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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
U.K. Parliament to Vote on Key Brexit Amendment; President Trump Says it Wouldn't Bother Him if the Full Russia Report was Released; Trump Recognizes Golan Heights as Israeli Territory; Israel Strikes Office of Hamas Leader in Gaza; Ethiopian Airlines CEO Stands By Boeing Despite Crash; Shares Rise as Ethiopian Airlines CEO Backs Boeing; Apple Takes on Netflix, Unveils New Streaming App. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired March 25, 2019 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARDD QUEST, HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: We are an hour away from the closing bell on Wall Street, and as you can see, the markets are a bit
betwixt in between. But the losses and the numbers involved aren't that sizable and a small rally is under way. so put it together and let's
understand the markets on Monday, March 25th.
Theresa May is clinging to power and admits her Brexit plan doesn't have support. The MV3 which of course is another vote. Apple turns in to a
bank, a movie studio and news agent, all with the flick of a, well, you know, a phone. And don't just do it, Michael Avenatti charged with trying
to extort money from Nike. Tonight, we are live from Westminster outside the Houses of Parliament, I'm Richard Quest and absolutely, I mean
A very good evening and a warm welcome. Tonight, the British Prime Minister Theresa May says there is not enough support yet for her to put a
third vote on her Brexit deal. The Prime Minister is fighting for her political life as well. She is refusing to give up on the deal which was
soundly rejected twice. And now Members of Parliament are trying to take matters in to their own hands. There will be a series of votes over the
next few hours. Theresa May remains defiant.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I know that the deal I've put forward is a compromise. It seeks to deliver on the referendum and retain trust in
our democracy while also respecting the concerns of those who voted to remain.
But if this House can back it, we could be out of the European Union in less than two months. There will nobody further extensions. No threat to
Brexit and no risk of a no deal. That I believe is the way to deliver the Brexit the British people voted for and I commend this statement to the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: We still have important developments over the weekend, on Saturday hundreds of thousands of people marched through London demanding an end to
Brexit or at least a second referendum. More than five million people have now signed the petition, the online petition, to revote Article 50 and
cancel Brexit altogether.
On Sunday, Theresa May held a crunch meeting with her Cabinet and senior Members of her Party who are opposing the Prime Minister in what she is
trying to put forward. Now, let's talk about all of this with Bianca Nobilo who is with me. There is a very enthusiastic group of singers who
have decided to give us renditions of old favorites.
BIANCA NOBILO CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Yes, to the tune of either supporting Brexit or either wanting a second referendum. But at least they are
changing it up because usually it is the same song and you and I have spent enough nights out here that we appreciate that.
QUEST: So what is tonight all about? Not I mean for the singers, I mean, in Parliament, what is it about?
NOBILO: Well, actually, for the singers and in Parliament, it is about whether or not the House of Commons takes control of the Brexit process.
You have already mentioned Theresa May's leadership and authority is hanging by a thread. Granted, it has been pretty fragile since 2017 when
she lost her majority, but the papers on the weekend splashed with it is time to go Theresa, rumors of a coup, having to summon the chief
Eurosceptics as well as some loyalists to Chequers where Elizabethan Kings and Queens used to banish people tucked away in the country side to make
sure that she averts some kind of Tory Civil War. This is really, really fragile politically for the Prime Minister.
QUEST: Okay, what are the options though? If she goes, you have got either her Deputy, David Lidington or arguably Michael Gove, one of the
Member of her Cabinet. I mean, why do they want her to go besides arguably the bad job she's done so far?
NOBILO: Well, you make a good point, because often what you hear MPs who rush to her support saying, "We don't need to change the person, we need to
change the policy." But those that have an issue with Theresa May have a personal problem with the way that she conducted negotiations, they think
she hasn't approached MPs, she hasn't tried to see where the consensus is. That was even mentioned. I was watching the debate just now in the Chamber
by the opposition and they said she has to be dragged kicking and screaming to listen to other people on Brexit that is why we're in this predicament,
so they said.
QUEST: So tonight, they're going to do a vote -- they're going to vote in a few hours' time on whether or not to take control of the Parliamentary
agenda, the calendar so that they can initiate their own votes.
QUEST: But the Prime Minister has already said she will give Wednesday or a day to be debated. So why are these amendments still even there?
NOBILO: They want to make sure it happens. And it is interesting that the government is absorbing this now as part of their own policy. They are not
trying to avoid it completely. They see that it is inevitable. So that could be because if there is no option which has the majority after a
series of indicative votes, well, that does work in the Prime Minister's favor and makes her deal more appealing.
Or if there is a majority for a softer Brexit, then that might scare the Prime Minister's Brexiteers into backing her deal. But either way, these
are indicative votes which means they are advisory. It doesn't bind the government to follow them, but it would heap on political pressure. They
would have to pay attention.
QUEST: Are you going to be with me later on when the votes happen tonight?
NOBILO: I think so, yes.
QUEST: All right. You have to be dressed warmer than that. It's getting brisk out tonight. We all think it's going to be a bit spring like, but
actually, it's pretty brisk tonight.
QUEST: Good to see you. Thank you. Now, we want you to join in the conversation. Get out whatever communication device you find agreeable and
go to cnn.com/join. The European Union says it has finished its preparations if Britain leaves with no deal. So we ask you, who is best
prepared? Who is well prepared for a no deal? Is it the U.K., the E.U., both of them or neither of them?
Now think about this. We know great preparations have been done, we know that the various authorities in Britain have brought in the Ministry of
Defense. We know the Europeans have been going around each country, but who is best prepared? Vote now at cnn.com/join and the results will be on
Some Members of Parliament tonight are wanting to take control and the Speaker has allowed a vote that could give it to them. The Brexit
amendment -- I wonder why there's no people in the House and the Chamber at the moment, but that will fill up towards 10:00 in three hours from now.
Under consideration, there is an amendment if it passed or results in a series of votes on how to proceed with Brexit. The opposition leader says
Parliament has to take control.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER, LABOUR PARTY: The government has had over two years to find a solution and has failed. It is time, Mr. Speaker, we put an end
to this and move on from the chaos and failure and begin to clean up the mess. It is time for Parliament to work together and agree on a Plan B.
If she's brave, the Prime Minister would help facilitate this. If not, Parliament must send a clear message in the coming days. Mr. Speaker, I
hope where the government has failed, this House can and will succeed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Sam Coates is Deputy Political Editor of "The Times" of London and whether or not she passes or whether she resigns or not, none of that gets
over the fact that you have to still come up with something by April 12th.
SAM COATES, DEPUTY POLITICAL EDITOR, THE TIMES: Absolutely. Look, make no mistake about it, this is what failure looks like in the Brexit process.
You are seeing ramifications in Parliament, rumors of a coup, problems getting her deal through, people trying to take control. This is because
the government has essentially lost control of where we are.
Minutes before coming on air, I was just speaking to a Member of the Cabinet and I asked them, what am I missing? What is the plan? And they
said, well, there isn't one. Let's see where we are in 24 hours' time. I thinks the sense of drift now is acute in British politics.
QUEST: Okay. So get rid of her, the Prime Minister, you have got to replace her with something and you still have got to get something through
COATES: What essentially you've got underlying this is a clash, a clash between the executive, the government, Number 10, and Parliament, the
Commons, MPs, and as you say, there is no fundamental way of resolving that unless the plan changes in the way that the Commons can agree with or that
the Prime Minister changes her view and her red lines.
QUEST: All right, the red line being --
COATES: Theresa May has promised to leave the Customs Union and the single market, which is probably too hard a Brexit for many of the people in
QUEST: But it's not too hard a Brexit for some of her own people.
COATES: So she is trapped in the middle of her Parliament that probably has got a majority for a softer Brexit and her own Party where the center
of gravity is for a harder Brexit. Nobody would want to be in that situation.
QUEST: Do the MPs fully understand what a softer Brexit would mean? They may realize that it is going to have downside, you know -- I mean, it is
easier on the economy, but the vassal state argument, rule taker not a maker is valid, too.
COATES: Yes, I mean, I think they do. I mean, look, there are no good options at this point. And I think and people are scrambling for a short
term solution to a permanent problem for the United Kingdom in what to do next.
The great problem that the United Kingdom has with Brexit is that "the" decision hasn't been taken. That decision is whether after Brexit we
should be close to the European Union or a long way away and essentially what Britain has been doing is trying to avoid that decision.
QUEST: Or fooling or Britain is fooling itself that it can have one -- I mean, on both sides fooling themselves that they can have one without the
other. They could get -- but one thing, is tonight a no deal Brexit closer or further away do you think?
COATES: Well, this afternoon, Theresa May said that she wasn't going to permit a no deal Brexit without a vote in the Commons. There is no
majority in the Commons for a no deal Brexit and they would never vote that through.
Now, legally it is still possible to have a no deal Brexit, unless the law changes even domestic law or European law to give us a longer extension,
but nevertheless that is the first time Theresa May has said that and it is a pretty significant commitment, so to answer your question, a little bit
QUEST: All right, so quickly, our question on cnn.com/join, who is well prepared for a no deal Brexit, U.K., E.U., both, neither? How would you
QUEST: Who is best prepared for a no deal Brexit? U.K., E.U., neither, both?
COATES: I think Britain would cope in the very short term. I think the problems with no deal -- what happened in month two, month three, when
sensitive supply lines get interrupted.
QUEST: Good to see you, sir. Thank you. President Trump and the White House are celebrating a victory; and now the next phase of his presidency
begin. In a moment.
QUEST: Washington and Moscow now, where leaders are both in buoyant moods after claiming what they have already been claiming, they had been
exonerated by the Mueller report. The U.S. Attorney General William Barr says the two-year investigation found no evidence of collusion between the
Trump campaign and Russia for the 2016 presidential election.
Though the report stopped short of clearing the President of obstruction of justice. Mr. Trump wasted no time going after his critics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will tell you, I love this country. I love this country as much as I can love anything -- my family,
my country, my God. But what they did, it was a false narrative, it was a terrible thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: David Gergen is with us. David is in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Well, I mean, vindicated on the issue of Russian collusion. Is that in
your view the end of the matter?
DAVID GERGEN, SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST, CNN: I think, Richard -- it's good to talk to you again. Overall it does end the matter with regard to
conspiracy. It does not end the matter with regard to obstruction of justice. Democrats are claiming that in effect, the Attorney General has
overstepped his bounds in saying there is no case to be brought on obstruction. And they want to see all the records and the documents and
make the report public so they can figure out in fact whether there is a strong case that the Attorney General went too far.
But I must tell you, as a general proposition, Richard, this was the most significant day of the Trump presidency. He has been under this dark cloud
for a long time now. There are other investigations going on, but this was the big one. This was the big enchilada, and there are many, many
Democrats, many people who don't like Trump who are extremely disappointed by the outcome.
But I think the issue about whether there was conspiracy is settled. And it is settled in favor of the President and that is a victory for him. Now
a lot depends on what spirit does he conduct himself in the days ahead?
QUEST: This idea of no obstruction of justice, the Special Counsel specifically says he could not exonerate -- he would not have an opinion on
it, he would not bring -- could not bring forward, but while it raises the question why the Attorney General decided not to, I mean, clearly there is
no overarching slam dunk obstruction of justice charge out there or they have both would have gone for it.
GERGEN: Absolutely. But I think that the Attorney General is guided heavily by his view even before he became the Attorney General when he
wrote this piece in which he said essentially that if there is no underlying crime, by definition the President does not obstruct and he
leans heavily on that proposition.
What is the person supposed to be accused of obstructing if there is nothing that is there that he is trying to protect that is illegal if he is
not trying to -- then by definition, he is not obstructing using the powers of his presidency. Many will argue that. The Democratic side will argue
against that view, but that is a good view that does have some legitimacy.
QUEST: Right. Now let's go to the politics of it. Does this in some shape or form greatly benefit the President in his re-election campaign?
It is red meat to his base. He is entitled to say they found nothing, and look, the establishment is after me and if the Democrats in Congress
continue, they look like very poor losers.
GERGEN: Right. I think that it is a time that calls for some restraint by the Democrats to try to lower the heat in all of this and the candidate for
the Democratic nomination, notably on the campaign trail are not saying much about this. They are sticking issues like the future of healthcare,
and the state of the economy over the long term, AI and all the rest. And I think that is where the Democrats should be.
Trump now has, Richard, I do think that he has the potential for hitting a reset button in his presidency and putting himself in much better position.
But it so much depends on whether he can restrain himself, whether he can self-discipline because he is clearly still angry, and if he deals with
this in a vindictive fashion as he has already started to do, I think that the goodwill that he's won with independent voters through the Mueller
report will quickly evaporate.
QUEST: David Gergen, thank you. And apologies for listeners who can hear democracy in action as the Brexiteers behind me shout in lusty voices.
David, I know you would approve democracy in this phase. Good to see you sir, thank you.
GERGEN: Good to see you, Richard. Take care.
QUEST: While the summary of the Special Counsel's report does not mention any involvement from the Trump campaign, it does refer to dramatic
cyberattacks from Russian government actors in an attempt to influence the last year's election.
Bill Browder is an outspoken critic of the Kremlin. He helped pushed for the Magnitsky Act to sanction Russian officials over human rights abuses.
The CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, with me now. Good to see you.
BILL BROWDER, CEO, HERMITAGE CAPITAL MANAGEMENT: Good to see you.
QUEST: All right, so no collusion says the Special Counsel. So we have to accept that as being true. But this is far from saying that the Russians
weren't in it up to their eyeballs.
BROWDER: Well, they were in it up to their eyeballs. I think this has been established for the last two years and the Special Counsel said in his
report that they were up to it -- up to their eyeballs both in terms of Facebook, Twitter, and in terms of hacking. And that is established now
and one of the most interesting parts of the whole story is the Russians are all cheering the Mueller report, but Mueller report basically indicts
Vladimir Putin and the Russians.
QUEST: Right, but they are cheering the Mueller report -- three lines of the Mueller report, which says there is no collusion and I'm forgetting
about the other 420 odd pages or whatever.
BROWDER: Right, and I think they should not be cheering.
QUEST: But in terms of the other elections that the Russians have been involved in or other issues that you know of and that others know of, where
have we seen that activity and where should we be at risk? For example, the European elections next May?
BROWDER: Well, the European elections are coming right up and we know for sure that Russia is involved. They are involved with the far right party
in France, the Le Pen Party, a Czech bank that was owned by Russians loaned money, large amounts of money to the Le Pen party. We know that Salvini,
the far right candidate, the Putin-loving far right candidate in Italy is getting funding from Russia and we know that the Harmony Party in Latvia is
getting funding from Russia. And so we're in this world now where Russia is not even -- they are not even holding back on this whole thing.
QUEST: There is an important difference perhaps and correct me if you don't agree, obviously, between giving money and actually doing something
physically an overt act in that way, and the online stuff that they have been doing, the trolling, the farms and the online farms and all of that.
BROWDER: Well, I haven't even spoken about that, I mean, the money -- and in certain ways, the most egregious.
QUEST: That's what I mean, that's just the worst part.
BROWDER: And they are not even trying to hide that. I mean, they are out in the open giving money, trolling, cyberattacking, hacking. They are
doing the whole thing and nobody is stepping up and saying they have to stop this.
QUEST: But who are -- who is being attacked in the sense of who is being affected? Look, I cannot remember seeing -- I mean, I am here now,
probably if we were still in the E.U. after we have the vote in the European elections, but I don't see any relevance of any Russian trolling
or any Russian hacking or anything on my Facebook feed. How is it actually working?
BROWDER: Well, it doesn't take a lot of money by the way to help support a -- European elections are cheap compared to some and what I can say for
sure is that when you get people from the far right in the European Parliament, they can do bad stuff. And I saw it myself just recently, they
tried to take Sergei Magnitsky's name, the name of my murdered lawyer off of the E.U. Magnitsky Act proposal in the European Parliament and it was
being pushed by the far right and all sorts of other Russian sympathizers in the European Parliament. And that's just one micro example.
QUEST: What do they want? What do they want at the end of the day? I mean, besides just to sow discord and create a mess?
BROWDER: Well, it's very simple. Putin can never rise -- never raise Russia up to the level of us and so he is kind of bringing us down to the
level of Russia and he is doing it with chaos. You see it out here right now, Brexit. I mean, this was another thing they supported. He wants to
break up the European Union, and he loves this stuff. He loves the fact that we're at each other's throats right now.
QUEST: But how is he responsible or how is he pushing -- pouring petrol on the flames in that sense?
BROWDER: Well, I can't -- I haven't analyzed exactly what he has done, but what we can say is they've supported Brexit for sure. It is part of their
overall strategic policy. They were bringing in all of these Brexiteers to the Russian embassy 13 times, and God knows what else because there is no
Mueller report here in the U.K.
QUEST: After the poisonings in the U.K., the Skripal poisonings in the U.K., are there further traces of the poison was found -- did you become
more concerned for your own welfare?
BROWDER: Well, I think that everybody who was --
QUEST: No, but you, particularly because they are after you.
BROWDER: Yes, they are after me and that they have been after me for a long time. I would say that the level of alert that I'm on is at the
highest level and it has been on the highest level. It is not as if it got worse during the Skripal situation. They have been after me, they want to
kill me, they want to kidnap me, they want to extradite me back to Russia. They want to do a lot of bad stuff and that hasn't changed.
And the only thing that has changed is now we have all this money sloshing around sort of loosening up politicians that might have been anti-Russia
before, but who aren't that way now, and that is very concerning for me and for everybody.
QUEST: Finally, what do we need to do? We, as in the west.
BROWDER: We need to wake up and understand that Russia is a maligned influence. Putin is a maligned influence and we have to contain him.
BROWDER: There has to be a containment strategy containing the criminal nature of the Russian regime in the same way that we contained the Soviet
communist spread many years ago during the Cold War.
QUEST: I'm old enough to remember. Good to see you as always, sir. Thank you very much, indeed.
The high profile lawyer Michael Avenatti has been charged with trying to extort more $20 million from Nike. He was arrested on Monday morning in
New York City according to law enforcement. Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles have separately charged him with Federal bank fraud and wire fraud.
Avenatti represented the adult film actress, Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against U.S. President Donald Trump. Our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey
Toobin joins me now.
Jeffrey, I was reading the complaint. All of this happened last week. This isn't one of those complaints that happened three years ago. This was
only last Thursday.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST, CNN: Absolutely. The New York case is one that just happened. The California case which is where he was also
charged is one that according to the prosecutors has been going on for several years, but this is a very unusual situation as you point out,
Richard, that it is effectively an ongoing crime where Avenatti has been are arrested in the middle of it.
QUEST: I mean, the nuts and bolts of the New York one are he said his client had damaging information about Nike and was going to hold a press
conference and reveal it to the world on the date of their own press conference and in that, they got $1.5 million. That is against the law,
TOOBIN: Well, it is not just the $1.5 million. According to the complaint, at one point he asked for $12 million and at another point, he
asked for $22 million. So, I mean, the numbers being thrown around are very large. What is illegal is, if you are using the leverage of a
possible corporate misconduct not to try to file a lawsuit, not try to cure the corporate misconduct, but simply to ask for a payoff for yourself in
return for not holding the press conference. That is what is alleged here and if that is what was done, that is illegal.
QUEST: I mean you couldn't write it, you couldn't make it up. Jeffrey, I mean, the man who was Stormy Daniels' lawyer who has been with involved in
numerous other events. I mean, I can already hear people saying that this is a fix up, this is Trump going after Stormy Daniels' lawyer who has done
him so much reputational damage. Convince me that I'm wrong.
TOOBIN: Well, I'm not here to convince you, but I mean, these are two very different cases. And each in their own way are garden variety criminal
charges. The issue with on the West Coast was Avenatti was an investor in a coffee company and the coffee company didn't do well and he was trying to
get loans and the allegation is that he submitted false documentation, false income tax returns, false financial statements in order to get the
That is a garden variety white collar crime and if this case goes to trial, we'll see if the documents are false. But that certainly doesn't seem like
something that was cooked up by the President's men. That seems like a fraud that the Federal government charges with some regularity.
In New York, admittedly it is a much stranger case because there are not a lot of extortion cases involving high profile companies like Nike. But if
it is true that Michael Avenatti went to Nike and said, "Give me $12 million or I'll destroy your company," that is extortion. Now, we'll wait
to hear what Avenatti says in response, but at least on the surface, none of this looks like it was cooked up by Donald Trump's henchmen against
Stormy Daniels's former lawyer.
Keep in mind also that Stormy Daniels and Michael Avenatti have parted company and that marriage as it were, did not he said happily either.
QUEST: Yes, on that note we'll call it quits. Good to see you, Jeffrey Toobin. Thank you very much.
The Parliament has been accused of not coming up with a Brexit plan. That commands the majority's support. That could change tonight. We'll discuss
what will come out of a series of -- it is called indicative votes. If the shouters are behind me are indicative of anything, we'll never get through
[15:30:00] RICHARD QUEST, HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: The shouters behind me are indicative of everything that we'll never get through this.
QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest, there's more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in just a moment. Theresa May faces a new humiliating defeat in parliament and
that could throw her Brexit time table further off course. And from credit cards to original content, Apple is unveiling a future that goes way beyond
new phones or laptops. As you and I continue together tonight, this is CNN and on this network, the facts, they always come first.
Donald Trump says he wouldn't mind if the full report on the Russia investigation is released, but says that's up to his Attorney General
William Barr. It was summarized in a report saying it finds the Trump campaign did not conspire with Russia during the election.
The special counsel's report did not issue a judgment on obstruction of justice, leaving Barr to weigh in, he says no offenses occurred. President
Trump has formally declared that the Golan Heights belongs to Israel. He signed a proclamation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his
side. No other country recognizes Israel's annexation of the Golan from Syria, considering it -- who considers it occupied territory instead.
Israel says it's destroy the office of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza. Fighter jets carried on the air strikes on the building which Israel's
defense forces claims was used for terror purposes. The attack comes hours after a rocket was fired at an Israeli village injuring several civilians.
More now on the Israeli strike on Hamas leader's office. CNN's Oren Liebermann is with me on the line. What happened?
[15:35:00] OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Richard, this all started early this morning about 5 O'clock in the morning, and saw
that a rocket was fired from Gaza into Israel, it is the farthest a rocket has come into Israel since the end of the 2014 war.
It landed on a home in a small village in Tel Aviv, wounding seven inside. We knew Israel's response was coming, they waited until sundown, so they
waited quite a few hours throughout the day, now that response has began. Israel carrying out a number of airstrikes including against the office of
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.
That indicates, this is a bigger, more wide-ranging response than we've seen before in previous rounds of fighting between Israel and Hamas as well
as Israel hitting a number of other targets. Hamas has begun responding, with that, there had been red alarms, which is the rocket siren sounding
all across the Gaza periphery throughout the evening.
Richard, to be correct, this -- tonight, that is just the beginning perhaps and this is only the beginning of the escalation. So it could be a very
long night in Gaza and other Gaza periphery.
QUEST: Do we know of any injuries following the Israeli retaliation?
LIEBERMANN: We don't on either side in fact yet know of any injuries. There were some reports earlier in the day that Hamas is basically emptying
out their buildings, their infrastructure, their headquarters and their military positions, anticipating the Israeli response. We have not yet
heard of injuries on the Israeli side either, but again, Richard, the night is still young and we'll certainly be monitoring this story as it
QUEST: Please, Oren, please come back to us when there is more to report. Oren Liebermann in Israel joining us. We're expecting several significant
votes in the building behind me in the coming hours, one specifically opposed by Theresa May would give lawmakers the power basically to take
control over the agenda on how to proceed with Brexit. Political analyst Carole Walker is with me.
There are three amendments coming up tonight. One takes control, one is housekeeping about early warning if it goes wrong, which one is it going to
pass or fail?
CAROLE WALKER, POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it looks as though the one that is most likely to pass and most likely to be most significant is that one
which will allow a group of back bench MPs to seize control of the parliamentary time table to have a series of indicative votes looking at a
whole series of different options for the future course of Brexit on Wednesday.
And what's interesting is that the senior conservative behind that, Oliver Letwin, has just been making a speech in parliament. He's been saying how
he sees these votes not as simply a chance for MPs to air their views, but the start of a process. And what he has been indicating is that if there
is a majority around a new alternative route, perhaps something like a Customs Union single market much closer relationship with the European
Union than the government wants.
Then MPs might try to actually legislate to force the government's hand. You'd then have parliament trying to dictate a policy which is totally
contradictory to that of the government, in that case, you could be in for a general election as one senior minister has already admitted.
QUEST: OK, well, this is -- this is out of control now, isn't it?
WALKER: Well, look, Theresa May has been fast losing control of this process for quite some time. She is facing open calls to stand down. I
think it is now a question of when not if she will have to go as leader of this country.
QUEST: But April the 12th is still the deadline for leaving. Assuming her bill has no chance of getting through parliament. I mean, so April the
12th is still the deadline for that. If this process continues, the only option for April the 12th is to extend, is to go for a seriously long
extension while a new government or a new group of ministers negotiate whatever parliament agrees it likes as the indicative way.
WALKER: All of the alternatives which are likely to be approved if we get to that process of indicative votes. Something like a whole new, a Customs
Union single market, yes, that would take a long time to renegotiate, and would probably require a whole new government to try to take it through.
So, yes, all of those options would require a long extension to Article 50 which the rest of the European Union would agree to, or possibly revoking
Article 50 all together which the government can do unilaterally.
QUEST: Right, but if they do that, Brexit is over.
WALKER: If they do that, that is calling off Brexit, and that would cause absolute uproar. But the other motion which is down, which could well go
through tonight is one which calls on the government to take steps to avoid a no-deal Brexit if we're approaching it, to again, seek a longer
That of course requires not just the government to seek a long-term extension, but the rest of the European Union to agree to it and that is
far from certain.
[15:40:00] QUEST: Looking at all that, how well prepared is Britain for a no-deal Brexit or the EU or the U.K.? European Union is better prepared
according to you, the viewer, 77 percent of you say that the EU is Brexit prepared, the U.K. just has 3 percent.
Let's look well into the future and assume that there's going to be some new arrangement, Customs Union or single market. But has anybody worked
out what that actually means in terms of a true Brexit? A single market would mean the ultimate usual rule-taker, not rule maker.
WALKER: Absolutely, and that's why Brexiteers have been so opposed to these suggestions because they say the whole point of leaving the European
Union would be to have this freedom to have trade agreements around the world, freed up from the controls of the European Union.
If you're in a Customs Union, you have to accept so many of the rules and regulations and the exterior customs, the tariffs which are dictated by
that Customs Union --
QUEST: If --
WALKER: You don't have the freedom to do that. But those who want that closer trading relationship say that for example, it would reduce the
chances of needing a hard border on the island. The island --
QUEST: Right, hurry up --
WALKER: On both sides of it. But it would also I should say defy one of Theresa May's red lines. She has been saying since the start of this
process, we're going to leave the Customs Union, we're going to leave the single market.
QUEST: Well, if you don't -- I mean, if you don't leave those two, you really haven't left the European Union.
WALKER: That is certainly --
QUEST: Right --
WALKER: What many of those who want Brexit --
QUEST: Right --
WALKER: Would say. They would agree totally, but there is so much confusion about this whole process now that, that is something that MPs
could well vote for in the coming days.
QUEST: Thank you, you'll be here with us later.
QUEST: Continue to join the conversation on the vote by the way, cnn.com- slash-join. Who is best prepared? The European Union says it's finished its preparations if Britain leaves with no deal. And I'd like you to think
about who is best prepared for a no-deal, the U.K., the EU, both of them, neither of them.
Now, these are the people that have decided to -- they're Brexiteers, but they're keeping quiet for the moment, having some long loud for many hours.
As we continue, a vote of confidence for Boeing, Ethiopian Airlines chief executive stands by the plane maker despite the fatal crash that shook the
airline just a few weeks ago.
[15:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
QUEST: Boeing is bouncing back as the company got a vote of confidence from Ethiopian Airlines. All 157 on board were killed when an Ethiopian
737 Max crashed soon after takeoff two weeks ago. Still the airline CEO says he stands by Boeing, and still believes in the company despite the
Boeing shares climbing today, up 2.3 percent. Now since the crash on March the 10th, Boeing has lost $40 billion in market value. Take a look at the
way it's gone down. The stock had been a very sharp rallier after record highs after the December falls, and it was one of those notable ones that
really came up.
Christopher DeNicolo who is a Boeing credit analyst S&P Global. He joins me now live from Washington. The full -- good to see you, sir. The fallen
Boeing stock and the fallen price, I mean, frankly, was muted at best down 18 percent, perhaps at its worst point. But it never -- but it's 8
percent, 9 percent on the first day, and it trickled down since. But certainly nothing like the force that one would have expected to see in
other companies and other industries.
CHRISTOPHER DENICOLO, BOEING CREDIT ANALYST, S&P GLOBAL: Well, Richard, I can't comment directly on the stock price, you know, as a credit analyst.
But you know, we do think that the credit quality of Boeing, there is enough room both in their liquidity and in the current rating that we have
on them, the single aid that they can, you know, withstand this issue.
The company has, you know, substantial cash balances, access to revolver and commercial paper, and should be able to get through the grounding if it
doesn't extend much past current expectations.
QUEST: I mean, the -- its cash balance is huge, its order book is massive. And there is a duopoly and the nature of aviation is if you've got Boeing
planes, you can't just decide to go and buy the other lot.
DENICOLO: Yes, you know, that's definitely true. You know, both Boeing and Airbus were producing their narrow body aircraft, basically as fast as
they can to meet the demand. So Airbus -- even if there was significant cancellations at Boeing for the Max wouldn't be able to replace those
So we think that over time, that the aircraft will still be successful, and that the -- you know, this will be more of a probably a temporary bump
unless there's something more significantly wrong with the design than what so far has come out.
QUEST: It does seem hard though, doesn't it? What we're talking here about is more of a reputational issue than a credit or cap -- balance sheet event
here, aren't we?
DENICOLO: Yes, that's probably true. I mean, because of the -- they definitely have the balance sheet to, you know, to take -- to handle this.
It's you know, like you said, how much reputational risk is there? You know, how does this affect their competitiveness over the longer term? Do
airlines overtime maybe, you know, prefer Airbus versus Boeing?
Do they come back to Boeing for maybe some pricing concessions on orders that they already have? And so there could be some real impacts in the long
term, but the near term financial impacts, I guess are probably temporary.
QUEST: Good to see you, Christopher, thank you very much indeed.
DENICOLO: All right, thank you.
QUEST: Tonight, Apple unveils one streaming app to rule them all. Netflix won't be there, hope it will, and we'll be live at Apple headquarters next.
[15:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
QUEST: A new era at Apple as the company ushers in a hardware revolution and always had one more thing to reveal. Now, it says its future is not in
things, it's in services. As a star-studded event in California where Apple revealed what it hopes will be a Netflix killer or at least be able
to join the party.
It is called the Apple TV Plus. It's a streaming app that aims to move online content from being a la carte and give it all single home under the
Apple roof. Apple will also be creating its own TV shows and movies, they've joined forces with Oprah who said Apple would give her a platform
like never before.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OPRAH WINFREY, MEDIA MOGUL & PHILANTHROPIST: I've joined in order to serve this moment because the Apple platform allows me to do what I do in a whole
new way, to take everything I've learned about connecting to people to the next level.
Because they're in a billion pockets, you all, a billion pockets.
The whole world's got them in their hands and that represents a major opportunity to make a genuine impact.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Apple is trying to tear the crowded market of individuals' subscriptions, creating a streaming supermarket in over a hundred
countries. There are dozens of services that each require their own account, their own payment, their own app.
Apple wants to bundle them together with the notable exception of Netflix, it will provide one place to watch much of your content. It's doing the
same with games and Apple arcade and in journalism with hundreds of magazines would all be part of Apple news.
Brian Stelter is at Apple Park in Cupertino. Brian, the Apple TV Plus, is it going to work? Is it going to put -- will other broadcasters of content
producers put their content there?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you said, it's a very crowded environment. But as Oprah said, Apple has a big advantage by
having so many iPhones, iPads and Apple TVs all around the world. Apple is really doing two things in one. They're launching this story front where
you can subscribe to "HBO", subscribe to "CBS" and all these other channels through the Apple devices in the Apple world.
And then on top of all that, they're launching all these new TV shows. You mentioned some of them that are going to be coming out full disclosure, I'm
a consultant on one of the many shows Apple is working on, it's about morning TV.
Until today, I had no idea when it was going to come out, Richard. The announcement from Apple is that these shows will start to premiere this
Fall, but they did not reveal a price tag. That's the big mystery. How much will this cost, how much will people be willing to pay? How many
people will be willing to pay for another streaming service?
That's the great unknown. But the big reveal here today at Steve Jobs theater, was all about the stars, the talent, Oprah and many others on
stage, pitching themselves as a part of the new Apple TV world.
QUEST: It is fascinating. What do you make of it, Brian? You are the --
STELTER: Yes --
QUEST: Expert. And I can certainly see, you know, I mean I certainly see --
STELTER: I think we are -- yes --
QUEST: Beside its own original content as an aggregator, as an aggregator.
STELTER: I think what we're seeing Apple start to do is come up with a bunch of different services that you pay for, 10 bucks a month here, 10
bucks a month there, that start to become part of a bundle. They announced an arcade service today. They announced a souped-up version of their news
app today to get access to lots of magazines for $10 a month.
The streaming service at some point with these shows from big stars will cost who knows what how much a month?
[15:55:00] You start to put all those pieces together and you start to imagine an Apple life where you wake up with your news app and you go to
sleep with your Oprah show. That's the vision. Whether they can deliver on that vision is another question entirely.
There's a lot of folks here disappointed today because Apple did not reveal more, they didn't show lots of details from these TV shows. They didn't
show a lot of the detailed plans for these new services. Today was more of a teaser, Richard, it was more of a glimpse into Apple's future. In six
months, we might have a much better sense of what it looks like.
QUEST: Brian Stelter, well, thank you. We will watch closely when you're back in New York and I am back in New York --
STELTER: Thanks --
QUEST: We will chew this one over in some details. Just --
STELTER: Yes --
QUEST: Before we go for a break, we will look at the markets. Let's just take a look and see exactly what's happening in the market. The Dow Jones
Industrials having bounced around for most of the session, it's pretty much flat at the moment. In fact, literally flat, down bouncing around, could
go either way before the close is finished.
Boeing has been pushing it forward, up some 2 percent, Boeing is a major component of the Dow. And we will take a profitable moment after the
QUEST: Tonight's profitable moment, behind me, there are two groups of protesters -- democracy in action. On the one side, we have those who are
pro-Brexit singing lastly, and on the other side, with just as loud voices, we have those who are remainers.
But in the House of Commons behind them, they are well and truly now into the weeds of deep parliamentary procedure. Because after all the
excitement of last week with the extension and the delays, now we're into the heart of British politics.
They've still got to do a deal and they've still got to work out, but the problem is like any small child, this place doesn't know what it wants. It
wants everything and it wants it all cost-free. Now, we're going to find that's not quite as easy. So we're having these long debates, purely on
procedure, and this is classically a debate before a debate before it finally decides what happens next.
And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight, I am Richard Quest, I'll be back in a couple of hours with of course the actual voting on these
debates. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it is profitable.
The bell is ringing, the Dow is up, the day is done.