Return to Transcripts main page
HALA GORANI TONIGHT
UK Ministers who Resigned from Government Speak To CNN; Interview With MPs And Cabinet Ministers -- Alistair Burt, Conservative Party and Steve Brine, Conservative Party; UK Lawmakers Seize Control of Brexit Debate; Tense Calm Along Israeli-Gaza Border; Women Married to ISIS Fighters Living in Limbo; The U.S. Heartland Reacts to Mueller's Findings; Prosecutors Drop All Charges Against Jussie Smollett. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired March 26, 2019 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:00:00] HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. Live from London. I'm Hala Gorani. Tonight, Theresa May loses control of the Brexit process.
I'll speak to two of her ministers who resigned to vote against her and let Parliament take control.
Tense along the Israel-Gaza border the latest flare up of violence. We're live on the scene and the shocking turn around, charges against the
"Empire" actor Jussie Smollett dropped. We are outside the courthouse live.
We start with this. The UK Parliament has taken control of Brexit from Theresa May. It is yet another blow to the Prime Minister.
30 members of Ms. May's party turned their back on her in the latest battle of Britain's exit from the EU. Among those were three ministers,
cabinet ministers who resigned to vote against the government. It sets the stage for as many as seven votes tomorrow on what lawmakers want from
Steve Brine and Alistair Burt, our two of the ministers who resigned. Thanks so much to both of you for being here. Alistair, why did you decide
to hand in your letter of resignation to the Prime Minister?
MP ALISTAIR BURT, CONSERVATIVE PARTY, NORTH EAST BEDFORDSHIRE, UK: Because we're getting very close to the wire in relation to this process and a
fundamental concern for me and I know a number of others if we don't get to the wire and face this no deal where the United Kingdom leaves the EU with
no serious relationship and agreements to cover our immediate few months in the future. We have a deal that's been negotiated which I want my
colleagues to support or consider a variety of alternatives. The amendments yesterday allowed us to consider those amendments freely if the
government were prepared to do that. I wasn't sure they were. So, they needed my vote to force it over the edge.
GORANI: It's a vote of no confidence in Theresa May's government, isn't it?
MP STEVE BRINE CONSERVATIVE PARTY, WINCHESTER, UK: I think the same as my colleague here has said. We don't want there to be no withdrawal
agreement. We don't want no deal. And Parliament doesn't. And I don't believe the Prime Minister is either. But you can't wish it away. You
have to have a deal or you have no deal.
I would prefer the Prime Minister's deal. It's a good deal. I voted for twice. And I will vote for the third time if I'm allowed. But we spoke
about it last time. We can't just keep hoping that is going limp over the line.
GORANI: How is this not a vote of no confidence? That your stepping down?
BRINE: What I think we're doing is helping the Prime Minister. This is a hung Parliament. The executive does not have control in a hung Parliament,
in the way that the Thatcher and Blair government had. We're reaching across the aisle and talking to other members of Parliament and seeing
where the consensus lies in the House of Commons. And that gives us a chance to get something over the line that is the deal --
GORANI: Alistair Burt.
BURT: no confidence votes are quite specific. There are regular boats ago against governments and there are members who vote against the government
all over time. It just means on a particular issue, you don't fancy what the government is saying. If it is a proper vote of confidence that is a
completely different thing.
GORANI: know that is a procedural thing, I just meant just you lost confidence not as you called for a vote of no confidence. Should the Prime
Minister resign? She's tried twice to get the deal through. She tried a third time. Should she step down?
BURT: No. I don't think it's about leadership. It's about the substance of what's available. Change in the leader makes no difference to what has
been agreed with the EU, it makes no difference to these alternatives. It makes no difference to the calculations of people thinking what should they
agree in order to provide an alternative? Leadership is important but the substance of the agreement and the importance of getting an agreement is
more important still. Changing leadership at this stage is not helpful.
GORANI: going forward then, the House of Commons, members of Parliament, will take over this process but the government and the prime minister
herself have said yes, she will consider what they say what they vote on, but is not pledging to follow the advice of Parliament. Does that concern
BRINE: It could do because you want your headline, is losing all of Brexit. I don't think the government has to lose control of Brexit.
Depends how they respond to what the House of Commons does. If the House of Commons comes up, we are not daft, we are not chasing unicorns, we're
not going to come up with an idea that is totally unworkable or unable to be accepted by the European Union in a changed declaration. If the House
of Commons comes up with something that is credible and shows the support of the house, the executive then would be in an incredible position to say
we are not interested, we are not having that, we are sticking with our deal.
GORANI: You think the Prime Minister would say I'll listen to the MPs.
BRINE: I think it would be a lifeline. I think the government would grab it.
[13:05:00] BURT: I think if a proposal comes forward that is likely to be accepted by the EU, one of the deals that has been spoken about, I would
expect the government to take it over. The government negotiates with the authority of Parliament behind it which might have been something we could
have considered a while ago.
GORANI: Are we closer to the possibility of a no deal?
BURT: I think no deal is a risk. Unless we get a deal, it remains the default position. It won't be the default position now on Friday 29. It
could be later, that's why we are keen to see a deal, that's why we are very keen to make sure an amendment that governs that process was available
to the House of Commons. We would like then it to be taken over by the government, and then that will help avoid the risk of no deal.
GORANI: Are we closer to possibility of another referendum? Why or why not.
BRINE: If Parliament reaches the end game and cannot move forward then everything is on the table. That includes the second referendum and that
has to include revoking article 50. Nothing in this process is consequence free. In the Prime Minister rightly said if you vote against my deal the
second time there are consequences to doing that. What we're living through now is the consequences of that.
GORANI: If they believe it's a bad teal, they won't vote for it. Because the Prime Minister said it is that or nothing. I mean they have a right to
BRINE: Do they stick to nurse for fear of worse? The idea of a second vote, which is not a confirmatory vote at the end of the day, they wanted
to have remain on the ballot. What it is, is another go, because people didn't like the answer the first
time. That is not really how we do democracy in this country. And what if it turns around the results? 52 -48 the other way? Should we have best of
GORANI: The Prime Minister had three goes at her deal and the people of the UK should only have one go? It could never ask the question again in
any other form.
BURT: This is Parliament. The process was we asked one question in the referendum, leave or stay. The detail wasn't in that question. The detail
had to come after. That's what the Parliament does. It debates and works it through and that's why it may ask the question again and again in order
to get to answer. It is a different process from there.
BRINE: What Downing needs to do is surprise the British people, the message, they've given up, they think it can't solve the Venn diagram
that's Brexit. I want to see Parliament to step up and surprise them nicely. By saying you know what, actually we can solve this, there is
majority and consensus for a Brexit deal in the House of Commons. That would be a really nice Easter present for the British people.
GORANI: You both resigned with no regrets. You think what you did will help the country get a deal? You're both remainers. You both supported
the idea of the UK staying within the EU.
BURT: again, definitions here, we were voted for the UK to remain in, then we supported because of the referendum, which we had supported, we
supported the process to leave. And we have both boarded consistently to leave because that's what the British people said we would do.
Regrets of course. We left our jobs. We left our departments. Of course, you regret that. But occasionally there are higher principles you have to
stick to. And we thought the time was right yesterday. Of course, we'll our colleagues hugely. We want to see this government succeed. We want to
see this arrangement of leaving but leaving well succeed for the future of United Kingdom in the EU.
GORANI: Did you hear from the Prime Minister after?
BRINE: Not yet. I haven't checked my inbox. The issue of bi-partisanship is quite an anathema here because the way Parliament is set up. It's a
hung Parliament. No one has the majority. Therefore, actually that is what the British people sent us here with, and we've got to work with what
we've got. Let's surprise them nicely.
GORANI: We'll see if they get a nice present. Thank you.
Now to that tense calm along the Israel-Gaza border after a serious flareup of violence. Israel has extra tanks and troops on patrol the day in
remains on very high alert it says.
Schools in the area are closed and residents are advised to stay near bomb shelters. It was a very different scene overnight. The skies over Gaza
lit up as Israel bombed dozens of Hamas targets. Let's bring in Phil Black.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Quiet today. It's a very different situation overnight. Today saw the return of Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu to Israel cutting short his visit where he said he directed the overnight campaign. He came back here and vowed Israel would
[13:10:00] He was clear on trying to paint this has not your average response to rockets flying out of Gaza. Speaking here this afternoon he
said this was the strongest Israel would do more. He was clear on trying to paint this as not your average response to rockets flying out of Gaza.
Speaking here this afternoon he said this was the strongest Israeli operation against Hamas since those two. They fought a war back in 2014.
The key question moving forward from here is this the end of this particular uptick in violence that we have seen or not? And this is where
the political context is so critical. The fact that the parliamentary election is only just two weeks away. It is closely fought. Benjamin
Netanyahu is fighting to remain in government and he has been under great criticism over the last 24 hours from across much of the Israeli political
spectrum. Opponents, allies as well.
Many who believe and say have been saying publicly the latest escalation is a direct result of his policies, his handling of Hamas and the accusation
they are making is he's been too soft on them. Prime Minister Netanyahu rejected the list of targets given to him, demanded more substantial
targets. That was how we saw the situation where Israel was striking key Hamas buildings and structure through the night. Not a large number of
attacks, relatively speaking but Israel says really important buildings connected to Hamas security forces and even the political office of the
political leader of Hamas. Hala.
GORANI: Inside Gaza there's also that issue and people on the ground say we don't have bomb shelters. We know you're trying to strike Hamas
infrastructures but this destroys buildings and facilities and infrastructure used by civilians as well in that tiny strip of land, Phil.
BLACK: Yes. That's true. That is what Palestinians in Gaza often say after withstanding an Israeli bombardment of some kind.
On this occasion Israel says it was specific, Very targeted. It went after these specific militant targets belonging to Hamas and Islamic jihad as
well. It says it has degraded them and made a significant impact if you like on their infrastructure. And for all of the action that we saw flying
both ways, the Israeli strikes in Gaza, the rockets coming out of Gaza into Israeli territory overnight. On both sides the human cost has been very
small. No Israeli injuries reported from the rockets out of Gaza, and seven Palestinians we understand who were injured in Gaza as a result of
the Israelis strikes.
GORANI: Certainly, scary time there in central Israel. Thanks very much, Phil Black. I want to bring you a CNN exclusive story.
We have been covering extensively. That story is Syria. The fall of the ISIS caliphate and the challenging situation of those who were attracted to
the terrorist groups. Those people find themselves in limbo. You won't find many people feeling sorry for them.
Thousands of women and children are living in camps in northern Syria and it's not clear what will become of them. Our Jomana Karadsheh got rare and
exclusive access to tell us some of their stories.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is not any refugee camp. This is where some of the women in the caliphate and children end up. For them,
this has ISIS has perverted promise of a utopian state. They traded one miserable existence for another. ISIS brides are housed in these tents.
We have been told we cannot speak to any of the women here. There's about 2,000 women and children. ISIS family members. As we're walking around
you feel no one really wants to talk. The women seem to be hiding in their tents.
[13:15:00] At the sprawling Al Hawl camp, they do.
She says the Islamic State will be back. Only a fence separates these true believers from the tens of thousands of refugees whose lives were shattered
by ISIS. Some of the women claim they were naive victims who were chasing the dream of a true Islamic State. Oblivious to the rein of terror that
state was founded.
LISA SMITH, ISIS BRIDE FROM IRELAND: I think the people should just realize that all the people here are not terrorists.
KARADSHEH: This woman declined to give us her name but she's been identified by Irish media as Muslim convert Lisa Smith. Former member of
the Irish military. She says she came to Syria an ISIS bride and now she's a window left alone with a 2-year-old daughter.
You might end up in jail if you go home. Are you ready for that?
SMITH: I know they would take my passport. The wouldn't travel and I would be watched. Prisons? I don't know. I'm already in prison.
KARADSHEH: That may be the point as prosecution by home countries could be complicated by lack of evidence. Officials worry that foreign ISIS members
are being left for them to deal with.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not responsible this spokeswoman says especially from countries that are part of the international coalition
KARADSHEH: Mostly Kurdish Syrian Democratic forces are now holding thousands of women and their children.
People are asking this question, they are saying you have the opportunity.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you marry someone and this is not the guy and you try to get out. If it's an abusive marriage, do you get it. Nothing
is easy to walk away from. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: some of the women have been duped by ISIS. But when
those women joined him saw some of the events, why do they not try to escape? They
could have but they chose to remain under the control of ISIS.
KARADSHEH: Perhaps the riskiest burden is more than the 1,000 foreign fighters from 50 different countries now in SDF custody. We were granted
access to one of those detainees who agreed to speak to us. A Canadian captured during the battle. The Vancouver native like so many others
claims he wasn't a fighter but a humanitarian who joined the terror group to help refugees.
So many people in the west don't want you back. People in this part of the world don't want you because you're a reminder of the heinous crimes that
took place. What do you think should happen to you? You must have thought about this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I thought about it. I thought I would just like to, even if they just put me in prison at home, it's better than being in
KARADSHEH: There are signs of permanence pushing into the camps, a school, satellite dishes and concrete foundations. A warning from officials here,
the longer these sites remain packed, the more likely they become a time bomb for a generation trapped here paying for the wrongs of its parents.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: That's such a concern of these kids. These kids will grow up. What happens to them, what kind of ideology they grow up with as well.
They didn't ask for this. They are the innocent ones but who knows down the line? An update for you in response to our report. The Irish woman
may soon get her wish to return to her home country. Ireland is breaking with the practice of several other nations and says it's working to
repatriate the woman and her young daughter. Here is the deputy prime minister of Ireland.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SIMON COVENY, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER OF IRELAND: She's an Irish citizen. She's the responsibility of Ireland. We have a responsibility towards her
and in particular her daughter. We would try to follow through on that responsibility and find way to bring her home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Actor Jussie Smollett talks to the media after prosecutors dropped all charges against him. We are live in Chicago with details of this very
Donald Trump just spoke on Capitol Hill. What he says should never happen again, coming up.
[13:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
GORANI: U.S. President Trump Donald Trump is taking a victory lap of sorts on Capitol Hill today, he is meeting Republican lawmakers after special
counsel determined according to a four-page summary by the Attorney General that he did not collude with Russia in the run up to the 2016 election.
Mr. Trump says the report should end any talk of impeachment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't think they are talking about impeachment. We have the greatest economy we've ever had.
Our countries incredible today. It was proven very strongly. No collusion, no obstruction. No nothing. We're doing so well. We have
never probably had a time of prosperity like this. It's been great.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Democrats are pushing for the release of the entire Mueller report. They say the Attorney General summary says Mueller did not
exonerate the President of obstruction and that needs further explanation. For months now the special counsel's probe has consumed Washington and the
media. What do voters think about it? Will the fact that, according to the summary, that the President did not collude with Russia, will this have
an impact on how voters might behave?
Miguel Marquez talk to voters in Michigan. One of those critical swing states in America they could decide the presidential election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In the heart land, conclusions of the Mueller report so far favor the President and his catch phrases are
BRIAN PANNEBECKER, MICHIGAN VOTER: I make of it what Donald Trump said it was. It was fake news. It was a witch hunt. I think they need to
investigate the people that funded the fake dossier because they are the real criminals in this.
MARQUEZ: Ford auto worker, BRIAN PANNEBECKER, is a huge Trump fan. He helped elect the President in his vote rich county and says the report
filing gives the President a left.
PANNEBECKER: If the Democrats were smart, they would start working with President Trump instead of trying overturn the results of the election.
MARQUEZ: In your mind if they do, they are only going to make him stronger in places like Macomb.
PANNEBECKER: Absolutely. The guy didn't do anything wrong.
MARQUEZ: Michigan and Macomb County are critical to the President's re- election. In 2016 he won the state by 10,704. Macomb county and suburban Detroit voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012. If look for Trump big time. He
won the county by more than 48,000 votes. Even Democrats say the reports findings won't help them win back Macomb county and the state.
[13:25:00] HENRY YANEZ, STERLING HEIGHTS, MICHIGAN CITY COUNCIL: It was a little bit surprising that more wasn't revealed in this report.
MARQUEZ: He's run for and held several political offices says his fellow Democrats need to investigate less and focus on policy.
YANEZ: I think Democrats really just need to roll up their sleeves and get to work on the issues important to the citizens of my city and my state.
MARQUEZ: There is hope for Democrats here. The mid terms saw them rebound slightly. The county narrowly backed the winning Democratic candidates in
the Senate and governors' races.
John Skantze who retired from management in the auto industry considers himself a moderate Republican. He voted for the President but could be
persuaded to support Joe Biden in 2020.
Do you think Mueller report and the summary helps the President?
JOHN SKANTZE, MICHIGAN VOTER: I think it helped him a lot. It got rid of a big stigma with his following.
MARQUEZ: Republican will say that Democrats will be smart to lower the intensity of the investigation to the President and a lot of Democrats we
speak to say that they would like to see less focus on investigations at the national level and more focus on local bread and butter issues. Both
the party, people from both parties, Democrats and Republicans say there's one person who faces either the biggest threat or the biggest hope for the
parties in this part of Michigan. It's a guy who hasn't announced he's running for President, Joe Biden.
(END VIDEO CLIP) GORANI: Now that shocking turn of events against the case against Jussie Smollett. Prosecutors suddenly dropped all the charges today. He spoke
briefly outside the courthouse undaunted. He said he's looking to the future. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUSSIE SMOLLETT, ACTOR: I've been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one. I would not be my mother's son if I was capable of
one drop of what I've been accused of. This has been an incredibly difficult time. One of the worst of my entire life. I'm man of faith and
have knowledge of my history. I would not bring my family, our lives or the movement through a fire like this. I'd like nothing more than move on
back to work and my life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Now, Ryan Young is in Chicago. He's on his way to the next news conference with police officials and be mayor as well to give a statement
as well. Ryan, I know we have been using this word a lot in another context but does this mean Jussie Smollett is exonerated?
RYAN YOUNG, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think that's the question everybody is trying to figure out. We have moving toward this news conference. From
what I've been told, the superintendent was not even notified of these charges were going to be dropped. It caught the police department by
surprise. As they were caught by surprise, everyone sort of reacted to figure out what's going on. That's the next step in this. It's expected
the major and the superintendent will give their feelings. They felt they had a lot of evidence to show he was involved in this. The big question is
what happens to the two men who told police that they said he was part of a plan. No one is talking about that. Right now, there's no deal here. We
have been told the charges are dropped. The case has been sealed. How does this mover forward and what happens next? You have to think about the
man hours that police have put into this. There's hundreds of thousands of hours of police work that went into this. What happen next and that is the
GORANI: Yes. The police, a few weeks ago gave this big news conference, essentially, saying this man staged a hate crime against himself. That he
used people he knew from the set of his show that pretended they were attacking him and make America great supporters. Now everything is
dropped. Is that because of lack of evidence? Do we know why this decision was reached today?
YOUNG: You have to wonder whether or not someone knows information or found out something about the brothers. I don't think the police
department were expecting it today. Here I am walking up to the graduation. There's a graduation for the new officers. On the inside, you
can see the fact the superintendent didn't know about it. What's the information? When he gave his news conference, he didn't attack the police
department. He didn't sound like a man who was pressing against them. It was a very soft like response what about was going on. OK what's the next
step. I do think the superintendent will give us our next insight in terms of giving us strong rebuttal to what was said today. As of now, the 16
charges are dropped. In the American court system, it has to be up to the D.A.'s office, the district attorney offices to move forward with charges.
It depends on the whoever they put into this, now it's all gone.
GORANI: Ryan Young in Chicago, thanks very much with the latest there on that bombshell news. Just a little more than an hour ago, the American
Actor, Jussie Smollett, cleared of all charges of staging an attack against himself.
Still to come tonight, Britain's parliament seizes control of the Brexit process. And now, they're weighing up their options. However, the future
of Brexit is still very much in doubt. I'll speak to a Conservative M.P., next.
Plus, Prince Charles and Camilla are visiting Cuba right now. The trip, though, has stirred up some controversy in the U.S. We're live in Havana.
GORANI: Let's return now to Brexit. And it was supposed to be about the British government taking back control, but now the prime minister and her
government have lost control to her own parliament. In a power grab last night, M.P.s voted to test support for alternatives to Ms. May's withdrawal
plan including an array of options already dismissed by the prime minister, such as keeping the U.K. in the single market, no deal at all or even a
second referendum. They're planning to hold a series of indicative votes, as they're called on those options tomorrow.
So, that's what's happening in parliament. But we want to bring you reaction to those developments and the impasse here in Westminster from
outside the political bubble. Our reporters have been talking to people from both sides of the divide in different parts of the country to get
their view on the way forward. Anna Stewart is in Peterborough this evening in the East of England. The people, they're overwhelmingly backing
Brexit in 2016, over 60 percent voted to leave the E.U. What do they think about what's going on in London today, Anna, those people you spoke to?
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: So, as we travel around the U.K., I'd say the one most common reaction we get is absolute frustration. People are really
fed up, frankly, with what is going on in Westminster; they don't necessarily follow every twist and turn of the Brexit process. I want to
bring you the opinions of one chap I met called Tony, he votes to leave like 61 percent of people in Peterborough and he's so fed up of hearing
about Brexit. He almost says, he can't bear to watch the news anymore. I asked him what he would like to happen next given the latest twists and
turns in Westminster. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE). They're picking their noses.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEWART: And he's worried actually about issues of sovereignty. He's worried about immigration. He is still worried. He still has this
consensus, still wants to leave the E.U. And it's interesting, you know, because I'm here in Peterborough in the city centre to see this very
imposing (INAUDIBLE) behind me. It feels incredibly British, very grand. If you travel outside of the city, however, many more rundown areas, very
multi-cultural; every other shop is Portuguese or Polish or Czech. Fantastic multi-culture communities, but that concerns many residents here.
[13:35:29] GORANI: Anna Stewart, thanks very much. Taking the pulse of voters in Peterborough. I want to bring you the view now from those who
are backing Theresa May's deal. Conservative M.P. Lead Supporter Andrew Murrison joins now. So, you support the prime minister?
ANDREW MURRISON, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE M.P.: I do. Well, this is the best way of removing the United Kingdom decorously from the European Union in
accordance with the -- which is expressed in the referendum in June 2016.
GORANI: She's been so resoundingly defeated twice already. I mean, clearly, parliament is not behind her. Why would she go for a third try?
MURRISON: Well, the (INAUDIBLE) with us, of course, we had the general election in 2017. And after that, the Conservative Party lost its
majority. So, the seeds of our current impasse would soon at that point. It's hardly surprising that we have landed up where we are.
GORANI: Well, because those critics of Theresa May are saying it's hardly surprising, not because she doesn't have a clear cut majority in
parliament, but because her management of this thing has been disastrous from the beginning. She never reached across the aisle. She didn't try to
get a consensus deal. She tried to rule the more extreme Brexiters of her own party rather than go toward the center. Does she not deserve some of
the blame here?
MURRISON: I think that probably all she shares the blame to be fair.
GORANI: She's in charge.
MURRISON: She is, indeed. And we are where are. So, I think, the challenge before people like me, right now, is to reconcile the
practicalities of all this would be clear intent signals in June 2016. And that's why my opinion and I hope ultimately the opinion of my colleagues.
And we need to get this deal across the line.
GORANI: What will help you do that? Because of course, the Conservative Party relies on the DUP of Northern Ireland for its majority. They've
already said they'd rather have a long extension than support this deal. It's pretty much -- I mean, that's pretty much killing it right there.
MURRISON: Well, I'm not quite sure that's correct. I think there's been a bit of attacking along the way. So, my friends in the DUP, I hope
ultimately, once they have the reassurances that they need in full measure, will be to support this deal. I very much hope that's the case. If they
do, then I think a large number of my side will come across and also on the Labor benches.
GORANI: I don't mean the be rude, the reason I'm looking down is down because we have an urgent alert here that the U.K. government has responded
to the revoke Article 50 petition. And the answer is "no."
MURRISON: Well, that should come as no surprise. Because we have a referendum. That's how we decide things. We don't respond to petitions or
marches. Having taken no to them -- of course, they're important expressions of public will, but 17.4 million people voted in June 2016 to
leave the European Union and government is trying to enact that.
GORANI: But is the country not allowed to say: yes, the majority of us voted 2-1/2 years ago to leave but now we know the implications of leave,
and we need to at least be asked, and this is a democracy, whether or not we want this May deal or whether we prefer the status quo. What's wrong
with asking that question?
MURRISON: Well, I think if you were to put that question to people in Peterborough, as in my own constituency, you would get a resounding thumbs
down, because people don't want to know the referendum, they just want people like me to get on with it.
GORANI: What U.K. Thinks, is a polling agency. In March 2019, so this month, that if you remove the people who don't know or haven't taken a
position, 54 percent would today vote for remain.
MURRISON: Well, that's polling data. I have to say all politicians deeply, deeply cynical about polling data.
GORANI: I understand because they got it -- a lot of them got it wrong in 2016. But you can't deny the mood of this country is, there's frustration,
but also there are some people who really want to be asked whether or not they want this Theresa May deal.
MURRISON: All I can say is 57 percent of my voters, my constituency in the Southwest of England voted to leave the European Union. I have to say, I
know it's anecdotal, and is a (INAUDIBLE) but nevertheless, I think that position has, if anything, firmed up over the past several months. And I
think they would take a very dim view of further prevarication. They just want this settled. They want us to move on to the next phase. And I think
increasingly people are seeing Mrs. May's deal, which understand, is the only deal that's on the table since we've negotiated (INAUDIBLE) with the
European Union. They want to see that get across the line.
GORANI: What if she -- last one -- what if loses again? Because that's a real possibility. What happens? What does she do?
[13:40:03] MURRISON: Well, tomorrow, we've got so-called indicative votes. I have to say the history of these things, and this place, isn't terribly
good. And I'm reminded of House of Laws reform several years ago, which ended up going nowhere using something a little bit similar to indicative
GORANI: But if she loses again.
MURRISON: So, I suspect what's going to happen is this is going to focus the minds of people on the best of options, because most people, most of
what they want -- the purists, I'm afraid they're going to have to make a choice. Do they pursue their dream or get behind something that is just
about OK? I think that's Mrs. May's deal.
GORANI: That's still not answering what happens if she loses, though.
MURRISON: I don't think she will. Actually, I think she's going to get this across the line. Because putting those terms, I think, the decision-
making process clarified.
GORANI: I'd love to have you on again if that deal gets through, though. We've been covering it long enough. Andrew Murrison, Member of Parliament,
thank you very much for joining us. Did I say Peterborough, right?
MURRISON: You didn't. You say Peterborrow; it's Peterborough.
GORANI: Peterborough. Like (INAUDIBLE). OK. Peterborough. Thank you very much, Andrew Murrison.
European Union just voted to change the Internet. How sweeping new copyright rules will impact what you can watch online, next.
GORANI: Two Saudi sisters have been fearfully looking over their shoulders for the past six months. But now, they're finally beginning a new life of
freedom. The sisters fled their family during a holiday but their planned escape to Australia came to a sudden halt in Hong Kong. CNN's Ivan Watson
picks up their story there.
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL REPORTER: This is the moment two sisters from Saudi Arabia find out they'll suddenly be free.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You'll be flying out there the next week.
WATSON: A country which we won't identify for their safety has just granted the sisters emergency humanitarian visas. Six months of living in
limbo in Hong Kong, now finally over.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will finally have my rights for the first time in my life.
WATSON: This is 18 and 20-year-old, Rawan and Ren -- not their real names, during much less happy times. For their security, they've asked us not the
show their faces.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Since we was teenager, we experienced family violence and abuse. And we wanted to run away from this.
WATSON: Who was committing the violence in the family?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Father and the brothers.
WATSON: In September of last year, the sisters conspired to flee from their family during a beach vacation in Sri Lanka. They were on route to
Australia, during what was supposed to be a two-hour layover in Hong Kong International Airport, when they say airlines employees and diplomats from
the Saudi Consulate in Hong Kong intervened: taking their passports, allegedly cancelling their tickets to Australia without their permission,
and trying to get them on a flight back to Saudi Arabia. Their lawyer filed criminal charges on their behalf.
[13:45:08] MICHAEL VIDLER, HUMAN RIGHTS LAWTER, VIDLER AND CO: We alleged that they were the subject of an attempted kidnapping at Hong Kong
International Airport, in the restricted area.
WATSON: Hong Kong police confirm to CNN that they're investigating what happened in the airport on that day. In the meantime, CNN reached out
multiple times to both the Saudi foreign ministry in Riyadh and the Saudi Consulate here in Hong Kong for comment but received no answer. In fact,
the Saudi Consulate sent back our letters by mail, unopened.
For the last six months, the sisters have been stranded in Hong Kong living in fear.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm afraid that if will go somewhere, they will kidnap me. Because if they can do it in the safest place, in the airports,
some official place, can they do it in the street? Can they do it in any place in Hong Kong?
WATSON: But humanitarian visas to a new country have taken away that fear.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have will have so many options that I never had in my life. I will have to choose which is very new thing to me.
WATSON: Under Saudi Arabia's male guardianship system, women have fewer legal rights than men. Forced to cover up and unable to travel or even
apply for a passport without a husband, father or brother's permission. The sisters have now escaped that system.
VIDLER: They are the lucky ones.
WATSON: Their attorney says they have a message for the women they've left behind.
VIDLER: The coverage of their story will alert people to the plight of women in Saudi Arabia.
WATSON: As they step into their new future, these sisters say they feel reborn. Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.
GORANI: What you're going to watch online is likely about to change. That's because of a sweeping overhaul of copyright rules just passed by the
European parliament. Big names in tech, like YouTube and Google are impacted the most. And critics say, it's a blow to free speech and the
Internet as we know it. Hadas Gold joins me now to break it all down for us. So, what are these new rules mean for end users like us?
HADAS GOLD, CNN MEDIA & BUSINESS REPORTER: So, this was a big package and there's two articles in this law that are getting the most attention, and
they're kind of known as the link tax and the upload filter. Now, the link text has to do with news. This is things like Google News saying that they
potential have to pay publishers to link to that content. But then viewers specifically is talking about is that this content upload filter, and it's
saying that any platform that makes money off of uploaded content like the YouTube has to make sure that none of that content has some sort of
copyright, that YouTube does not hold the license forward, and any Web site doesn't hold the license of already if that's being uploaded.
Now, think about how this would affect things like potentially memes, it could affect clips. What if you're filmed singing karaoke to your favorite
Taylor Swift song? There's also a whole -- there's a whole economy around this of streaming video games, of people filming themselves playing video
games and making money off of that. According to this law, that could all potentially be impacted and Web sites would be responsible for filtering
out anything that has any sort of copyright to it.
Now, the E.U. claims that there is a provision for anything that has to do with satire and would potentially include memes. But there is a fear that
the tech companies would have to put in such important, such big filters on the content that it would be hard for an A.I. technology to determine
what's satire, what's a meme, and what's actually a copyright violation. Now, as you know that a lot of the tech companies have come out against
this. Google, YouTube, Reddit have all been campaigning against this, including on their Web site where you see calls, sort of, calls to action
to call members of the European parliament and advocate against this.
I'll read you part of Google's statement, they said: "The copyright directive is improved but will still lead to legal uncertainty and hurts
Europe's creative and digital economies." They said that, the details matter and they look forward to working with policy makers, partly because
this is not going to be implemented automatically. It needs formal approval by European ministers and then it will go to all the different
European countries who will then have to transpose it into national law. But this could be a huge change to the way we use the Internet and what we
see on the Internet, at least in Europe. Hala.
GORANI: All right. Hadas Gold, thanks very much. More to come, including a frenzy in Havana. Fans and media flock to see Prince Charles and
Camilla. It is the first time that British royalty has visited Cuba, and that is causing controversy in the U.S. in particular. We're live in
[13:51:23] GORANI: Britain's Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, are on a historic four-day trip to Cuba. The royals are promoting the U.K.'s
relationship with Cuba, and met with country's president. It's a politically sensitive trip, that has frustrated some people in the United
States. Max Foster is following the royals in Havana, not covering Brexit with us. So, talk to us about the reception because based on the footage I
saw that your team shot there, it looks like the Prince and Camilla were mobbed.
MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, I don't think those images are necessarily going that well in Washington either. If you
consider the human rights record of Cuba, as it seen in some parts of Washington but also, Cuba's support for Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela. There
are parts of Washington who really don't like what's going on here. And if you look at the sanctions that they're currently consider imposing on Cuba,
then they might think it inappropriate for major western ally to send a high representative here. And that's what happened with Prince Charles.
As the U.S. pulls back from Cuba, the U.K. is actually stepping in in the most high-profile way really, that it knows.
FOSTER: Bring a senior royal couple to Havana, show them around the narrow streets, add some tourist, a ton of media and you very quickly end up with
this. The British royal family aren't particularly well-known here in Cuba, but you wouldn't know it from the amount of media that showed up in
these narrow streets, much of it state media controlled by the government.
The regime teamed for its media show it still has powerful friends in the west, who came to visit the country's historic areas. The couple were
guided by a senior member of the Communist Party, Eusebio Leal. What does it mean for Cuba to receive the Prince and have him here?
EUSEBIO LEAL, CUBAN HISTORIAN AND POLITICIAN (through translator): It's very important for all the people around the world to come to Havana on its
500th anniversary. It's a great motivator to come.
FOSTER: Charles doing his bit to reinforce that message with his high- profile visit on behalf of the British government. But it's infuriated some in Washington who are pushing for tougher sanctions against what they
regard is a tyrannical regime.
SEN. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: Why would the British government want to recognize Juan Guiado as the president of Venezuela. And we all know that
the Castro regime is the one that are propping up Maduro, the dictator in Venezuela. And at the same time, have the prince, who has unbelievable
world-wide influence go prop up the regime. It just doesn't make sense.
FOSTER: This image, more than any other, showing how far U.K.-Cuba relations have come. Prince Charles, hosted by the President Miguel Diaz-
Canel in the Palace of the Revolution itself. A U.K. government source said they're conscious of how their approach is different from that of the
U.S. But they're confident that they've got it right.
FOSTER: And it's not just American politicians that are actually concerned, Hala. There's some Conservative M.P.s where you are who have
also expressed their concern. And particular concern about how this is going to be viewed in Washington, the key ally, particularly after Brexit.
They need to have this very close relationship with the United States. But at the same time, the Brits, I spoke to a source in the British government
saying, they're aware that it might not be going down in Washington, particularly well, but they feel that they're doing the right thing and
post-Brexit, they need these relationships to carry them through.
[13:55:16] GORANI: All right. Thanks very much. Max Foster live in Havana. Now, a quick update before I leave you on that big news out of
Chicago. Prosecutors dropping all charges against actor, Jussie Smollett, who'd been accused of staging a hate crime in filing a false police report.
Two visibly upset city officials, the police superintendent and mayor just finished talking to the media about this pretty shocking turn of events.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAHM EMANUEL (D), MAYOR OF CHICAGO: He did this all in the name of self- promotion. And he used the laws of the hate crime legislation that all of us, collectively over years have put on the books to stand up to be the
values that embody what we believe in. This is a whitewash of justice. A grand jury could not have been clearer. To then say not only is the cost,
$10,000 doesn't come cost financially, but all the other repercussions of the decision it made, to me. Where is the accountability in the system?
You cannot have, because of a person's position, one set of rules apply to them and another set of rules apply to everybody else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, clearly not happy with the decision. The Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel there reacting to that very surprising breaking news story today
that Jussie Smollett, the actor who was accused of staging a hate crime, and filing also of false police report was cleared today. There's still no
word from prosecutors on exactly why the charges were dropped, I shouldn't say cleared; I should say that the charges were dropped, other than saying
their decision came after reviewing the facts of the case and after Smollett agreed to forfeit his $10,000 bond. That's going to do for me
this evening. Thanks for watching. I'm Hala Gorani, do stay with CNN. "AMANPOUR" is next.