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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
UK Parliament Rejects Theresa May's EU Withdrawal Deal; Brexit Supporters Take to London Streets; Tusk Calls for EU Summit April 10; Interview with MP David Morris, Conservative Party; Sinn Fein Leader Speaks After May's Deal Defeated Again; U.K. Parliament Rejects PM May's E.U. Withdrawal Deal; Pro-Leave Protests On What Was Supposed To Be Brexit Day. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired March 29, 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 and welcome. I'm Hala Gorani outside the Houses of Parliament and London. Tonight, it was always going
to be a politically momentous day here in the UK, it was supposed to be the day the United Kingdom left the European Union, March 29th at 11PM local.
Instead the country is in the midst of a political crisis, still in the EU and unsure what the future holds for it. Parliament once again and for the
third time rejected the Prime Minister's withdrawal agreement. It's a big defeat for Prime Minister Theresa May.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BERCOW, SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT: The ayes to the right, 286. The noes 344. The noes have it. Unlock.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Britain is due to leave on April 12th and that is just two weeks away. As things stand now it will be crashing out without a deal. The
other option is to ask the EU for a much longer extension. Alternatives will be discussed this Monday. In defeat May said her government will
press on regardless.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: I fear we're reaching the limits of this process in this House. This House has rejected no deal. It
has rejected no Brexit. On Wednesday it rejected all the variations of the deal on the table. Today it has rejected approving the withdrawal
agreement alone and continuing the process on the issue. This government will continue to press the case with the result the referendum demands.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: We're covering this from all angles. Bianca Nobilo is here and Carole Walker.
Bianca, this is the third defeat for the Prime Minister. She was pressing on, at this point, what's the strategy? She's not getting the deal
through. Isn't it time to find another alternative?
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: My way of framing this decision is that May's deal is like a vampire and every time t's killed, it comes back
slightly stronger. Ultimately it is still dead. What can she still be hoping for? Some lawmakers think that as a result of the indicative votes,
it's support for close relationship like a customs union or a referendum to confirm whatever deal Parliament does agree on. If they remain the most
popular options and there's a possibility her deal and those options could be combined. That may well have the best chance of getting through
Parliament. As the Prime Minister was saying today, her deal is the gateway to the all other deals. Be a Norway or Canada style relationship.
GORANI: Carol, she's going to have to step down at some point?
CAROLE WALKER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Her speech at the end of the debate just before the vote, she pointed out she had had decided she would resign,
hand over the leadership of her party and the country for the next phase. She appealed to MPs saying she butt her personal views, personal references
aside to act on what she saw was the gnash interest and begged MPs to do the same. That brought the numbers that were prepared to vote against her
deal down but not by enough. There was still 34 Conservative MPs who voted against it. They see the scenario we now have a new Brexit date and no one
know what is will happen next. What I'm hearing is that downing street is not prepared to give up on this deal yet. The strategy appears to it be
the next phase of this preferential votes on Monday if there is some form of mood or rallying around the idea of a customs union. The Prime Minister
then trying to tack that onto her withdrawal deal and says you still got to have my withdrawal deal.
GORANI: This will become clear on Monday. At 10 Downing Street, Nic Robertson, the mood there will be somber this evening. Where is the Prime
Minister? Has she returned?
[13:05:03] NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: She's probably most likely gone to the Prime Minister's country retreat. If the
Prime Minister presses ahead with the idea of these two indicative votes that seem to have a good degree of closeness in the vote. The second
referendum and the customs union. Most of those votes went in support of those issues came from the Labour party and most of the opposition entirely
came from the Conservative party. Divided across party lines. Really, we saw Theresa May earlier this week essentially as we heard from a Scottish
member of Parliament say that she fell on her sword but missed.
She offered up her resignation if she just delivered on the first part of Brexit, the divorce part. What Theresa May this weekend may well be facing
now is the possibility of falling on a much, much bigger and more significant sword.
I am talking about her legacy if she reaches out across the party divide to bring on a second referendum or customs union tacked onto her plan already.
She risks therefore dividing her own party. Something she has avoided doing until now.
The options ahead of her are deliver on Brexit and have the break up if you will or the damage to the Conservative party being your legacy, or have
your legacy being keeping the Conservative party together but not being able to get Brexit across the line.
Those are heavy choices for any Prime Minister looking at their legacy in history.
GORANI: Thanks very much with messages like Brexit delayed, Brexit betrayed, so the people whose lives may be impacted by this Brexit chaos
have been out on the streets of London today. Take a look.
These are Pro Brexit demonstrators mainly. Take a look at the demonstration from earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PROTESTER: Save our country, save of children.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: As lawmakers made no progress in the House of Commons, loud and colorful demonstrations vented frustration and embarrassment that nearly 3
years -- after nearly 3 years there's no deal for an orderly departure from the EU.
It was a large police presence. The fact it's still here. We're seeing it. All the demonstrations have been pushed back a little bit. Matthew
Chance is among the protesters and joins me now live.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's incredibly noisy. We have seen hundreds of thousands of people protesting for
Britain. Today it's most certainly supporter supporters. Thousands of people have turned out to fill this area outside the British Parliament and
are chanting slogans. They are waving banners. There is the kind of deal that they voted for but they wanted. What the majority of people want here
is for Britain to lead the European Union without any deal at all. It was meant to be today but Britain was going to lead. That's not the case
anymore. It's looking like it will be April 12th. The underlying suspicion is that even though they are celebrating the fact this deal is
not passed, they are concerned the European Union and Parliamentarians inside will find way of keeping Britain inside the European Union. That's
the concern here. It's mixed feelings. Happy that the vote has not gone through and Brexit is on the cards again without any deal. Deeply
suspicious. That may not happen.
GORANI: Matthew Chance, thanks very much. Not too far away from our position, the crowds were a bit denser earlier. Looks like it's thinning
out but this is a demonstration organized by pro Brexit protesters here.
[13:10:00] You've watched us for many weeks, many months now. It's kind of a carnival like atmosphere. You had people waving EU flags. Even though
you may have some Brexit demonstrators, this was a kind of a carnival like atmosphere. You had people waving EU flags. Even though you may have some
Brexit demonstrators, this was different. It felt a little bit more tense in some cases as well and maybe that is frustration boiling over. David
Morris is a conservative MP who supports the Prime Minister's Brexit deal. So, you voted in favor?
MP DAVID MORRIS CONSERVATIVE PARTY, MORECAMBE AND LUNESDALE: I think today was our last day to close the door and put our intention forward that we
are leaving the EU.
GORANI: You lost.
MORRIS: We did. We lost by 50. I think it was 58 votes. If my memory serves me correct, because at the time I was tossing up the votes, the
results haven't come in properly. We are talking of the margin in round figures of 60, and I believe about 35
Conservative MPs voted against. Most of them wanted to leave the EU. I just do not understand the thought.
GORANI: This is the third defeat. Are you going to just -- is the Prime Minister going to keep putting forward the deal until she gets the results
she wants, or can she accept at this stage that this deal is not popular enough to make it through Parliament?
MORRIS: Nobody has a clear steer on where they want to go with this. It's said the only real deal on the table is a may vote. Even though we keep
getting defeated, the numbers are going less. It still doesn't alter the issue of the backstop which totally respect their standpoint on. We have
to find a way for the DUP to come on side and I think this whole conundrum will be unlocked.
GORANI: From the outside looking in, outside the UK. So many are saying the U.K. needs to delay now. There's no majority for anything. The
country is so divided. You see it with these demonstrations. In a state of limbo that is hurting business confidence, that is hurting the
confidence of ordinary people in terms of just spending their money and going about their lives. Do you agree that's the only reasonable solution?
MORRIS: I think we should just suddenly pause then we have an extension, beyond the extension we are looking at European elections. It starts to
get into the territory of we'll leave when we feel like it. I think we should just press on and make sure we try to deliver this deal. I actually
said I would on other votes of my constituents.
GORANI: Which was to leave.
MORRIS: Which was to leave.
GORANI: Even though you yourself --
MORRIS: I was a remainer. I am now a fervent Brexiter. I've seen how this process unfolds over the years. And how Europe has treated us on
this. The big problem is it's not Europe. It's what's going on in the House of Commons. In the speaker has a large part to play in that.
GORANI: It's a reflection of Britain. It's unsure what it wants.
MORRIS: We have a decision to do nothing. It seems that way. The British want to leave.
GORANI: What if this deal fails again? At what point do you admit this is it -- we need a plan B. We don't have one. If you do, what is it?
MORRIS: If we do fail again. It is up to the European Union to let us have that plan B.
It is a very complicated issue of how we get to the point of leaving. If we fail again and go beyond the extension, we then have to go to the 27 EU
states for another extension period. They might say no.
GORANI: Then that's what you'll have to do.
MORRIS: Then we'll end up staying in.
GORANI: You believe that is what will happen?
MORRIS: That is where we are going with this because, when you follow this to the absolute end, if it keeps failing, we have to stay again. We and of
staying where we exactly are now.
GORANI: What about the Prime Minister as well. She said she would resign. She said we would not say and pose for the next negotiation if this deal
was passed. It didn't so she's staying. What's happening now with her?
MORRIS: We have a very strange situation where some colleagues and I'm talking minute proportion of Conservative colleagues want to see the Prime
Minister move on for their particular reasons and have made it personal. We still have to get beyond this agreement. It's getting silly now. We
have to be mature about this. We have to say if we're going to lead the EU, we've got to agree withdrawal agreements of some sort. This is the
best we're going to get. Let's get on with this to get out.
[13:15:00] GORANI: What the EU does give you in terms of breathing space if this doesn't go through. I have to ask you this, if you have to
describe the state of your country now in a couple of words, how would you do it?
GORANI: All right. You're not the only divided country. In the U.S. there's a lot of division. In this case you have this Brexit deal that you
have to get through or this Brexit period. Thank you so much. A lot more to come this evening. Hundreds of MPs have had their say in Parliament on
Brexit. Seven did not. That's because they don't take their seats. I'll speak to the leader, coming up.
GORANI: We are outside Parliament once again after lawmakers rejected the Prime Minister's Brexit deal for a third time. That defeat prompted Donald
tusk to call for an emergency summit on April 10th. That's two days before the new Brexit date. It was March 29th. It's now April 11th. Not a huge
surprise that this deal didn't get through. Third time up unlucky for the Prime Minister. How has that changed the calculus for the EU leaders right
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, LONDON BUREAU: At this point the calculus remains the same. The result of this vote was entirely
expected here in Brussels. We saw Donald Tusk tweet out that April 10th date for the extraordinary summit announcing April 12th as the new and
official cliff edge. The council putting out a statement pushing the U.K. to declare a way forward, provide clarity. They want that well in time for
that April 10th summit. We heard from other EU leaders including Charles Michelle. He tweeted out the Belgium Prime Minister. Let me pull up the
tweet. I am calling upon you UK authorities to act in the country's interest and present a clear way forward. We heard similar from the
Austrians. This really doesn't change the EU's calculus speaking to a senior EU official earlier today. And in his view and the view of other
diplomats I've been talking to as well, at this juncture, there's really a binary choice before the United Kingdom which is no deal and that long
GORANI: Are they ready to give the U.K. that long extension though if it just means two more years of the same without any commitment, another
referendum, for another election. Are they willing to go there?
[13:20:00] MCLAUGHLIN: the general view from what I am getting from diplomats and EU officials is that they would be willing to grant a long
extension with conditions attached. It is really seen as the least bad option. They do so reluctantly as long as A, the U.K. requests it. It has
to be a choice, a sovereign choice of the United Kingdom, and B, the United Kingdom participates in the European elections in May which is the
political sticking point there in the United Kingdom. And C, they have to agree to try not to renegotiate the withdrawal agreement in the eyes of
Brussels and EU negotiations on the withdrawal agreement are shut.
GORANI: So, going forward now. There's really only two more weeks. Less than two weeks to Brexit day. To the new Brexit day. What can happen in
these next two weeks? Because the EU would want this May deal to get through. She may try a fourth time. What can they do?
MCLAUGHLIN: This entire process has been designed by the EU to present a menu of choices to the United Kingdom. I was at the summit that took place
last week in which the 27 sat around the table and decided to create that April 12th cliff edge so not to be blamed for Brexit. That's very much a
priority here. They want what ever happens to the United Kingdom to be their choice. Red line, no re-negotiating of that withdrawal agreement.
All designed to present choices to the united kingdom so the U.K. can maintain its sovereignty and makes its own decision and take responsibility
for any of the consequences because at this point in the eyes of the EU, all along in this process they have seen Brexit as a giant exercise and
said time and time again there are no winners in the Brexit process.
GORANI: Thanks very much. We'll get back to Erin a bit later and we'll have more guests as well on what happened today in the House of Commons
behind me in a third defeat.
I want to bring you up-to-date on some other news that we are following. "The Wall Street Journal" is reporting preliminary findings over the
Ethiopian crash and they seem to shore up what experts already suspected, that the automated flight software factored into bringing down the Boeing
jet. If confirmed that would link this disaster to another crash six months ago. Quite significant there.
Also, among the big stories we're following, in Gaza, people are bracing for more demonstrations on Saturday to mark the one-year anniversary of the
so called Great March Of Return. This video was captured by our team hours ago at the border with Israel where over 200 Palestinians had been killed
during protests in the last year alone. In place where hope is in short supply, a high-tech workspace in Gaza City holds the promise of better
future. Michael Holmes is there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In downtown Gaza City a refuge from the grinding poverty and more than 50 percent unemployment. Gaza Sky Geeks a
high-tech hub to give hope and opportunity in a place with little.
WAFA ULLIYAN, PROGRAM DIRECTOR, GAZA SKY GEEKS: If Gaza Sky Geeks is not here, I think the majority of those would be either like losing hope,
engaged in violence or simply they are like the lost generation.
HOLMES: It's run by the NGO Mercy Corps and supported by local and international companies fostering young talent.
ULLIYAN: For example, I push some food ---
HOLMES: Talent like 23-year-old Isra. Log in now.
[13:25:00] ISRA SULEIMAN, SOFTWARE DEVELOPER: OK.
HOLMES: Isra has actually developed an app that helps people track their expenses day to day, and it is people in the UAE are using it.
HOLMES: AND THE United Arab Emirates are using her app to track their expenses and manage their budget, developed here.
That island of normality is a million miles from the Gaza border fence. Where every week for a year now Palestinians have taken part in
demonstrations which is a demand to return to family homes lost in the war that accompanied Israel's founding. And also, a call for an end to the
Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.
[14:25:24] Nearly 200 have died during these protests according to Palestinian medical authorities. 6,000 were wounded. Many with life
changing injuries. One of them is Rafik Al Said shot in the leg protesting last April. He wants to be there Saturday but his wounds prevent him.
RAFIK AL SAID, WOUNDED PROTESTER: if there was any way that I could participate, I would, I can't now. It's almost been a year. I've had
HOLMES: On the other side the Israeli military is prepared for the protest. Infantry brigades and an artillery unit dispatched to bolster
forces already in the area.
The Great March of Return began as a people's protest but Hamas was quick to adopt it. The disillusioned youth with little else to do ripe for
recruitment to take part.
It's along this fence that protesters will gather on Saturday as they have every week for a year now. Hamas is calling for a million-man march. They
won't get that many people but all indications are plenty will turn out. Whether it remains peaceful or turns violent yet again, no one knows.
Michael Holmes, CNN, Gaza.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Still to come, tonight, much more on the Brexit news. Just a few hours ago hundreds of MPs had their say on Brexit but seven did not because
they were not there. I'll speak to the leader of Sinn Fein.
GORANI: Northern Ireland has 18 MPs in the U.K. Parliament but not all of them were voting a few hours ago. That's because the seven members of the
Sinn Fein party do not take their seats. With every vote mattering a lot, some are calling for that party to change that policy for the sake of
Brexit. For the sake of avoiding the worst aspects in some people view of Brexit. Let us speak to the Sinn Fein President, Mary Lou McDonald. She
joins me from Dublin. I received a tweet from followers asking you directly. Does it not make sense to participate in the U.K. Parliament to
help defeat the Brexit debacle? How do you reply to people who are suggesting that?
[13:30:00] MARY LOU MCDONALD, SINN FEIN PRESIDENT: I would respectfully suggest that anybody who has watched the circus over the last months and
years would appreciate there is no rationalizing this existentialist crisis in British society. We're Irish Republicans. Sinn Fein has been a party
for a century. Your viewers should know or might know, we were colonized in Ireland. We had decades of conflict which thankfully ended with the
signing of the Good Friday agreement back in 1998 which gives us a democratic pathway forward. A way to end partition and remove the border.
But the border is a contested border. And, for us, as Irish Republicans who argue for Irish unity and Irish freedom, we have no business in
Our destiny and -- our way of living and our laws are decided in Dublin and our parliament too, the one to which I am elected. And indeed, we have an
assembly and executive in Belfast which unfortunately, at the moment, isn't functioning.
GORANI: So I understand the points that you're making, but this is such a -- such a unique event. And also a threat to the -- to the -- to the
border itself to remain open as well. That this may be an opportunity to break with some of the established practice of Sinn Fein, right? Because I
mean, even appeal the customs union motion, a few days ago, is defeated by a handful. I believe six votes only that so Sinn Fein MPs could make a
huge and decisive differences.
MCDONALD: Well, I believe, yes. I believe that was, in fact, defeated by eight votes. But you see, you need to understand that the parliament of
Westminster is designed mandated to protect British interest as they are understood by people in Britain. It's not designed and it has mandate to
protect or advance Irish interest.
And if anything, I think, this whole Brexit debacle underscores that fact, the reality is, and we've known from the beginning since the Brexit
referendum that Irish interest -- and we live on a very small island so our faiths, north and south are inextricably linked to each other.
We've known from the get-go that our interest could only be protected by the government here in Dublin and working in partnership with our partners
at the level of the European Union. There was never anything to be gained or any relief to be got for Ireland through the parliament as Westminster.
And I should say that Brexit is one particular set of events where the views and the democratic mandate of the Irish people is set aside because,
of course, people in the north of Ireland voted to remain. But there have been other episodes like this. And history shows demonstrates very, very
clearly that Irish interests were never served at the parliament of Westminster.
And as people who believe in our country and our capacity to live together, and our capacity to govern ourselves, and our capacity to build economic
progress and peace, there is no place for us as Westminster. We will not swear an oath of a legion to a foreign pair. And I don't think any
Democrat, any person with the sense of their own identity, but also at the sense of would democracy would do such a thing.
GORANI: May Lou McDonald, I understand what you're saying. But there is a real -- I understand what you're saying. There is a real possibility here
of the return of a hard border there. I mean, this is a real issue for the island, also to keep the Good Friday Agreement peace in that part there of
the world, you know, to continue -- for continue to be the case. The situation on the ground. What would the return of hard border mean from
MCDONALD: Absolutely. No, no, absolutely. I mean, there is -- we, and the island of Ireland have watched with dismay, as again there is chaos and
division and a circus really at Westminster. And we have said very clearly and there's agreement on this point right across our island that Ireland
will not be the casualty or the collateral damage of a Tory Brexit.
I have to say too, there is no prospect of Sinn Fein M.P.s sharing an oath of allegiance and entering parliament of Britain. And to be absolutely
frank with you, there is no way or no prospect or no possibility that he even, if we did, that seven Sinn Fein M.P.s would ride in on our white
charger and save Britain from herself.
And from Brexit, a Britain which just to Brexit, who are we to stop her? Our job is to protect Ireland, to protect Irish interest. And to that end,
and I told Mrs. May this very clearly, that Brexit are no Brexit. Britain, the British state, has obligations to Ireland in international law in the
Good Friday agreement and successor agreements. And we expect the obligations to be met and honored.
[13:35:15] There cannot be a hardening of the border on our island. If there is a crash, let me say this. And again, we have told the British
government in the event of a crash, they would be faced with no option, really, than to put the constitutional question, the issue of the partition
of our island to the people by way of referendum as provided for in the Good Friday Agreement.
The DUP are people from the North of Ireland who do take their seats at Westminster. As you know they're unionists. They have behaved
disgracefully and recklessly. They don't represent the view of the majority in the north of Ireland or across the island. And their
recklessness has really place in danger. People's futures and our economy.
GORANI: May Lou McDonald, the president of Sinn Fein, thanks so much for joining us and for your perspective there on this historic day, and
historic period for the U.K., for the Ireland as well. We appreciate your time this evening.
Today, as we've been saying what's supposed to be the day that Britain left the European Union. It is March 29th. We would just be hours away here
probably with special programming on CNN, but it's not to be today. The British government had even planned commemorative Brexit coins with March
29th on them, but nothing has gone to plan.
Prime Minister Theresa May has lost yet another vote on her Brexit deal with the E.U. The U.K. will crash out of the E.U. without a deal on April
12th, this time, unless lawmakers can find a way forward. Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn had this warning for M.P.s.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER OF THE LABOUR PARTY: On Monday, this House has the chance. And I say to all members, Mr. Speaker, the responsibility to find
a majority for a better deal for all the people of this country. Mr. Speaker, the House has been clear. This deal now has to change. There has
to be an alternative found. And if the prime minister can't accept that then she must go not an indeterminate date in the future, but now, so that
we can decide the future of this country through a general election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: John Rentoul, chief political commentator at The Independent. What a day. Very different protesters today.
JOHN RENTOUL, CHIEF POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, a different crowd.
RENTOUL: Making a different sort of noise. I mean, these are the people who were expecting to leave the European Union at 11:00. And I'm pretty
upset about it, as you can hear.
RENTOUL: But the problem is that a lot of them don't want to leave on the prime minister's terms. And so the leave movement has fled. That is a
part of the reason why we're having this delay is because there are a lot of conservative M.P.s who say they want Brexit, but who say that the prime
minister's deal is worse than remaining in the E.U.
GORANI: Right. So the fact that the leave voters have split, what's the global implication of that?
RENTOUL: Well, the --
GORANI: More paralysis.
RENTOUL: Well, even cases they're not going to get what they want which is to leave the European Union. Because if you can't agree the terms, and
parliament can't agree with it, then we're facing endless delay. I mean, we've crashed one deadline as it is. We've been given an extra two weeks'
But the next time, we're going to hit a hard deadline which is the European parliament elections have to be held this summer. And if we don't leave on
the April 12th or if we don't agree a deal before April the 12th, then we're going to have to have those European Parliament elections in this
GORANI: Yes, because the U.K. will still be a member of the E.U. Can Theresa May, realistically, try for a fourth time to get that deal through?
RENTOUL: And the fifth. There's two weeks now and she's -- she made a lot of progress this time, to be fair to her.
GORANI: She was down to almost just under 60 was her margin of defeat.
RENTOUL: That's right. Yes. I mean, she persuaded half of the conservative M.P.s who voted against her last time to switch sides. That's
more than half. That's progress. But getting the last few votes over the line is going to be -- is going to be really tough.
It seems to be incredible to be saying this, but the nation is still poised between two very different futures. We could either be leaving the
European Union in a few weeks' time.
GORANI: Without a deal.
RENTOUL: No, with -- no, with her -- with her deal. I don't think -- I don't think
GORANI: With her deal, the country has still May 22nd, without, it would be in two weeks.
RENTOUL: I think if we agreed to deal in the next two weeks, the European Union would still allow us to leave on May the 22nd.
GORANI: That's right. Yes.
RENTOUL: They haven't said that. We'd have to --
GORANI: But in two weeks -- with no deal in two weeks, we'll be --
RENTOUL: I don't think there'll be a no-deal Brexit.
[13:40:00] GORANI: Why not?
RENTOUL: Because parliament doesn't want it. The European Union doesn't want to take the blame for it. Because one of the -- the country that
would suffer most will be Ireland. And the European Union wants to express solidarity of Ireland. There's no point. So the point is if we don't a
deal in the next couple of weeks and way back again in Brussels asking for a long extension.
GORANI: Yes. And then what? Because then these demonstrators back there will be -- if they are angry now, they will be a whole lot angrier if
they're told there's a two-year extension.
RENTOUL: I think it's going to be terrible for British politics, because it would lean -- the political system has failed to deliver on the -- on
the vote of the people.
But I'm afraid the easy option for M.P.s is always to delay. And we're about to hit a hard deadline of these European Parliament elections. If we
can't get out before then, then we're going to have to delay for a long time. And I think once you start delaying for that period of time, it's
possible it will end up and had to leave.
GORANI: And that was always the prime minister's bet. That the hardline Brexiteers would be so worried that a long extension will be no Brexit at
all. That they would support her deal. And some of them did flip in that sense.
RENTOUL: And quite a lot of inflict, but she's now down to a hardcore of Brexit supporters who I call Brexiteers against Brexit. Because they are
so hostile to the terms of the deal what she has struck with the European Union. That they would rather stay in the European Union then accept the
terms of that deal. They want to stay and fight for what they call a clean Brexit. But I think that if they stay, they're going (INAUDIBLE) at all.
GORANI: Right. Well, this is quite a day. I have to say. It was supposed to be Brexit day, it's not. And will it be in two weeks? Will it
be May 22nd? Will it be in two years?
RENTOUL: We still don't know.
GORANI: We still don't know. John Rentoul, thanks very much. Chief political commentator at The Independent. Check out our Facebook page,
facebook.com/halagoranicnn. @HalaGorani on Twitter as well.
We'll be right back. Stay with us.
GORANI: Welcome back. It's 5:45 p.m. just about on a Friday evening, March 29th. March 29th 2019 is supposed to be Brexit day. Of course,
Theresa May got a delay of two weeks, if the deal doesn't get through. And longer than that if she's able to get her deal through parliament.
But it was yet another crushing blow for the Prime Minister Theresa May. Parliament has now rejected her Brexit deal for a third time plunging the
country deeper and deeper into political crisis.
May called the implications grave and said she will seek an alternative way forward. Britain has -- was, I mentioned, supposed to leave the Union
today, but now faces the prospect of crashing out with no deal on the new deadline of April the 12th.
Although it has to be noted, M.P.s were very clear about the fact they do not want that to happen. So presumably, they will find a way to avoid that
which could open the door to a much longer delay. And that is why there is so much anger among the diehard Brexit supporters.
Some of them are behind me tonight on this Friday evening. They're angry. They're saying March 29th was supposed to be the day, and here we are still
negotiating and unable agree. Leave now even if it's without a deal. And we're seeing this contingent of demonstrators quite different from those
we've seen over the last several weeks and months of those very passionate Brexit supporters who want to leave, in some cases, at all cost.
[13:45:24] We're covering all angles of the story for you far beyond the halls of Westminster.
Nina dos Santos is in Somerset. Anna Stewart is in Doncaster. And they both are. Nina, let's start with you. What are people telling you where
you are right now?
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, that is an interesting part of the country, Hala, because overall, if you take this,
you can see where I am, northeast Somerset alongside Bath that voted together, at least, at least their results were announced together in the
referendum nearly two years ago. They voted heavily to remain skewed, yes, by Bath.
But this local town where I am is actually part of Jacob Rees-Moog constituency. His office is only about half a mile down the road. And
I've been speaking to people in the nearby pubs, bars, the local conservative club. There's a whole smattering of different opinions here.
And we've had some people say that they would like to remain inside the E.U., some people who say that they still want to leave even if there is no
deal or with Theresa May's deal.
But one thing that unite all of these voices across this divided county really, Hala, is the fact that people are getting more confused. Very
exhausted and exasperated with Westminster.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am just sick to death with the whole thing. Because we had our vote three years ago, the majority voted to leave. And most
M.P.s doing whatever they can to stop it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, they've messed it all up, didn't they? It should have been a done job and they've messed it all up. I think now we should
just walk away.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I believe it's a mess. But I still believe the voters or (INAUDIBLE) decided we all to leave today. And I think we ought
to go ahead and do it.
DOS SANTOS: Your party decided to leave?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I voted to leave. And if I have to vote again, I will still vote to leave.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOS SANTOS: So some of those are leave vote. Obviously (INAUDIBLE), as I said, the constituency of Jacob Rees-Moog. And in fact, in the towns right
here, the headquarters of this constituency office. This is also a part of the country where there's a lot of big, important business people who have
moved from London to run their businesses from here.
Just yesterday, after, you know, speaking to a very well connected, politically connected property developer who has multi-million dollar
investments all across the country. He said, look, I'm worried about hiring new staff about investments, about hiring construction workers from
the European Union, and so on and so forth.
He'd be in favor of having a second say on the subject of Brexit. And throughout the West Country, we're hearing a collection of those types of
opinions. Just a geographically, Hala, to give you an idea of where I am, if you sail all the way up this canal behind me, you'd end up in
We've had lot of people from the West Country taking to the streets, taking to the trains to embark upon those marches. Some people I've been speaking
to over here, said that they have relatives in parliament square behind you protesting on the side of vote leave and also remain. So concerned people
are about the future of Brexit on the day when Brexit was supposed to actually be happening. Hala.
GORANI: Yes, indeed, Nina.
And, Anna, talk to us about Doncaster. What are they saying there?
ANNA STEWART, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's pretty noisy where you are, Hala. It's very noisy here as well. But different kind of
noise. The music is blaring. The pubs, you'll see are absolutely packed. People are in a very celebratory mood. They have not, of course, been
shoot in this parliament, they're just enjoying a Friday night.
However, when I break the news to them, the prime minister's deal didn't get through at that time. They did -- that bring a smile to many people's
faces. And it doesn't really surprise me given that early today, they all told me that much rather see a no-deal Brexit.
But here's their reaction. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brexit is never going to happen. Because they can't arrangement anywhere. And if she had a -- she should have done it a long
STEWART: So what would you like to happen now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We leave with no deal and see what happens.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we have another referendum, that's the end of democracy in this country.
STEWART: What do you think about the prime minister's deal being defeated for a third time?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's a disgrace. Well, as a country, we voted to get out and the M.P.s are authorized to get on with that and do it.
STEWART: These comments have echoed what we've heard, actually, all week in all the leave areas we've been to that people don't feel listened to.
There's a certain sort of disenfranchisement, if you like.
Particularly when you look at the Labour Party and the Conservative Party. Lots of people telling me they will not vote for the parties that they have
voted for many, many years past looking to French parties. Looking to U.K. now.
[13:50:01] So what we're seeing here is a reaction to the Brexit process, but also fundamentally maybe a real change in politics going forward.
GORANI: Anna Stewart, thanks very much. Nina dos Santos, as well.
More to come tonight. Today was supposed to be the day the U.K. leaves the European Union and protesters are filling the streets of London demanding
lawmakers follow through. Our coverage of the Brexit chaos resumes after this.
GORANI: Central London. The chants are still going. The police still braced for any signs of trouble. You might be able to hear it there.
Picked up on the microphone I'm wearing on my lapel. Some of the people whose lives may be affected by this Brexit chaos have been out on the
streets throughout the day. And mainly, they've been those who are angry and frustrated that Brexit didn't happen as planned March 29th.
Well, we are going to two to Matthew Chance who is among the demonstrators with more on what's happening. Matthew.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Hala. That's right. I'm indeed among the demonstrators and they're broken out into the
British national anthem, "God Save the Queen. We see of union jacks and St. George cross flags and U.K. flags, in fact. Fluttering above them.
And then as you can hear grand of applause. Something I think that's supposed of a celebratory mood this evening outside of -- outside of
parliament. You see thousands of people have gathered. Leave supporters on that side of parliament.
I'm happy at the idea that Theresa May has still has not been passed on the third attempt of the parliament. Because they say they don't regard that
as the kind of Brexit that they wanted or that they voted for. What they want, and I think almost to the man and woman here is for Britain to leave
the European Union in a clean break without any kind of negotiated deal or plan for that to happen.
They say that's the only way that Britain is going to break free, as they (INAUDIBLE) it of the European Union. And so as I say, a celebratory vibe
in the air.
But also a kind of -- behind that, sort of deep-seated concern that next week when it comes to vote for negotiations about what actually happened,
Brexit may not happen at all. There's been some kind of a longer extent renovation of Article 50.
Article 50 was a vote that mean Britain will not leave the European Union at all. Then a lot of people here, as you can see, thousands of people.
But last week, remember, in London, in the British capital, up to a million people. Hundreds of thousands of people very least, coming into the center
of the British capital to demand Britain do not leave the European Union.
And so it underlines hat even though the protesters here today are predominantly leavers, remainers here last week, the parliament is divided,
the protestors are divided. The country is still very much a divided place. And it feels that way. When you report outside of parliament, as
I've been doing over the past several months. It hasn't changed, if anything those divisions have deepened and intensified, Hala.
[13:55:01] GORANI: All right. I'm going be completely transparent with our viewers. I can barely hear Matthew. And in fact, I can barely hear
myself, because it is a very loud right now. And there is someone banging a giant drum behind me as well. But I'm going to do my best.
So the demonstrators today that are outside parliament that have gathered because they want to voice their anger and frustration that Brexit did not
happen today as planned.
What are they saying? Their reaction would be if there's a much, much longer delay of two years, for example, Matthew.
CHANCE: Well, you're right. I mean, I should have mentioned that, of course. Today is the day that Brexit was meant to happen. But it hasn't,
of course. It's been kicked into at least April the 12th. And as I mentioned, it was a great deal of concern amongst these leavers that even
then Britain will not be leaving at the European Union.
What people say when you speak to them about what happens next and about what happens if Britain doesn't leave the European Union? They talk about
consequences. Not violent consequences. Although, you know, no one here is ruling that out.
But they're talking about political consequences. The idea that when it comes to the next round of elections, whether it's the European elections,
whether it's the general elections, M.P.s who voted to stay in the European Union didn't make this happen are going to be -- and parties as well, are
going to be punished at the ballot box.
Now, whether that actually happens or not, we don't know. But that's what people say the political consequences of this political failure will be.
GORANI: Matthew Chance, thanks very much. As Matthew mentioned, hundreds of thousands of people also poured out onto the streets of Britain in favor
of remain. A much smaller crowd here but certainly one that is making itself heard outside of Westminster.
I'll be right back after a quick break with more of our breaking news coverage.