first rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement by the House of Commons.
And they asked her, what's going on, what's next, what do you want to do? And she had no satisfactory answers. Again, today, officials telling us
that they learned nothing new from her about what the next steps are. Will she resign? Will there be a national election in the U.K.? Will there
be a second referendum on Brexit?
None of those questions were answered. They have no clarity. So you're right, there's an expectation that even perhaps as soon as next week, we'll
be back here with a special summit --
QUEST: We have to be -- by definition, we have to -- we have to be unless she gets it through.
HERSZENHORN: Or unless they grant an extension without conditionality. Where they say basically, they're willing to move this deadline down the
road and they may do that and just say look, whether it gets through or not, we're going to put this off until such and such a date, come back to
us when you're ready. That would change up things quite a bit and leave Theresa May with a bit more time to try and get this through --
QUEST: Is that likely?
HERSZENHORN: We just don't know, they're in there debating this right now, they're trashing this out.
QUEST: Just to give viewers a feeling for this, this is -- there's no pre- ordained results here, is there? There's no -- I mean, viewers often think, oh, they've all come this. I mean, they came here with a document of
envision, but the sausages are being made here.
HERSZENHORN: As we speak -- no, this European Council Summit are usually highly scripted and highly choreographed. They always go in with some sort
of plan, but then the leaders get around the table --
QUEST: Right --
HERSZENHORN: And they do this toward the top, and every one of them gets a say, some of them obviously have more influence and charisma than others.
And we hear Emmanuel Macron making his weight felt on behalf of France tonight, where he's really pushed for switching this up and looking at some
different opportunities compared to what Donald Tusk; the European --
QUEST: Right --
HERSZENHORN: Council president had proposed. And that happens all the time where they can come back and say, look, we're the ones in charge,
we've got a different idea --
QUEST: Final question, Don -- Macron, when he arrived suggested no deal was now a real option. Is he putting it on the table?
HERSZENHORN: No, he's not putting it on the table, Theresa May has put that back on the table earlier today, refusing to roll that out. Even
though, the one thing the House of Commons has voted for a majority is to avoid a no-deal scenario. And she's saying of course, we know that in a
practical sense, there's no way to take no deal off the table.
But we do think there's a chance, the House of Commons will try to seize this --
QUEST: Right --
HERSZENHORN: Back from the Prime Minister, and tell her look, we're not willing to risk that, it could be cataclysmic, that's what they want. Nice
to be with you.
QUEST: Good to see you, sir.
HERSZENHORN: Exciting day --
QUEST: It's going to be a long night.
HERSZENHORN: Long night for sure.
QUEST: A really long night. Keep -- come back and tell us more, you've got --
HERSZENHORN: Any time.
QUEST: Thank you very much. A reminder of our vote at cnn.com-slash-join, more than 80 percent of you say the British government should revoke
article 50, keep the U.K. in the EU. I'm actually surprised only 15 percent said no. Anyway, and as -- if you haven't cast your vote, come
on, I'm going to leave it open a little bit longer. I have the power.
Not much else, but we'll leave it open during the break. The key stumbling block in Brexit has been the backstop, the Irish backstop. Now, some in
Northern Ireland are worried their representatives won't stick by them. We'll be in Belfast, we'll be in Northern Ireland with Nic Robertson after
the break. This is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS from Brussels.
[15:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION: In the event, the Withdrawal Agreement will not be approved by the house, you have to come
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: In the event, it will not be approved. One of the biggest obstacles to a deal is Ireland. The citizens of Northern Ireland are
concerned, they're worried DUP won't stand up for their interests. And let's not forget, the DUP is propping up the British government.
CNN's Nic Robertson is in Northern Ireland.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: This is DUP heartland territory. The Democratic Unionist Party or more voters here think could
impact Theresa May's final days of negotiations with the European Union. It is Lisburn; Northern Ireland's third largest city, relatively
prosperous, proudly loyal to mainland U.K., but increasingly worried about their place in it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Be a part of the U.K., am I seeing myself as a part of the U.K.? But I don't know, because I don't want this, no, to see U.K.
run this. No, maybe not, so it is quite worrying.
ROBERTSON: Do you think Theresa May is going to look after you and trust other people of Northern Ireland?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think so.
ROBERTSON: Why not?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't think she should because I don't think she should have said that in the first place.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Many here are counting on the DUP to stick up for them, ensure Northern Ireland's bonds to the U.K. remain unchanged.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, DUP's rule now is critical, they've got responsibility and I don't know whether that responsibility for them is
going to be absolutely brutal(ph).
ROBERTSON (on camera): Do you feel that Theresa May is not listening to the DUP at the minute?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think she is listening, but she's backed herself into a corner. If there was a deal that said that Theresa May, she could dump
ROBERTSON: I don't know what political cost would that be for the DUP here, do you think?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think it could be a very significant cost.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Some already sensing the DUP might abandon its red lines and shift blame to May's hardliners.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: DUP said they've got only politicians, and yet, there's quite a few more under, saying the same thing as them. They don't know how
they could blame DUP if things do go wrong.
ROBERTSON: And others contemplating what their parents generation would never have done, turning their back on the unionist roots.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think we've tried governing ourselves, we've tried being governed by Westminster. So maybe the option is to be governed by
ROBERTSON (on camera): United Ireland. Do you think the DUP is afraid of that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, of course, of course, they are, of course, they've got to kick out.
ROBERTSON: She was right about the anger, without any prompting, a passerby jumps in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No matter what you think --
ROBERTSON: It's not what I think --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or what you say, no, no matter what you think, there will never be a united Ireland in our lifetime.
ROBERTSON: I was going to ask you that question, in your life-time, do you think it will happen?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
ROBERTSON: Yes, and why -- and you're laughing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What natives know now --
ROBERTSON: Where unionists were once united, a Pandora's box has been opened. The DUP, Theresa May, the EU will struggle to put a lid on it.
Nic Robertson, CNN, Lisburn, Northern Ireland.
QUEST: Tom Newton Dunn; a political editor of "The Sun" is with me. Good to see you sir --
TOM NEWTON DUNN, POLITICAL EDITOR, THE SUN: You too in the flesh --
QUEST: Absolutely, but one of them, just talking via satellite, so what's going to happen? What is happening as you understand it from the British
point of view?
DUNN: From the British point of view --
QUEST: Yes --
[15:45:00] DUNN: Well, I can tell you, there's a whole lot of British journalists in there trying to work that out. Somewhere up there is our
Prime Minister in a room, I'm told without any windows in it at all, waiting for some two and a half hours now, will soon be three and then four
potentially to work out really what is Britain's future.
Because it's not any longer being decided by the British Prime Minister, it's being decided by the EU-27. In other words, what on earth it is that
we'll be leaving the EU or possibly not.
QUEST: All right, so let's factor this in. She's come to ask for an extension, they're going to give us something of an extension, just it
doesn't really matter whether it's April the 8th, May the 5th, whatever.
DUNN: Yes --
QUEST: One of the clauses has to be that she's got to get it through parliament.
DUNN: So we thought. This is why -- so I hear --
QUEST: Yes, go on --
DUNN: Everything is completely up in the air. So what's happening now is the EU-27 are going round the table and everyone is chipping in their own
ideas. So for example, Theresa May who wanted June the 30th, that was taken off the table quickly and May the 22nd was imposed, but still with
this cut off that she had to pass her deal, then the likes of the Germans who started up -- I believe it was the Germans, who said, well, she's not
going to make anything conditional, you could either have a short extension or a very long extension, but everything is on the table.
That will take huge amounts of pressure off MPs to back a deal and probably which has rolled into a long extension. Then the Danes popped up and said,
no, it should be June the 30th. So it's going on and on. We have at the moment no idea whether this Britain will be leaving the EU or under what
terms of conditions.
QUEST: What will the point of offering this open-ended, because she's still got to go back to the U.K. --
DUNN: Absolutely --
QUEST: And pass -- and pass legislation, taking June the -- March the 29th off the table.
DUNN: Completely, and that is exactly why the Prime Minister wanted to exact some tough terms actually from the EU. So that she has some sort of
leverage on her own MPs.
QUEST: But is it your own understanding that ultimately her deal dies, we're into our long extension and everything is on the table. Suddenly,
Norway, plus EEA, you're literally renegotiating from scratch.
DUNN: But we -- my understanding is I believe that is exactly what would happen. If there's no Withdrawal Agreement passed, effectively, we're into
a very long day. There's of course the option of no deal, remember, because if there's no withdrawal, we will pass that as the default, we
leave without a deal.
Unless, Theresa May can agree to go for this long demand. And remember, that is going to be an unbelievable battle royal next week.
QUEST: Right, so she knows we're long delayed, she's out. She's out because she's perfectly a settler --
DUNN: With the --
QUEST: She said last night, I will not seek a delay beyond June the 30th.
DUNN: Well, so she actually said, she herself would never seek this long delay on June the 30th. So she -- if she choose her words, everything is
up in the air --
QUEST: She's got --
DUNN: She couldn't apply that, but her deal full, so the House of Commons votes the next day, probably Wednesday, she said actually, we want a long
delay, what does she then do? Because she's already said she's not going to impose that. My suspicion is, she probably would go and impose and go back
and ask for long delay because parliament would have spoken, it's a bad look for any prime minister to go against the will of the people's elected
representatives, but then will probably have to resign the very next day.
QUEST: And who would take over?
DUNN: Now, that's another huge can of worms, anyone of the 20 Tory MPs, my guess is none of the cabinet, none of the above, because they will make
such a great hush of things, there will be a new boy, a 2015 intake brand new MP, someone we've never even heard of.
QUEST: Is that something that they want here? Is it really -- do they want -- does Europe want short of her? Do they want a new broom when the by-
election or otherwise because Jeremy Corbyn has been in town today --
DUNN: Yes --
QUEST: Is that causing mischief?
DUNN: Yes --
QUEST: And do they want a new broom so that they can start afresh and get a new deal?
DUNN: I bet it differs widely. So there's a third -- I mean, I think they're all quite frustrated with her because we hear stories from the room
upstairs now that they also had other questions, she was customarily evasive self, they didn't give her a whole lot of few -- then a whole lot
So they are tired of her demeanor. The problem is sometimes it is better than the devil you know, because if she is to be replaced, almost
certainly, be by a Brexiteer, and a Brexiteer could be in the shape of Boris Johnson. And we know the EU, if they don't like anyone, it's Boris.
QUEST: My last question to you. Anybody watching and hopefully lots of you are watching, that they might suggest that in all of this, the ultimate
goal will be that Britain does not leave the EU. Well, my understanding is that really, that is still the wish, you know, that is still the -- that is
still a point that they're negotiating towards.
DUNN: So the EU I think does need to be quite careful here. The EU keeps on saying it's respected the will of the British people, it's respected the
referendum results, however, if it was to machinate upstairs as we speak, some sort of extensional arrangement that basically encourages the MPs to
ignore her deal next week and jump into bed with them for a long delay, that would I think seemed to have crossed the line.
QUEST: Right, but this idea -- and we'll take a break in a second, but this idea that Europe has taken control of the British government in this
[15:50:00] DUNN: Listen, it's undeniable that the British government is no longer in control when it leaves the EU, and that is a decision the EU
has now taken up, so the British government can say or the British parliament can say, we are not going to go along with that. But that's the
only say it has left in this.
QUEST: If the (INAUDIBLE) --
DUNN: Indeed, the same as you.
QUEST: Yes --
DUNN: Don't go anywhere yet.
QUEST: Don't go too forward because we need you to interpret -- good to see you, thank you. Now, a look at the pound, the pound not surprisingly -
- well, have a look at the pound, it fell, but look at -- the pound was under pressure, the FTSE actually rose and this is rather extraordinary,
but this is because of course U.K. companies do well when the pound gets cheaper and there's a certain perversion about this.
And so far all the markets looking a little unrealistic. As we continue after two deadly crashes in six months, a criminal probe closes in on
Boeing. Sources tell CNN the Justice Department has issued subpoenas. We'll talk about that after the break. And from bell bottoms to billions,
Levi is back on the stock market, a new chapter for the 160-year-old company. We'll be right back.
QUEST: A criminal investigation into Boeing is gathering steam. The U.S. Justice Department has issued subpoenas. It wants to see the safety
certification and the marketing documents. It follows two crashes at the 737 Max aircraft. David Soucie investigates these sorts of things, is with
me. What are they looking for? Why a criminal investigation?
DAVID SOUCIE, FORMER FAA SAFETY INSPECTOR: Well, Richard, what they're looking and what would be the worst-case scenario for Boeing and for Dennis
Muilenburg would be a finding that they were reckless in their safety, reckless endangerment of safety.
And if that is indeed found to be the truth, he could be facing class F felony charges, and that's what we have most certainly. It's not something
that they want to be looking at, but that is what they will be looking for.
QUEST: David, what is the likelihood of personal charges as opposed to corporate? I can see that Boeing might get charged with something. But
individual liability, culpability of top management?
SOUCIE: You know, it actually could go that far, Richard, because at what point do you draw the line? Who knew about it? Who made that decision to
continue to fly after the Lion Air is really what they're going to be looking at because there was obviously the follow on accident.
[15:55:00] So -- but I believe that that's not going to go there. And the reason I believe that is because of the extent of how the FAA has delegated
so much of the responsibility for the certification of the airplanes unto Boeing itself. So there's some culpability with the FAA in this process of
And honestly, I have no idea how that would work itself out.
QUEST: David, we never count dollars before bodies, but Boeing's share price has fallen maybe 10 percent or so, even as these allegations swirl of
criminal investigations, it continues to fall. But the reality is, allies cannot just suddenly change their entire fleet and they cannot just, you
know, change to Airbus overnight. So to some extent, you know, Boeing is somewhat immune in this.
SOUCIE: That's a very good point, Richard, and when we look at -- look back at the 787 when it had trouble with the lithium batteries if you
recall, those aircrafts were grounded as well because they were having fires.
And now I think the difference here is that, there was something physical, people saw it, they saw it and they can understand that the fix is the fix.
It is either going to start on fire again or it's not. The challenge here is the ambiguity in what software looks like to human beings and their
ability to grasp the facts that these digits are keeping us safe.
So I think that's going to present a unique problem for Boeing in trying to keep the confidence and the leadership role that they've had throughout
their entire existence really, as far as being the best at what they do.
QUEST: All right, if we look at this, the Ethiopians are doing their investigation at the moment, we haven't really heard much from them,
there's been no full scale press conferences as such, are you worried yet?
SOUCIE: You know, the data that I've got that's already publicly available, and actually frankly was available, the day that it occurred on
the ABSB terrestrial satellite transmissions, that is very damming. And I think that I'm very worried about not --
QUEST: Right --
SOUCIE: Just this particular issue, but how it's being handled from their safety management perspective.
QUEST: All right, David, thank you, thank you, sir. And we'll have to leave it for this hour --
SOUCIE: Thank you, Richard --
QUEST: From Brussels, we're continuing to wait for the news conferences and the actual details frankly, of what it is they have agreed in an event
that's going much longer tonight. Because the news never stops, neither do we. This is CNN.