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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Theresa May Has Offered To Resign In Exchange For Support Of Her Brexit Deal; Aviation Safety Hearings Taking Place In Washington. Aired: 4- 5p ET
Aired March 27, 2019 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, HOST, CNN: And a very good evening, as we continue tonight. We're awaiting the results of a secret ballot. MPs voting on eight
possible solutions, which do they prefer to Brexit as against the Prime Minister's deal? We should get those results in about an hour from now,
but perhaps it's difficult to know what the news of the day is, is that they were voting? But no, I think it is that Prime Minister Theresa May
has offered to resign in exchange for support of her Brexit deal.
And the Brexit deal, of course, is not on the ballot tonight. MPs will likely vote on that particular deal for the third time, we're hearing, on
Friday. And why is there the view that this might now get through? Because some hardliners, some hard Brexiteers such as Jacob Rees-Mogg have
now said they could back it.
Now, Carole Walker and Bianca are with me. Well, where do we start, Bianca?
BIANCA NOBILO, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, let's start with the Prime Minister's deal and the chance that has of passing now that she said she
will resign and not be the person in charge of the next state of negotiations, will that be enough?
I think the best way to think about this is like a very stubborn series of dominos. You need the DUP first, the Party that props up her government,
then if they get on board, Jacob Rees-Mogg, other hard-liners from the ERG, the ardent Brexiteers, they will get on board.
There may be a few other Conservatives and then crucially a couple of Labour votes, people who represent leave constituencies. All those things
have to happen.
QUEST: If the DUP abstain, what happens then?
NOBILO: That won't be helpful for the Prime Minister at all, because -- provided that you'll have abstentions on the other side, then it's going to
tip the balance away from her.
CAROLE WALKER, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Let's not lose sight of the really dramatic event this evening, which was the Prime Minister has been
embattled, beleaguered, gone through a series of humiliating losses of votes here in Parliament, stood up in front of her entire Parliamentary
Party tonight and said that if we get through this initial stage, get through the withdrawal agreement, then won't be leading the Party, won't be
leading the country through the next stage of the negotiation.
She has said that she will resign. She hasn't given a date for that. She hasn't said specifically where that is going to be, but this was a really
emotional occasion, and I understand that at that meeting, after she made that dramatic announcement, there were at least two or three fairly
hardline Brexiteers who stood up and said that they were now prepared to back her deal in order to get through this stage of Brexit.
QUEST: But she's played the most senior high powered card she has. She has nothing left in her arsenal.
WALKER: Well, the other thing that's going on, of course, is these unprecedented preferential votes that you were talking about there where
MPs is saying which other options they would like.
The Prime Minister's deal is not on that ballot paper and I think what Downing Street will be hoping is that end of this process, it will be very
difficult to see a clear majority for any of those options. And that, of course, may well be helped by the fact that, of course, most government
ministers won't vote, voting might be abstaining. Several MPs said know to everything.
QUEST: I want to look again at those that have just come up because some of them are, if you like, the contingency plan, the public vote on the
deal, revoke Article 50. Those are slightly off the reservation. But no deal, common market 2, stay in the EEA, Customs Union, and the Labour plan.
The only way these become relevant is if they are part of the political declaration, as the second half of the whole agreement. Because you've
still got to pass something to get out of the Union.
WALKER: Indeed you do, the only way that -- the only other way that these options could come into play is if you have a whole new government
restarting the negotiation, going for a much closer relationship which may not require the very controversial Northern Ireland backstop. But of
course, in order to do that, you'd need either a very long extension, which the E.U. would have to agree to or revoking Article 50 which in itself
would be a huge stand.
QUEST: And --
NOBILO: It's not something the Conservative Party could do because if Theresa May did that, she is going to break those fissures within the Tory
Party wide open, if she pursues a soft Brexit with a permanent Customs Union.
NOBILO: And then if it's not Theresa May at the helm, it's going to most likely be somebody who will pursue a harder Brexit.
QUEST: I'll remind you of our question at cnn.com/join today. The question, was, of course, did Theresa May hang on for power for too long.
In other words, should she have gone some time ago? Sixty three percent of you are saying so far, yes; 37% are saying no. Tonight, so many options on
the table. More and more Members of Parliament seem to be warming to Theresa May's deal, but will that be enough of them? That's the issue.
The Conservative MP Vicky Ford told me she's ready for a third meaningful vote, MV3.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VICKY FORD, BRITISH MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, CONSERVATIVE PARTY: We gave people that referendum. We told them it was a once-in-a-lifetime decision
and that we would respect it. So I think revoking it or a second referendum, that would just bring even more divisions in the country, but I
also think that to leave, that needs to be done in an orderly way and in a bespoke way because the relationship between the U.K. and Europe, I want
that to be that deep, close partnership the Prime Ministers are.
So I actually want to have another vote on the Prime Minister's deal. And the more that my colleagues in this place are looking at these other
options on your order paper, the more some of them are going, "Oh, actually, you know that Prime Minister's deal which you rejected before,
that's not actually that bad a deal."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Well, with me is Nigel Huddleston, an MP and Vice Chair of the Youth for the Conservative Party. Good to see you, Nigel.
NIGEL HUDDLESTON, BRITISH MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, CONSERVATIVE PARTY: Good to see you.
QUEST: How did you vote tonight on the eight?
HUDDLESTON: I actually abstained on most of them, voted against the things that I didn't see as delivering some form of Brexit, so I voted against,
you know, the revoking Article 50, the second referendum and Jeremy Corbyn's proposals which I think were basically no Brexit at all. So I
left it open for the others by abstaining.
QUEST: Why did you abstain? Surely you have a duty to have a view?
HUDDLESTON: Well, actually, sometimes abstaining is expressing a view. What I didn't want to do was put focus and attention on anything other than
the Prime Minister's deal because I'm hopeful we'll get that MV3 back and I hope it will pass. And if I had supported something else, I would be
diluting that focus.
QUEST: You're sort of at a halfway house, were you at the 1922?
HUDDLESTON: I was.
QUEST: You were. How did you detect the mood?
HUDDLESTON: Well, I wouldn't want to breach too much confidentiality.
QUEST: Oh come on, David Morris, today, he said, you know --
HUDDLESTON: But the mood actually, it was quite emotional. I mean, there's no doubt about that. And I think we all felt that there was a bit
of movement and momentum towards supporting the third vote. So I think we all left a bit more positively than we, perhaps, went in.
QUEST: Okay, can't she get it through? Can she -- I mean --
HUDDLESTON: She can.
HUDDLESTON: She can get it through.
QUEST: The numbers are still not there.
HUDDLESTON: It's difficult. There's no doubt, and it will be close. But I think if you get momentum, then you also get Labour MPs for example who
are in seats that voted 70% or 75% leave, then all of a sudden, do they want to be the ones who were in touching distance of delivering Brexit and
didn't do so.
So it's not just Conservatives, it's not just the DUP, it's up to the Labour MPs as well.
QUEST: Okay, and let's say her deal doesn't go through. Then we're back to a deadline of April 12th and all this -- what David Morris described as
political theater becomes important?
HUDDLESTON: It does, and there's no doubt, I mean, it is theatrical in some ways, and of course, the votes tonight aren't binding, but they are
indicative as I said so earlier to you.
QUEST: And then it will be Monday. But what would you do then? What do you do if the indicative vote is something like Customs Union, which is
exactly -- I mean, that would require accepting the four pillars, it will be exactly the opposite of the sort of Brexit the people --
HUDDLESTON: Well, the Customs Union wouldn't mean accepting the four pillars and this is where it gets very complex.
QUEST: No, the EEA, I mean, there you go, you can see on the screen there.
HUDDLESTON: Yes, some of those options obviously would effectively mean staying in the single market and having freedom of movement still. Those
are the things that many MPs find very unpalatable because they would drive then the reasons why people didn't vote for the E.U. -- on staying in the
The Customs Union is probably a little bit more acceptable to people because it's not quite breaking all the rules.
QUEST: But Customs Union defeats the idea of being able to do your --
HUDDLESTON: International trade.
QUEST: You know, what's the point? I mean, except for the immigration bit? Anders Borg, the former Finance Minister of Sweden who you will be
familiar with earlier on in the program was telling me, look, immigration is the big issue. And he says, if the E.U. had been kinder and more
generous in principle to David Cameron on that issue, which is now the issue of the day, we wouldn't be here.
HUDDLESTON: I think that's true and we've got European elections coming up. And I think what we'll see in those European elections, and I hope we
won't be participating in them, but what you'll see is I think more Euroscepticism across Europe, more support for the parties because they are
very uncomfortable with freedom of movement.
QUEST: It is an extraordinary fiasco -- I was going to, you know -- the whole business. I mean, you can feel the public in this country. You can
feel a plague on all your houses.
HUDDLESTON: There is that element. But also, there is overwhelming thrust and public will to just get this done because they are bored of Brexit and
the message I get in my constituency is a bit different from what you get on social media, it is just to get this done. And I think if we can, then
we can focus on the domestic agenda.
QUEST: So even as a remainer, who voted to remain, you are still determined to see this through, to have Britain leave the European Union.
HUDDLESTON: Absolutely because I'm a Democrat and we couldn't have been any clearer. We respected the results of the referendum and we would
Now, the challenge is the variety of how we implement, but believe me, we are absolutely focused on making sure that that is delivered, and I'd say
that those Members on both sides of the chamber are determined to do that.
QUEST: Good to see you, sir.
HUDDLESTON: Thank you.
QUEST: Thank you. We'll be interested to know how you vote on Monday. Assuming Monday of course -- oh, by the way, is it your feeling that this
thing will be back on -- MV3 will be Friday?
HUDDLESTON: I think the reason why we're sitting on Friday is that that's a possibility.
QUEST: Luckily, you haven't got too far to get to your constituency. Good to see you, sir. Thank you. We'll give, of course, the Brexit
developments in a moment, including a warning from Europe not to betray British voters. We'll be in Brussels for that.
It is an extraordinary night. I really can't sort of say enough just how unusual it is, the way the Houses of Parliament have thrown the centuries
of precedent out of the way and go for balloting on indicative votes, on a Prime Minister who says she's off once her plans pass, if her plans pass.
QUEST: One hour in our Breaking News tonight, Britain's Prime Minister says she will stand down once she has delivered her Brexit deal. The Prime
Minister will try again to get the deal over the line, possibly as soon as this week.
Joining me now is the liberal Democrat MP, Wera Hobhouse. Good to see you.
WERA HOBHOUSE, BRITISH MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, LIBERAL DEMOCRAT: Thank you.
QUEST: Thank you. Now, tonight, how did you vote on these various options?
HOBHOUSE: I voted for a people's vote because I passionately believe whatever we decide in Parliament needs to go back to the people as a
confirmation as a test whether there's --
QUEST: That's the Margaret Beckett amendment on the confirmation vote.
HOBHOUSE: Indeed, on any Brexit deal that we are agreeing on, and I also voted for the revocation of Article 50, but really only in extremes of
this. We are hours away from crashing out, then we should revoke Article 50.
QUEST: Do you fundamentally believe that after the referendum, the U.K. should leave the European Union?
HOBHOUSE: I believe that the people were not given proper choices. They knew what membership of the European Union looked like, but Brexit was all
things to all people. You know, it was anything that people wanted and sort of read into the leave vote.
And now, we see that the Brexit camp is very divided. The next people's vote would put in front of the people a very precise and definite Brexit
choice against staying in the European Union and I believe that is much better and better democracy.
QUEST: So if we look at the way we stand tonight, the Prime Minister looks like she's bringing her deal back on Friday. You will vote against it
judging by what you've just said.
HOBHOUSE: Well if she would be persuaded to attach her deal to a people's vote, I would be happy. I would vote for her deal. I'd say, fine but put
it to the people.
QUEST: Yes, but she's not going to do that.
HOBHOUSE: Well, if she's not going to do that, I will vote against it, yes.
QUEST: If she doesn't get the deal through, then April the 12th becomes the cliff date. And whatever is decided in the House in these indicative
votes will become operationally the most important part.
HOBHOUSE: Indeed, so let's wait and see what Monday brings.
QUEST: But at the end -- the country is sick of this.
HOBHOUSE: Well, we are making a very, very difficult decision that goes right to the soul of who we are as British people and that needs time and
we shouldn't have rushed it in the way it was rushed, I think. We are coming now finally to explaining to people that it wasn't as easy as we
thought to leave the European Union, which is why I think we should put it back to the people now that people know what it looks like.
QUEST: If the people's vote is never going to be on the cards, and you're probably challenged with that, but for the purpose of this question, if a
people's vote is not possible or will not happen, what is your preference then?
HOBHOUSE: Well, of course one could say a pointless Brexit, i.e., a very soft Brexit where we follow all the European rules, we just don't sit in
their political institutions and possibly actually, there might be a consensus around that amongst the Brexit camp.
QUEST: But that would be the worst sort of Brexit in many people's view.
HOBHOUSE: But within the Brexit camp, and I wasn't in the Brexit camp, I was in the E.U. camp. In the Brexit camp, that might be something that
people will sort out as a solution. Let them sort that out. I wanted to go back to the people.
QUEST: I realized she's not the leader of your party, but has the future resignation, the planned resignation is better, of the Prime Minister
changed do you think will change the minds of anybody in the House?
HOBHOUSE: Well, I just believe that the people that she really needs to get behind herself is the DUP, the Irish Unionist, and I think the Irish
Unionist, the DUP, will vote against anything that will do anything different to Northern Ireland than the rest of the United Kingdom. That's
the bottom line, I believe. I'm not DUP.
But the DUP doesn't come around, a number of ERG people like Jacob Rees- Mogg won't come around and then her deal won't make it.
QUEST: Thank you. Good to see you tonight. Thank you very much indeed.
The 12th of April, that is the date that the U.K. must make up its mind about Brexit according to the President of the European Council. Donald
Tusk spoke to the European Parliament earlier saying after that date, Britain risks crashing out without a deal. He also warned that officials
should not betray the will of those in the U.K. who want to remain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TUSK, PRESIDENT, EURPEAN COUNCIL: You cannot betray the 60 million people who signed a petition to revoke Article 50, the one million people
who marched for a people's vote or the increasing majority of people who want to remain in the European Union.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Erin McLaughlin, will they be watching? Are they watching? What's happening in Brussels tonight?
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: They will be watching very closely, Richard, in terms of what's happening there in Westminster, the outcomes of
these indicative votes. The E.U. at this point is very much looking for a way forward.
There's a very gloomy atmosphere here in Brussels. I was speaking to one diplomat just a short while ago who said that there's a sense here that
we're all on the Titanic. Westminster is the orchestra, the E.U. are passengers on the ship and it is sinking. That's very much the grim sort
In terms of Theresa May's announcement tonight, we have yet to hear official reaction from either of the institutions. But at this point, I
think anything that would move the dial in favor of this deal could be seen as welcome here in Brussels.
QUEST: So I mean, the problem of course is, I know I've asked you this a million times. On the one hand, it is all of this variety of options, but
the Prime Minister's deal is still the preferred option, isn't it, in Brussels? Get the deal through. Leave on the 22nd of May after a
MCLAUGHLIN: Absolutely. I was just speaking to an E.U. official just a short while ago and they see two possibilities here when all is said and
done. One possibility being the deal and that's the preferred option in the eyes of the E.U.
MCLAUGHLIN: The other possibility is the no deal scenario, which the E.U. says it prepared as much as it can for, but no one really could be prepared
for that scenario.
It's seen as catastrophic on both sides of the channel. So, really at this point, anything that could get this deal across the line is favored in the
eyes of pretty much everyone I talk to here in Brussels.
QUEST: And interestingly, the fact the Prime Minister has announced he's going to resign after, will they welcome a new negotiator for phase two? I
know that's causing a huge amount of speculation, frankly, Erin, on a situation that may not happen because the deal may never get passed, but
humor me anyway.
MCLAUGHLIN: Well, I think whoever takes the helm after Theresa May, given the current state of play, will be confronted with the same options, the
same red lines from the E.U. and in terms of negotiating the future relationship, we've heard from Donald Tusk in the past say that the
withdrawal agreement, negotiating the withdrawal agreement was the easy part.
Negotiating the future as seen by the E.U. as the most difficult part of Brexit, I am sure who would ever takes the helm after Theresa May would be
confronted with that reality, Richard.
QUEST: Right. Erin, thank you. Erin McLaughlin in Brussels. Quentin Peel is with me. Good to see you, sir, as always. Now, all the mishmash
of deals and things that they had been voting on tonight, the question of the four pillars still comes back to haunt them, doesn't it? This idea of
freedom of movement -- I am not going to remember them all now -- freedom of movement is the most important one. Movement of people -- there we go.
QUENTIN PEEL, ASSOCIATE FELLOW, CHATHAM HOUSE: People, capital goods, services.
QUEST: There we go. Goods, services, capital, people. In some shape or form, those freedoms could be back with some of those deals?
PEEL: Absolutely. This is what Norway is all about. So whatever we --
QUEST: So the common market 2.0, the EEA will have some of that as well. The Labour one would have some of that. That would be a travesty for those
who voted Brexit to have freedom of movement back.
PEEL: The truth is, yes, absolutely, for the Brexiteers and, indeed, for Theresa May for whom freedom of movement has been absolutely the keystone
getting rid of that.
Having said that, it's also a problem if you like on the other side of the House for the remainers, because Norway means being a rule taker, not a
rule maker. And so you're no longer at the table, but you have to accept all the rules.
QUEST: If that happens, can you see a situation where what looks fine now, ten years down the road the British people will be absolutely up in arms as
more European rules and laws are shoved down their throat without any say?
PEEL: Yes. I think -- the problem we've got now is that the British people is deeply divided. So when you say the British people, that's only
one-half. The other half don't want to leave the European Union.
So you've got this deeply divided country and so far nothing has been done to bring those two halves together.
QUEST: And let's look at the potential replacement Prime Ministers to Theresa May and there are a whole host of them, some in the Cabinet, some
not. There you go -- Michael Gove, Boris Johnson, David Lidington; her deputy Jeremy Hunt; the Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab for Brexit. Which
one do you like the look of? I'll rephrase that because you don't have a vote. Which one do you think MPs will like the look of?
PEEL: Well that much there, Jeremy Hunt could try and please both sides of the debate.
PEEL: He is boring, but they go for boring people. Look at John Major emerging after Margaret Thatcher. Nobody dreamed of him as the next
leader. The one I think who has blown it is Boris Johnson.
QUEST: He is the one that arguably though, he is the one Tories in the country would want.
PEEL: Absolutely, because they think he could be an election winner, and they might be right because he just has a persona. He is fun.
QUEST: Right, but is he -- with him, are you seeing a Michael Heseltine situation? The country loved Heseltine and his performance at conference,
but the Party never liked him enough.
PEEL: Never liked him and key word, never trusted him, and I think that --
QUEST: Certainly that goes against with Boris.
PEEL: Absolutely, yes.
QUEST: So Michael Gove. Michael Gove, we seem to have forgotten that he stabbed Boris Johnson in the back just before the leadership that got
Theresa May. But he is now being portrayed as the reasonable candidate, the acceptable face of Brexit.
PEEL: Yes, but the question of trust is there and that's a problem. He's very articulate. He's fun.
PEEL: And he's actually been a Brexiteer who has gone along with the deal and that is -- therefore, you know, people say we can live with this man.
But I think he is regarded as an unguided missile really. They are never quite sure where he's going to go.
QUEST: Of all of those, who would you most likely to be sitting next to at dinner?
PEEL: Probably Michael Gove.
QUEST: Michael Gove, not Boris.
PEEL: I think no. No, more than Boris, I know Boris far too well.
QUEST: Good to see you.
PEEL: Cheers, Richard.
QUEST: We'll talk more as the results come, thank you very much. We will continue to follow the Breaking News from Westminster.
Amara Walker will pick up the coverage after the break, but before we go to a break, I'll explain what is happening. We're going to bring you some
We're not expecting the results of the vote for another half hour. But be assured if the Speaker goes rogue as is not unusual and brings it forward,
I'll be here. After the break, you'll have Amara.
AMARA WALKER, ANCHOR, CNN: Hello, everyone, and welcome, I am Amara Walker. Our breaking news coverage on Brexit continues. The biggest news
out of Britain so far, Theresa May has offered to step down as Prime Minister if lawmakers finally back her Brexit deal at the third time of
Mrs. May broke the news to members of her own Party saying she will not be in charge of the next phase of negotiations with the E.U. and Members of
Parliament have been reacting. Anna Soubry, a pro-remain former Conservative MP said this on Twitter that it was shameful that hard line
Brexit supporting members of the Party will now back Theresa May's deal just to get rid of her.
Bianca Nobilo in Westminster with more. Hi there, Bianca. So I guess, the question is, will Theresa May's promise to resign be enough to get her deal
passed in Parliament on a third attempt?
NOBILO: It may be the best chance she has got of trying to get that to happen. I was outside the room where the Prime Minister made that
announcement, and beforehand, all the lawmakers going in were sullen, the mood was quite morose, and then once she arrived looking fairly sprightly,
which led some MPs to question has a weight been lifted, is she going to resign?
When she left and lawmakers started to say that that's what she pledged that if her deal passes, she'll start the process of find a new leader
within the Conservative Party. That did precipitate a lot more enthusiasm and also big hitters like Boris Johnson who had so far held out on
supporting the Prime Minister's deal deciding to back it.
NOBILO: Now, he is somebody that could well be a future leadership contender within the Conservative Party and that's important because these
back bench Brexiteers are key if the Prime Minister has any chance of getting her deal across the line. She also needs the Democratic Unionist
Party who obviously have big concerns about backstop with the Northern Irish Party and they kind of go hand in hand with a lot of the Brexiteers.
If she gets all of those on side, she'll probably need a few more Labour votes, but that would just about do it. However, I have heard from sources
that the meeting of Brexiteers which happened not long ago did not go well. It was very angry, because, of course, now they feel like the project that
they fought so hard for, that clean Brexit is just fading away.
So now, it's whether or not they do think it's worth backing the Prime Minister's deal to secure some kind of Brexit or if they don't, then they
are looking into the abyss and it could lead to a softer or even a second referendum or a whole host of things that they do not want to see happen.
WALKER: Okay, Bianca. Let's look at what's happening now. So you have Members of Parliament who voted yes or no on the eight options before them,
basically on what type of Brexit they think will get the most support in Parliament.
So how will the votes get counted and what would the way forward be after that?
NOBILO: This is a highly unusual situation in Parliament. The ballot is also secret, which, again, is very unusual. MPs have been able to express
their support for eight different options. There were 16 put forward originally, but then the Speaker, John Bercow got to choose a spectrum of
Brexit scenarios ranging from a no deal to a referendum on whatever deal Parliament agrees or remaining in the E.U. to Customs Union.
So Members of Parliament will check whether or not they support those options. They will then counted and then at around 9:30, local time, so
not long now, we're expecting to get the results of those.
Then the most popular of those scenarios will go through to a runoff vote on Monday. But even if MPs do coalesce around one idea for how to solve
this Brexit problem, it doesn't necessarily mean that it would will be smooth sailing. They may well confront the same issues that the Prime
Minister has been struggling with all of this time, not to mention needing to ask the E.U. for a much longer extension because essentially, they will
be starting from scratch.
WALKER: No one wants to start from scratch, do they? We are going to leave it there. Bianca Nobilo, thanks so much for your time. Brexit
frustration and fatigue, as you'd imagine has set in on across the U.K. with voters on both sides of the divide desperate for a resolution.
Today's events in parliament, no doubt compounding those feelings. Anna Stewart is in Boston in Lincolnshire, dubbed most pro Brexit town in
Britain, while Nina dos Santos is in Kingston upon Thames which voted to remain in the E.U.
Anna, let's start with you, just give us a sense of what the mood is there. Are people fed up about this process just dragging on and on?
ANNA STEWART, REPORTER, CNN: You know, I think one thing that will unite me and Nina on who we've just spoken to in these two different areas is the
fact that everyone is fed up, everyone is frustrated.
This has been going on now for nearly three years, and the people I spoke to today, most of whom did vote to leave, three-quarters of this area voted
to leave, they say that actually, the one thing they will like is no deal Brexit.
And now, soon, this week, failing that maybe the Prime Minister's deal which isn't what they wanted, necessarily, but they say, it does deliver
Brexit. Now, what MPs are voting on today is a ballot paper of eight different options as Bianca ran through, and you know what, the Prime
Minister's deal and the no deal option are not on that ballot paper.
Now, that's because we know from previous votes that there isn't support, there isn't a majority of those two options, but that brings into question
this whole democratic system. The fact that people that voted to leave the E.U. here don't feel like their politicians are listening to them. They
don't feel like their vote really counted over three years ago.
I also have put to them what they think about the Prime Minister saying she will step down once she leaves Brexit. Here is their reaction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think it is going to make any difference whatsoever really. I think we need to get out and that's it really. Put a
no deal. But with her deal, no.
STEWART: And her stepping down doesn't really --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I don't think so, no. I think she should remain and we should go for it and go for a no deal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel sorry in one respect and angry in another because she ain't doing the job what we voted for.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we're in such a mess and whether she has put us there or whether the situation has put us there, I don't know. I think
hindsight, it will be a wonderful thing when it happens. But at the moment, I haven't a clue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEWART: How history will judge these Brexit moments will be very interesting. Who knows? I can tell you the mood here right now is a grim
one. They don't feel they are listened to by Westminster and you know what, their MP, Matt Warman, he is a Conservative MP for Boston, he
actually just messaged me. I put to him this question that people are asking me, why is this still going on? Why are we questioning Brexit when
we already voted on this?
He said, "I've said to people before, there is nobody more embarrassed by our current politics than this MP." Amara.
WALKER: All right, Anna Stewart, thank you so much. Let's turn it over now to Nina dos Santos in Kingston upon Thames which voted to remain in the
E.U., and I guess it is fair to say that. Frustration is the uniting feeling there, huh?
NINA DOS SANTOS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Yes, you are right. You can tell that they voted to remain. Take a look at the bridge, it's actually
emblazoned in the colors of the European Union flag, blue with some yellow lights on top, just like that famous flag of the European Union, which is
blue with the stars around it.
Sixty one percent of citizens here in this affluent suburb of London voted to remain inside the E.U. when that referendum was held three years ago.
Many of them saying that they are becoming increasingly disenchanted with the situation in Westminster and also a feeling to a certain extent to be
like a bit of the voters in Boston, disenfranchised because essentially, this is now in the hands of politicians and politicians that they believe
aren't listening to them on the other side of the divide.
Now, remember that there is a petition that has gone through Parliament's website that has been rejected by the government or the Parliament is going
to have to debate it because the numbers are such where that five million plus people have signed on saying that they want Article 50, the process by
which the U.K. leaves the E.U., Amara, to be revoked completely.
I spoke to a number of people on the streets who said that would be one of their preferred options, the best option for pro remainers here is a second
referendum that they feel would be more democratic. But among the crowd, there are also people who wanted to consider some of the other options that
MPs are going to be voting on right now.
I should mention that the MP for this local constituency, who is a Liberal Democratic Member of Parliament, part of the more centrist part of the
opposition, well, he is also one of those MPs who helped put forward this motion, helped also vote for this motion that is precipitating what we're
seeing in the House of Commons today.
The fact that Parliament is taking greater control of this procedure. Here is a snippet of some of the things that people have said from the streets
of Kingston today, Amara.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we just need to get out of the European Union now and make a go at getting the country back on its feet. Because there's
so much dispute going on and political unrest and I think that's the next thing that I think the U.K. needs to do is to fix their political stance of
everything and the political, the whole demeanor of everything as well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Revoke Article 50, definitely.
DOS SANTOS: Let me write that off for you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There you go, free man.
DOS SANTOS: Why would you do that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or that one.
DOS SANTOS: Or that one. Second referendum.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Scrap it.
DOS SANTOS: Why would you do that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It just is not going well, is it? It is not going well.
DOS SANTOS: Brexit, how do you think it's going?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, not very well, which I expected. The best thing we can hope for is that Mrs. May gets her deal through, step down, and then
start negotiating the trade deal with the E.U.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOS SANTOS: So does Theresa May's promise to step down eventually after Brexit is put forward change things here in a place like Kingston upon
Thames, no, not really. People here are saying that they feel for the Prime Minister having been dealt a really difficult hand to play at this
But again, it just goes to give you an idea of how divided this nation is and also how some people are getting so frustrated with Brexit being the
order of the day for this country that they just want to see the whole thing finished so they can focus on other really big issues that the U.K.
continues to grapple with, like knife crime, like child poverty, and the economic north-south divide between places like Boston where Anna is and
also Kingston upon Thames near London where I am today -- Amara.
WALKER: And Nina, I'm just curious to know what the conversation is, regarding a second referendum. How polarizing is that topic because you
also have people on the other side, on the remain side who some say is also undemocratic to call for a referendum and the people already spoke.
DOS SANTOS: Yes, it's interesting, just anecdotally over the last few days, over the course of the weekend, actually, I spent Saturday covering
that Million Strong March according to the organizers that was in favor of trying to put this vote to the people a second time, and the refrain that
you heard time and time again among the people I spoke in the crowds was, well, look, Theresa May is getting the chance to put her so-called
meaningful vote, her deal to Parliament multiple times, why can't the people of Great Britain have a chance to rethink this if indeed they want
And then if the result was to leave yet again, well then, would be fine with accepting that.
DOS SANTOS: The real question here becomes whether or not you're asking the people the same question that they were asked three years ago. That's
when things get politically speaking very, very, very tricky.
So some people have said that one way out of this would be to put Theresa May's deal not to the Parliamentarians at the end of this week, but instead
to the people, but of course, we have to go through all of these political motions between now and then in the House of Commons to get to that point
and I think even remainers here on the outskirts of London realize that that's the case -- Amara.
WALKER: Nina dos Santos and Anna Stewart, thanks to you both. And we are still waiting for the Speaker of the House to announce the results of those
indicative Brexit votes in Parliament. We will go back to Richard Quest for more on this and other stories after this break.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
QUEST: A warm welcome. We're waiting for the results of the Brexit vote here in London. This is the House of Commons. What they are debating now,
having voted on the slips of paper, they are now debating the delay motion that changes the date of Brexit in the U.K. from this, Friday, March 29th,
to April 11th or May 22nd.
We're also, though while we await the vote, the result of the vote, and by the way, it could happen in the next 20 minutes, we're also monitoring the
aviation safety hearings taking place in Washington concerning, of course, the Boeing 737 MAX.
Now, even before the hearings fully began, the U.S. Transportation Secretary said she was concerned at reports Boeing was allegedly getting
too cozy with Federal regulators.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELAINE CHAO, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: Having the manufacturer also be involved in looking at these standards is really
necessary, because once again the FAA cannot do it on their own. They need to have the input from the manufacturer.
Having said that, I am of course concerned about any allegations of coziness with any company, manufacturer --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: And now, speaking on Capitol Hill in the last hour, the acting FAA chief Daniel Elwell defended his organization's safety record and vowed to
get behind the truth behind the fatal crashes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANIEL ELWELL, ACTING CHIEF, FAA: The FAA continues to seek and evaluate any additional data that might help us understand the underlying factors
that led to the recent 737 MAX accidents.
ELWELL: We will take immediate and appropriate action based on the facts. U.S. and international operators of the 737 MAX are relying on the FAA to
get it right. I want to assure you and everyone else that the FAA will go wherever the facts lead us in our pursuit of safety.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Now, Boeing has announced today some big changes. The plane maker is overhauling the software system that was used in the 737 MAX jet, the
safety system that is largely believed to be behind in some shape or form in both of the crashes. It is one of a raft of new measures. New measures
specifically designed to make the plane safe and restore confidence of the traveling public after a series of fatal crashes.
CNN's Tom Foreman has the details.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
TOM FOREMAN, CORRESPONDENT, CNN (voice over): The software update would make the 737 MAX 8 rely on two indicators to determine the plane's angle,
not just one. In theory, reducing the likelihood of an automatic leveling system erroneously kicking in and forcing a dive.
What's more, the update would prevent that system called MCAS from repeatedly fighting pilots who are trying to control the plane. And Boeing
indicates an MCAS warning light for those pilots previously an option sold to airlines will now be standard.
Yet for all that, Boeing insists the planes as is pose no danger to passengers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE SINNETT, BOEING: The 737 family is a safe airplane family, and the 737 MAX builds on that tremendous history of safety that we've seen for the
last almost 50 years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN (voice over): That may be hard for safety advocates and families of crash victims who believe the Lion Air and Ethiopian Air accidents only
five months apart claimed 346 lives and raised serious questions about MCAS as a possible cause.
Evidence shows the Lion Air plane pitched up and down for nine full minutes as some investigators believe the crew was battling that on-board computer.
An aviation analyst say the Ethiopian crash looked suspiciously similar.
So on Capitol Hill, tough questions for the Transportation Secretary who oversees the Federal Aviation Administration, Elaine Chao.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: Do you know whether or not the agency required additional training to ensure that pilots were aware fully of the
MCAS system and how to override it using the trim procedure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN (voice over): The FAA approved the MAX 8s for use and delayed grounding them long after and avoided grounding them after most of the
world already had, in part spurring concerns about how much the FAA relied on Boeing's own assessments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHAO: I am, of course, concerned about any allegations of coziness with any company, manufacturer.
The FAA is a professional organization, but these questions when they arise, if they arise, are troubling, because we should have absolute
confidence in the regulators that they are certifying properly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN (voice over): And when it comes to MCAS, changes being made now and whether certain safety features should have been add-ons.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHAO: It is very questionable if these were safety-oriented additions why they were not part of the required template of measures that should go into
(END VIDEO TAPE)
QUEST: So with that in mind, Mary Schiavo served as the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Transportation, an attorney who represents
families of airline crash victims in this current litigation pending against Boeing.
All of that said, the IG, the Inspector General is now being given the job, the job you had is now being given to look into Boeing and exactly what
happened. What do you make of the changes they have announced today?
MARY SCHIAVO, FORMER INSPECTOR GENERAL OF U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: Well, I think the changes they've announced today are too
little too late. Unfortunately for the reputation of the FAA which was damaged years ago, and Boeing I think people are going to highly suspect.
Now, my old office, the Office of Inspector General can do the job and they can do the job because they are also paired up with the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, and they have as such they have subpoena power. They actually have search warrant and undercover power if they are paired up
with the FBI, but I think the other statements that the hearing really gave away, the sort of the overarching feeling at the Department of
Transportation and the FAA, when others at that hearing testified that they thought that U.S. pilots could buy the plane and others couldn't, well,
that's been already been belied by the evidence.
And that there's really nothing wrong with the plane, but they are making it better and that, they will be concerned about allegations of coziness,
but safety is number one. This problem has been going on at the FAA for 25 years.
SCHIAVO: I reported on it back when I was IG and even before that. So I'm concerned about the lip service, but I do think that the FBI in my old
office, the Office of Inspector General will get to the bottom of it.
QUEST: If we look at the changes, the idea of making it so that MCAS only activates once, so it takes information from both sensors and won't
activate if there's a disagreement and the idea that forces -- MCAS will never push a plane nose down more than a pilot can pull it back up again.
It is extraordinary that these were not considered first, that the actual plane was designed, particularly, for example, only to take information
from one sensor.
SCHIAVO: Exactly, Richard. I mean, this is stunning. I mean, so much of this information for people who pay lip service and say safety is our
number one concern, these are basic notions of aviation safety. Redundancy -- you don't have just one angle of attack indicator feeding the data and
after one or two inputs dooming the plane. I mean, it just goes so against the decades of aviation safety development that it truly is shocking.
And I have worked other crashes where there was a full runaway trim, what they call full nose down trim, it trimmed all the way nose down. It is
humanly impossible for human beings to pull that plane back up. So this was an astonishing weakness in the plane.
And I think Boeing said it right. They said it's a patch. It was a software patch when it was put in to make up for center of gravity problems
with this new model plane. And I think that the investigation has to go all the way back to the certification of why the software program MCAS was
necessary, not just how to fix the MCAS software.
QUEST: Mary, we do need to leave it there. We have so much to talk about tonight. You and I will talk about this in the future of that I'm sure.
Thank you, as always.
Now, we return to Brexit in a moment, the latest and all developments here at Westminster, nearly time for us to hear what the indicative votes
QUEST: And a warm welcome, warm welcome to Westminster. Cold night. We are waiting to hear the results from the Speaker in the House of Commons.
Any minute or at least in the next 20 minutes, 30 minutes, we're expecting to hear which way forward has been chosen by Members of Parliament in a
nonbinding, indicative vote on the future of Brexit.
Now, it's not going to be as immediate as we think, perhaps. Let's just go through this what we're expecting. At the moment in the House, they are
debating the Brexit delay motion. This is the law that will actually allow the U.K. to leave at a later date.
It is expected that there might be a division on that. They will actually vote on that before the Speaker will give us the results. Carole Walker is
here. So we have a bit of political parliamentary maneuvering, argy-bargy or whatever.
C. WALKER: There's a huge amount of political drama going on tonight, Richard. We've got these unprecedented series of votes which are being
counted now, where MPs on a piece of paper have said which alternative options they like the look of. We are about to have the vote on the motion
which would change the date of Brexit and all of this overshadowed by that dramatic offer from the Prime Minister to resign if MPs will back her deal.
QUEST: And you will be with me as we take a short break. We want to get in a quick break quickly because there's going to be so much more.
I think they're going to vote on -- you were telling me they were going to vote on this first. So we may have a bit more time than we first thought.
But even son, we will be here. That is "Quest Means Business" so far. I'm Richard Quest. As always, whatever you're up to, I hope it's profitable.
We'll have more to talk about in our special coverage just on the other side of this break.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
QUEST: And very good evening to you, a warm welcome to Westminster tonight as it comes up to 9:00. What am I expecting? I'm expecting any time now
the Speaker of the House, Speaker Bercow to call the motion on the current debate, which is about to delay the Brexit date. It's a formality, and
then at some point in the next half hour, he will get the results of the indicative votes.
In the background, we have the British Prime Minister saying she will resign after the Parliament, if the Parliament passes her vote -- her bill
-- her deal. But tonight, the DUP, the Party that props her up in Parliament have said they will not support the Prime Minister's deal if and
when she brings it back. Bianca first on that.
NOBILO: So Arlene Foster, who is the head of the DUP said that so long as Theresa May's deal compromises the territorial integrity of the U.K., which
is always the Unionist's chief concern, the DUP cannot support it. And like I said, she lost out. They are the key domino that has to fall in
order for May's deal to pass.
QUEST: So in short, can she -- hang on. Let's just go -- there we go. Sorry, we missed that. We go back to the House quickly. I'll tell you
what they are doing. They are dividing. Forgive me, we did miss this, but they are dividing on this question of whether or not to change the Brexit
NOBILO: Exactly from the 29th of March this Friday to April the 12th.
QUEST: It's a formality though because in international law, it's already been changed.
C. WALKER: Well, there is some theory amongst some Conservative MPs at the way this is handled, but it should even in these extraordinary times go
through as a formality to change the date to reflect the fact that there is now this delay, at least until April 12, and `til May 22, if May gets her