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Lawmakers to Again Vote on Alternatives to May's Deal; Erdogan Downplays Election Losses; Comedian Leads After First Round of Ukrainian Presidential Vote; Ultra-Orthodox Labor Candidate Hopes to Make History; Stoning Law in Brunei Provokes International Outrage; Protests Break Out in Pro-Maduro Neighborhoods. Aired 11-12p ET

Aired April 1, 2019 - 11:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[11:00:00] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: It is 7:00 in the evening here in Abu Dhabi. Hello and welcome. You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me,

Becky Anderson.

Tonight we're connecting you to a world where democracies are firing on all cylinders, for better and maybe for worse. Britain still staring into the

Brexit abyss. It's not so inimitable leaders don't seem to be able to fight their way out of a paper bag when it comes to getting out of the

European Union. On the fringes of Europe's borders, Turkey's President facing being an unpopular populist with voters turning against him in the

country's three biggest cities.

But in Israel it could be another coronation as polls show the nickname "King Bibi" set to reign again.

Up in Ukraine life imitates art as a TV star who plays a politician could be about to become President. You couldn't make it up. CNN's crack team

of reporters across the map on all of those stories for you.

Let's start then in the U.K., where it may be April Fools' Day, but don't except the Prime Minister to suffer them gladly, as Parliament prepares to

vote on alternatives to her Brexit deal. Right outside parliament for us, Julia Chatterley -- Julia.

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Thank you very much, Becky. Well you may remember that lawmakers agreed to all of nothing last

week, despite being the ones who had demanded control of the Brexit process. Well, they begin debating alternate Brexit options once again,

around the half-hour mark of the show.

On the agenda will also be a petition to revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU. More than 6 million people have signed, but the government says

it's simply not an option. This comes as report say that Theresa May is preparing to hold a fourth vote on her deal with the EU that we know has

been rejected some three times so far.

Now the clocks may have gone forward but can Brexit? Bianca Nobilo is here to explain. Bianca, great to have you on the show. OK, talk me through

what we are going to see in the coming hours, similar vote to happen on a whole host of options, as we saw last week. Deja vu.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, deja vu. So this is the second round of the so-called indicative votes, where MPs have the opportunity to

express their support for various different types of Brexit scenarios. This time they were expecting them to vote on slightly less. So the

speaker, John Bercow, will announce which options he's chosen. We expect him to pull from the Brexiteer wing as well as the Remain wing. Then those

votes will go well into the night after a debate. We're expecting results about 10:00 p.m. local time.

CHATTERLEY: OK, so among those, and we saw strongest support last week for a second referendum, also for a much closer relationship with the EU going

forward, the so-called customs union. While reports just in the past few minutes suggests that the opposition Labour Party maybe pushed to vote for

what's known as Common Market 2.0. The absolute closest possible relationship between the EU and the U.K. going forward rather than

remaining. That's the only alternative here. Toxic for the Conservative Party. Talk me through the likelihood of this getting the votes tonight.

NOBILO: Well will have to wait and see. Last week I think it was 188 to 220-something, I believe --

CHATTERLEY: 189.

NOBILO: -- but 100 votes out, but there's 229 Labour MPs, so if the Labour Party whip their MPs to vote for it, then it stands a very good chance.

It's interesting, as you say, that they've chosen this specific indicative vote to support. It is a very close relationship. It would mean part of

the single market, which is freedom of movement. Which is very difficult for a lot of Conservative MPs to It count on it. It would also mean

continuing to make budget contributions. Now the amount of those would just depend on what access the U.K. would be asking for, but still these

are breaking the Prime Minister's red lines.

Brexit was so vague when people were presented with that binary option of yes or no to remain, that people projected on to it what they wanted. This

Prime Minister understood that it was largely about freedom of movement. She has made that point on several occasions. So this would be very

different to for her to countenance. And you make the point about political toxicity, because if you're looking at this from a political

perspective, it is clever for the Labour Party to support this particular vote. Because it would cause a great fracture within the Conservative

Party.

I mean it makes it very difficult than for Theresa May, if she has to listen to Parliament if they can get a majority for something like this.

[11:05:00] That it's breaking ultimately her cabinet. If she goes for a far more different option, which is the no deal option, and a whole host of

Conservative MPs said, look, we want out. They vote less to the Prime Minister, saying, we want out on April 12th, deal or no deal, we want out.

So again we keep retracing this point, she's well and truly backed into a corner here.

NOBILO: She is, it's an impossible position. And just to play devil's advocate, the advantage of the common market vote this evening is the fact

that that it does hark back to the time of Thatcher. Now Margaret Thatcher a hero for a lot of those deeply Euroskeptic members of Parliament on the

Prime Minister's benches, supported the common market as it was called back then in the 1970s. So essentially, this vote tonight is like harking back

to the relationship that Britain used to have with the EU all those years before it became about political union and deeper integration. And it's

also proposed by Conservative MP, Nick Boles, who obviously favored remain and a softer Brexit, but this is tabled by a Conservative, nonetheless. So

that might make it easier for one or two to think about supporting it.

But at the end of the day, as you mentioned, the Prime Minister is torn between these different wings of her party, and it's a problem that she's

had -- it's a problem that the Conservative Party has had for many that they're now having to confront. Is how can these different fractions

coexist when they're being forced to confront the very issue on which they all fundamentally disagree?

CHATTERLEY: So it's like back to the future, but does it take us forward after these votes tonight?

NOBILO: Quite, yes.

CHATTERLEY: And the likelihood is no, but what we've got to watch, as Bianca mentioned, the common market to how the Labour Party react to that

in particular as well. Becky, that's it from Westminster for now. I'm going to hand over. Back to you.

ANDERSON: Thank you very much indeed. All eyes, then on Westminster. We will be back with Julia later in the show.

Still to come, we'll look at what's next for Turkey, after the ruling party there suffers a massive setback at the polls.

And later, the changing face of politics in Israel's ultraorthodox community. We're going to see how this woman hoping to make history. All

of that coming up, after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:10:00] ANDERSON: Well you're watching CNN. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson, where it's ten minutes past 7:00 in the UAE. This is

our Middle East broadcasting hub.

This is the 1st of April and the start of what could be a pivotal month for many countries, as people from the fringes of Europe to the Middle East

head to the ballot box and consider whether to make dramatic changes or stay the course.

In Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is promising to shore up the economy after losing support in big cities in local elections.

Ukraine poised for a runoff after a comedian and political newcomer garnered more votes than the incumbent president in the first round of

voting there.

And it's just over a week under Israelis vote in a general election that will decide the fate of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. We'll have the

results of the latest poll just ahead.

Let's start in Turkey for you. Mr. Erdogan's party has suffered a stunning blow. CNN senior international correspondent, Arwa Damon, is in Istanbul

waiting for final results. And by all accounts the turnout in these local elections has been very high. A vote Mr. Erdogan described as a matter of

survival for Turkey. How significant then or would be the loss of Ankara, the seat of political power, if he were to lose it?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Very significant, Becky. Although be very slim margins, when we're talking both about Ankara

the country's political seat, as you just mentioned there, but also Istanbul the nation's crown jewel. Now these are still preliminary results

it does that seem as if the opposition party's mayoral candidate has come out ahead of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's party, at least in Ankara.

When it comes to Istanbul, we're talking about an extraordinarily slim margin. The Supreme Electoral Council put out some numbers earlier in the

day that showed a difference of about 28 thousands votes for the opposition party's candidate. Now the AKP party's candidate, Binali Yildrim, has said

that they will, as is their legal right, contest the official numbers when they do come out. Because, as he you were saying, there are about 300,000

irregular votes -- irregular ballots that is -- and this is something that all parties, including the Electoral Council itself, do agree on. This in

and of itself is not out of the norm, but it can potential sway the balance when we look at the margin we're talking about. Remember, about 28,000

votes, give or take.

Now all of this is a signal, a very direct sign to the President himself, and to his ruling party. In this is something that he himself acknowledged

in a speech last night, saying that he was aware that the economy had an impact on how people were voting. And he acknowledged that he and his

party had to do more when it came to the country's economic grievances. Look, inflation is in double digits, unemployment is at about 10 percent,

youth unemployment even higher than that, 20 percent. Now that is high in and of itself if you look of the trends of the last few years, not entirely

out of the ordinary. But it is increasing and this downward spiral of the lira has really been significantly hitting the population and they it

seems, have taken that pain and translated it into how they decided to vote -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Arwa, these results, if confirmed, then certainly symbolic and painful for the President and his ruling party, but it would surely be

overplaying a hand here if anyone were to suggest this is the beginning of the end for Erdogan, correct?

DAMON: Yes, because if we look at exactly where those losses took place, they are in the country's two most significant cities, Ankara and Istanbul.

But if you look at the countrywide numbers, the President's party as well as the coalition that he formed with the Nationalist Party, the MHP, they

are still ahead countrywide. In this is something that the President and his followers are really promoting. Saying that if we look at the overall

numbers, we did come out on top. We still have the support of just over half the country.

But at the same time this is not a result they will be able to ignore, even if once this is all finalized, even if Istanbul does come out in their

favor. The loss of Ankara, that is something that they have not witnessed in 25 years.

[11:15:00] Ever since the President's party came to power, they have not suffered this kind of a loss even if it is by a slim margin. And so the

country, the President, is going to have to start listening to the people. As I was saying, Becky, he is well aware of that.

ANDERSON: Arwa Damon is in Istanbul, in Turkey, for you this evening. I am in Abu Dhabi. We are moving you to Ukraine. Thank you, Arwa. Where it

does at least appear that a television comedian is headed to do a runoff for President Volodymyr Zelensky has a sizable lead over two establishment

candidates with about 60 percent of votes counted. Now he is the star of a popular TV show in which -- get this -- he plays a nobody who accidentally

gets elected president. Life imitating art.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (through translator): Thanks for all the Ukrainians who did not cast their vote as a joke.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Well, CNN's Moscow bureau chief, Nathan Hodge, joining us now. Life imitating art may be, but where is this country headed, Nathan, is the

real question here.

NATHAN HODGE, CNN MOSCOW BUREAU CHIEF: Well, Becky, what we have sounds like a plot to a kind of a black comedy here in some ways. But it's a

serious business. This election is a very a serious business for Ukraine. A war continues to rage in Eastern Ukraine that has claimed the lives of

about 13,000 people. Five years ago Crimea was annexed by Russia. And the economy has continued to struggle in Ukraine. And many, many Ukrainians

that we've spoken to, have been frustrated with the pace of change and with the situation in the economy, and with corruption. And many of these

voters in the Ukraine are casting -- cast their ballots on behalf of Zelensky.

In many ways he's represented kind of a blank slate. He has no prior political experience, and so many people sort of see him as kind of the

candidate of change, as a candidate of protest. President Petro Poroshenko, the incumbent, has of course, cast himself as a national

security candidate. He's the one who appears occasionally wearing military-style fatigues. He has said that the main opponent that he faces

is Russian President Vladimir Putin. And he is playing, he's running on his record of strong natural security, of running on backing the military,

backing the army. So, obviously, we're going to have an interesting runoff if, of course, if it does come to it. Later on this month, when the final

results of the tally, which is still ongoing, are released -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Nathan Hodge in Moscow for you. Thank you, Nathan.

Well, in Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu locked in a tough race with his main rival Benny Gantz, with just over a week until the election there.

The new poll finds Mr. Netanyahu's Likud party trailing Gantz's Blue and White Party. But neither would win enough seats to govern on its own. And

so, there is a lot more to this story. Let's bring in Oren Liebermann in Jerusalem. A week out then, break these numbers down for us, Oren?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So crucially it is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's main rival, former chief of staff, Benny Gantz, who is

leading -- his Blue and White Party. Leading in election polls with 32 seats according to channel 12's latest election pole.

Netanyahu's Likud Party has 28 seats, so four seats behind. But that of course isn't the end of the story in Israel's political system. It's not

just a question of who comes out of the biggest party, it's who is able to form a coalition. And here Netanyahu maintains a big advantage. He has

enough right-wing parties that will get him over that line, over the 61- seat line necessary to form a coalition. But crucially -- and this is where it's tricky for Netanyahu -- if any of those parties fall even a

little bit, they risk falling below Israel's electoral threshold, and they will essentially be knocked out. And that could make it very hard for

Netanyahu to form a coalition. All of those numbers are small. We're talking about a few thousand votes or few tens of thousands of votes

between being in the Knesset and falling short of that electoral threshold for those smaller parties. And that's what we'll be watching very closely

on election night.

ANDERSON: What about these pretty remarkable news conference held a short time ago by Benny Gantz? He is accusing Prime Minister Netanyahu of trying

to, and I quote, steal the election with a campaign of fake news and what he calls info-terrorism. Gantz asking police to investigate a new watch

dog report while Mr. Netanyahu blasting the whole story as a big lie. What's going on?

LIEBERMANN: So this back and forth all focuses on social media, on fake bots and fake profiles used to promote one side or another. In this case

the accusation from the watchdog group is that there was a fake network of bots -- or rather a network of fake bots that promoted Benjamin Netanyahu

and his trashed his rivals online.

[11:20:00] Well this is where Benny Gantz's press conference comes in, accusing Netanyahu of info-terrorism. Well, Netanyahu fired back, saying

these were real people that were simply advocating for him and on his behalf and that it was fake news to accuse him of doing anything wrong.

Essentially, it's a he said/she said. We're used to seeing this in Israeli politics, especially in this campaign.

I will point out one more thing, Becky, there had been a bill introduced in Israel's Knesset over the last couple of years to essentially ensure online

transparency for social media. Which is crucially lacking from Israeli election laws. Which are at this point outdated. That law that would have

required identification in online campaign ads was blocked by Netanyahu's Likud Party.

ANDERSON: Yes, fascinating. Look, just to wind this up. Israel has now reopened its commercial border crossing with Gaza after a tense weekend.

As well as loosening restrictions at sea. This is something that we were discussing the potential for this time yesterday. Palestinian fishermen

can now travel as far as 15 nautical miles off the Gaza coast, as I understand it. And that is the biggest fishing zone they've been permitted

in years. Oren, what's the significance of this news?

LIEBERMANN: It indicates, first of all, that there's something major going on behind the scenes. Agreements arranged by Egypt who is mediating

between Israel and Hamas to try to secure some sort of long-term cease- fire. Of course, it's very significant for the fishermen. This is the biggest fishing zone they've had in years, if not decades, and it points to

that agreement or at least the solidifying possibility of that agreement. Which is backed not only as I mentioned by Egypt but also by the United

Nations.

Hamas crucially said in a statement earlier yesterday that they're waiting to see a timetable for the implementation of what they called cease-fire

understandings, but Israel's Prime Minister's office -- Netanyahu's office said it had no comment a week out until and election, he doesn't want to be

seen making concessions to Hamas. So it seems that whatever is happening, A, he won't admit to, and B, will have to wait for its full implement at

the earliest until after the election.

ANDERSON: Yes, I know fascinating. All right, Oren Liebermann is in Jerusalem for you.

One candidate for Israel's Parliament hoping to make history by doing something no woman has ever done before. Melissa Bell introduces us to a

true trail blazer now. Campaigning to change the face of politics in what is the ultra-Orthodox community. Have a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She's a new poster child for the party that dominated Israeli politics for decades and a

first. Michal Zernowitski is the first ultra-Orthodox Jewish woman ever to stand for Israel's Labor Party. Here the ultra-Orthodox are called

Haredim, one who trembles in aura of god, a community that lives by the Torah, and on the whole apart from the rest of Israeli society. Their

views are conservative, and Haredi women have only recently started to get involved in politics. But there are parties on the right of the political

spectrum, don't allow them to stand for office. Michal Zernowitski says that's not the only reason she chose Labor. As a liberal, she admits to

being something of a revolutionary.

MICHAL ZERNOWITSKI, ISRAELI LABOR PARTY CANDIDATE: The Haredi community in Israel are very closed, like a ghetto, OK. And maybe like our grandfathers

and grandmothers, they say when they came here, they say, OK, we are part of the country, but we are here, the country is there, let's give us our

autonomy. They think that the younger people in Haredi community, they want to be more Israelis. They feel more part of the country.

BELL: Those among the Haredim resistant to change often make their presence felt. It seems like this one, a protest against a move in list

more ultra-Orthodox into the Army are a regular feature in Jerusalem. But things are changing.

DR. GILAD MALACH, ISRAEL DEMOCRACY INSTITUTE: There are more people in the modern community of the ultra-Orthodox that as a groups says we are not

going to vote for ultra-Orthodox parties. So we need to gather now in a new party.

BELL: The Labor Party hopes Michal Zernowitski will lead the way.

FLORENCE BRAUN, LABOR PARTY VOTER: I think somebody was trying to carry the tradition, but make it change so that it's more favorable for the

future of the young generation of Orthodox Jews, as somebody who is very impressive.

BELL: Impressive enough to help Labor avoid the disappointment the polls predict on April the 9th, at 25 on their list, Michal Zernowitski is

unlikely to become a member of the Knesset, but she says change takes times. And she believes the young are the key to the future.

ZERNOWITSKI: We are normally (INAUDIBLE) in many issues, and yes, it's evolution. And if you look at the Haredic parties, you see that they are

not there -- they are very conservative, really in the political way.

[11:25:00] And they want everything to be the same, OK. And we say, no, we want to change things.

BELL: Melissa Bell, CNN, Jerusalem.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Live from Abu Dhabi, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. Coming up, ticktock, the clock winding down on Brexit as

the U.K. Parliament gives up for another day of votes. We are living from Abbington Green, in Westminster for you, coming up. Whilst we take the

pulse of the people. What U.K. citizens are saying about the state of affairs. After this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:30:00] ANDERSON: This is CONNECT THE WORLD. 7:30 in Abu Dhabi. This is CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Becky Anderson from our Middle East broadcasting

hub.

And a recap of our top story this hour, Brexit plunges the U.K. into further political uncertainty, if that were possible. Well it is. Right

now British lawmakers debating in the chamber, scrambling to find something to agree on before the prospect of a no-deal Brexit now on April 12th.

Later today, they will vote on alternative options after the Prime Minister's plan was rejected not one, not two, but on three separate

occasions. These will be indicative votes, meaning they're not binding, but if a majority of Parliament votes for a specific motion, well the

government of the day would most likely consider it.

My colleague, Julia Chatterley, outside the mother of all Parliaments, with more on the mother of all messes, Julia.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, absolutely. And the question as you said, it is majority -- can a majority be reached on some plan B tonight. Let's get some

context here. We're joined by a Conservative MP, Alistair Burt. He says Theresa May is under huge pressure from some ministers to pursue a no-deal

Brexit. And he joins us now. I think that's perhaps an understatement right now. But let's talk the vote to come. Do you believe that

Parliament can reach a majority on any of the options that we see narrow down to by the House Speaker this afternoon?

ALISTAIR BURT, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE MP: It's possible. The idea that seems have gained most traction is the one about a custom union, which

seems to many colleagues to be a better answer than what the government has been putting forward. There is also one that incorporates elements as the

single market as well.

I'm very keen that at least there is an alternative. I still prefer the Prime Minister's withdrawal agreement, because it at least gets us into the

line into the territory of discussing the future relationship with the EU, which is so important. And it would be very good if one got a majority.

But I don't think anyone can actually bet on that.

CHATTERLEY: Wow, so you'd rather see a situation where a very close relationship between the EU and the U.K. is fleshed out and gets a majority

tonight. Including perhaps even ruling out or allowing free movement of people. You as a Conservative would rather see that than the risk of a no-

deal exits here?

BURT: I would. But remember, I was someone who wanted it remain in the EU. I chose after the referendum to support leaving the EU because I think

the best answer for the United Kingdom, as divided as it is, is to leave but to leave with a good deal. But for me a good deal retains some

elements of the relationship with the EU. I think a customs union is easier for many of my colleagues than elements of a single market, but we

have to have something. Because that must be better than leading with no- deal, which I think is a great worry.

CHATTERLEY: So 170 of your colleagues in the Conservative Party have written a letter to Theresa May saying, look, we want to leave the EU, with

or without a deal, on April 12th. What's your message to those Conservative MPs and minister?

BURT: I'd rather we didn't leave with no-deal. I think all of those who have been involved in a no-deal planning, a member of my cabinet

colleagues, myself when I was still a minister, we are very concerned about the prospects for no-deal. The country isn't ready for this. There are

too many relationships that would be broken, and for business and industry, both TUC, both labor and capital combined together to say this isn't the

best future for the United Kingdom. It's very damaging for our relationship in terms of Ireland, the Prime Minister is very concerned

about a no-deal. I think there are better alternative to no-deal already available. It's not a question of a bad deal is better than no-deal or no-

deal is better than a bad deal. There is a deal. It's been negotiated. It's good enough. Colleagues should accept it and move on.

CHATTERLEY: So you're arguably saying that 170 members of the Conservative Party here including ministers are behaving irresponsibly towards the U.K.

economy?

BURT: I'm not saying they're behaving irresponsibly. I think they're wrong, that we just have a difference of opinion. But at the moment,

remember, everyone's got an opinion on this. Nobody can prove anything. That's a problem. I have my view about the dangers of no-deal. They will

believe very firmly those dangers are fewer than those that I believe in. It's very hard to get the objective evidence, but when you burrow into it,

I'm quite sure it's there. That's why I don't think we should be leaving with no-deal

CHATTERLEY: Do you believe that Theresa May might still turn around and go we're going to go with a no-deal option here?

BURT: I don't think anyone knows. She's always been very resolute in the House of Commons against no-deal. She said very recently, including last

week, that we would not leave with no-deal, except without the express consent of the House. I don't see how that can be given. Because the

House has voted against repeatedly. That's my colleagues should accept an agreement, a deal that's on the table. There is much to negotiate after

that in terms of the future with the EU. That's where their attention should be put.

CHATTERLEY: So how are you going to vote tonight? Because the suggestion is that the Labour Party, the opposition party will be whipped to vote for

common market, too. So a single market, a custom union arrangement potentially going forward. You've already said you'd preferred to see that

than a no-deal option. That might get a majority tonight.

BURT: As far as I'm aware, these are not competitive motions tonight. I will vote as I did last week, and that is for a common market and for a

customs union.

CHATTERLEY: So you're on board.

BURT: Because I want there to be a clear alternative should the Withdrawal Agreement not get through. But that remains my preference. Because that's

already been agreed with the EU. We know where were going with that. That takes the country out on the 22nd of May, which very many people want to

do. But it takes us out with a reasonable opportunity of a good relationship with the EU to come. And that's my firm belief as the best

thing that can unite a very divided country.

[11:35:00] CHATTERLEY: Yes, so that Common Market 2.0 option is certainly one to watch this afternoon. Alastair, I'm going to let you go because I

know you want to run back into the Houses of Parliament --

BURT: Thank you very much.

CHATTERLEY: -- an obviously vote. Thank you so much, Alastair Burt, there, Conservative Party MP.

All right. CNN's Nina dos Santos is with us now from Winchester. It's a city that voted to remain in that referendum. We've also got Hadas Gold

with this. Who is in northern England, in Redcar, which wants out of the European Union. Hadas, I'll come to you first because what we saw over the

weekend and on Friday was a great deal of frustration, I think that those that believed that the U.K. that the U.K. would be leaving on March 29 were

disappointed. What are they saying in light of the ongoing debate and the prospect that perhaps that Brexit date is further postponed here, too?

HADAS GOLD, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Julia, this region there were in right now was once the steel and chemical manufacturing capital of the United

Kingdom. But plant closures, including like the plant just over my shoulder here, have led to thousands of people losing their jobs. The

unemployment rate here is double the national average of the United Kingdom.

And that partly led to nearly 70 percent of voters in this area voting to leave in 2016. Many of them blame the European Union. Blame that being

part of the European Union for why this region has had trouble regenerating itself after plant closures like the one behind me. They say that the

restrictive rules have kept the U.K. from being able to take control over its own businesses. We were up the coast just a little bit in Hartlepool

yesterday speaking to locals there and to the MP there about their thoughts on the Brexit process. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think anyone knows and the worst is that people are supposed to know in Parliament don't know, either. So it's all just a

political game. Isn't it? Like no one knows what to do. People are just trying to find something in it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They need to get a move on with Brexit. It's been going on since 2016. I think Theresa May is stuck in a rut. She needs to

just make a decision that just sit and squabble. There like children.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get out. Let's get out. We survived two world wars, we're fighters. And we'll go down, but we'll climb out again.

GOLD (voice-over): Mike Hill, the MP for the area, said his constituents don't want a second referendum.

MIKE HILL, BRITISH LABOR MP: But when you look at polls and you hear people saying, the people now want to people's vote. The polls have never

closed that much. They have narrowed naturally at times, but not sufficiently to say this town now wants remain. It clearly doesn't. It

clearly doesn't

GOLD (on camera): Has the opinion of your constituents hardened in the last few weeks when it comes to Brexit?

HILL: And quite rightly so and understandably so, and the people are upset. They're upset as they are right across the country.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GOLD: For this region, a Brexit is seen as a possible salvation that will help bring jobs back, help bring businesses and investment back into this

area. So when they see Parliament, they see a group of politicians that are out of touch with what they want here. They just want to leave and

they just want to get on with it -- Julia.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, and Brexit potentially salvation, and the stand out line for me there was Parliament squabbling like children, a stark message.

Hadas, thank you for that. Nina, coming here too, because you've got the other side of the story here a predominately remain region. What are they

saying about the ongoing debate as well?

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Winchester doesn't suffer the same economic strains as towns like Hartlepool in the

northeastern. In fact, it's a very privileged part of the country. It's famous for its cathedral as well as an elite boarding school that trained

many of the MPs who are currently debating in the House right now. What we are hearing from the streets of Winchester, Julia, though is frustration.

There are some Leavers who say, well look, those are democratic vote. There are some Remainers who say are now leave because I believe that the

people have spoken and that the politicians aren't able to deliver. And then there's the odd person who says, they want another referendum.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We voted to remain. Now I would vote for leave.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I fully support a second referendum fully, wholeheartedly supported it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was a democratic vote. Get on with it. 17.4 million, there's nothing wrong with that. Get on with it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I voted to be out. And I want them to follow through on that, and now that's all been delayed, and they're putting it in their

hands, now in our hands, now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

DOS SANTOS: Winchester voted almost 59 percent in favor of leaving the EU when that referendum was held. In fact, Julia, you were speaking to

Alastair Burt, one of the government ministers who resigned just recently in protest at how some of his colleagues are behaving when it comes to

Brexit. And the threat of a no-deal Brexit still being on the table. One of the other people, another government minister who resigned from his post

during that span of resignations, was the local MP, Steve Byrne, here for Winchester. He's somebody who has also voted for this option of a customs

union. So very much along the lines of the softer Brexit.

[11:40:00] Because the Conservative Party should deliver Brexit and then get on with running the country.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, such a great point. Nina Dos Santos, and of course, Hadas Gold speaking there. So, Becky, just to give you a sense of what

we're expecting in the coming hours. The debate in Parliament, the House Speaker will narrow down eight options to far fewer. So watch what the

options are on the table.

Remember what we saw before. Stronger support for the idea of a second referendum, of a much closer relationship with the U.K. and EU going

forward, the customs union option. We were also debating their common market, too, as well. That would allow free movement of people. There're

question marks over whether that's even going to be allowed by the EU, while there it contravenes rules. So much in the air at this stage, Becky.

And even if we get a majority on one of these options, will Theresa May even listen and decide to push ahead with that? And of course, do we see

meaning vote strike four in the coming days, too. But for now we await those votes later on. Back to you.

ANDERSON: Good luck, is all I can say.

CHATTERLEY: I know.

ANDERSON: Julia is outside the Palace of Westminster as it is known, there in London. Thank you.

Still to come this hour on CONNECT THE WORLD. Desperate and angry in Venezuela as electricity and water and patients runs out. Now even some of

President Maduro's supporters are turning against him.

Plus international pressure mounting, but the Sultan of Brunei not backing down. The latest on the law that has put death by stoning in the

spotlight. There's after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: And this news just coming to us as CNN. The U.S. military carried out a series of six airstrikes in Yemen last week. Now that it

says targeted the local Al Qaeda affiliate there. They are the first American air strikes in Yemen in several months and hit the Al Bayda

governate region. The last strikes were on January 1, killed in Al Qaeda operative link to 2000 attack USS Cole warship. More details as we get

them.

Venezuela's embattled President, Nicolas Maduro, has announced plans to ration electricity in view of reoccurring power outages. He also warns to

shorten workdays to end at 2:00 p.m. beginning today. This as anger grow growing across the country. People taking to the streets even in areas

that support the government. They are growing more and more desperate for food, medicine, electricity, even clean water. CNN's David McKenzie

joining us from the capital of Caracas. And just as we thought things perhaps couldn't get any worse, David, it seems they have.

[11:45:00] DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It seems that they have. That's right, Becky. There have been blackouts again today

here in Caracas and throughout the country, and the water situation is just dire. We saw protests throughout the weekends, particularly as you

mentioned in pro-Maduro or formerly pro-Maduro areas. Where people were burning barricades and trying to voice their opposition. Saying as one

grandmother put it, they don't care what happens, they just want to see the President leave office.

And there were these disturbing scenes. So it's a short time after we left that protest, unidentified gunman in plain clothes shooting in the

direction of the protesters causing a great deal of fear. Now it seems like Maduro has employed these groups, these gangs armed, state sponsored.

Effectively criminals that have been out on the streets -- and we saw them as well -- trying to intimidate the population from coming out. Everything

he can do, Becky, to hang on to power, as this ongoing crisis continues here in Venezuela -- Becky.

ANDERSON: David, at this point, is it any clearer how this crisis ends?

MCKENZIE: I do not think so. One thing that U.S. officials seems to be hinting at is that this can't be a war of attrition. You had the special

envoy, Elliott Abrams, saying that, you know, it might not be over in 15 days, but certainly Maduro will be gone in 15 years. Referring to the so-

called ban they put on the opposition leader Juan Guaido. So the issue here is that the military, which is a great deal of economic interest

vested in this regime, is sticking by President Maduro.

The apparent red lines that the Trump administration has put on this situation have been crossed, and yet there's no direct reaction other than

sanctions. And the people on the streets that we've been speaking to, at least, are just trying to survive with the very basics, like water,

electricity, transport, schooling, everything it seems even here in the capital, the seat of power of Maduro, has ground to a halt on some level.

And people seem to be hunkering down for a very long political battle. And where it ends, they just do not know -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. David McKenzie is in Caracas in Venezuela for you.

Folks, we are in Abu Dhabi. This is CONNECT THE WORLD with me Becky Anderson. Coming up, two days and counting until Brunei enact one of the

most brutal punishments in the world. The latest on efforts to stop stoning when we come back.

And Brexit may be confusing, frustrating, but it could also be at least a little bit funny. The lighter side of all of this, after this.

[11:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: 7:50 in the UAE. You're watching CNN. This is CONNECT THE WORLD with me Becky Anderson.

On Wednesday Brunei will begin treating gay sex and adultery as crimes that are punishable by a death by stoning. The tiny Asian nation facing a

fierce backlash with celebrities and human rights advocates denouncing the new laws amongst others. CNN's Alexandra Field tells us how those in and

outside Brunei are reacting to all of it.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A tiny Southeast Asian nation, Brunei, now the target of international outrage. This week it will

fully implement their plan for sharia law, punishing adultery and homosexuality with death.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's hard to think that just being who you are can get you get stoned to death.

FIELD: George Clooney leads a pack of global superstars speaking out. He says, Brunei will begin stoning and whipping to death any of its citizens

that are proved to be gay. Let that sink in, in the onslaught of news where we see the world backsliding into authoritarianism this stands alone.

And from Elton John. Discrimination on the basis of sexuality is plain wrong and has no place in any society.

Both now urging the public to boycott hotels around the world controlled by the Sultan of Brunei, who defense his countries right to impose its laws.

The government issuing a statement that says Brunei is a sovereign Islamic and fully independent country and, like all other independent countries,

enforces its own rule of law.

A transgender woman whose identity we are protecting, fled the country to be able to live freely in Canada.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just want my LGB friends to be safe and if possible, get out of the Brunei. It's not a good place to have your

freedom taken away from you your human rights have not been there. It's a terrible way to live.

FIELD: Shahiran left Brunei after he says he was charged with sedition for criticizing the government. He hid his sexuality until he was safely in

Canada. He sends this message home.

SHAHIRAN S. SHAHRANI MD BRUNEIAN REFUGEE: Stay safe and please watch out for yourselves. If you feel that you're in danger, I made it out. You

can, too. I hate to be a pessimist, I know Brunei can change, but I don't think Brunei can change anytime soon.

FIELD: Brunei imposed parts of sharia law back in 2014. Full implementation was quietly announced on a government website last December.

MATTHEW WOOLFE, FOUNDER, THE BRUNEI PROJECT: In Brunei the economy is starting to decline. It has been declining for some time now. It could

possibly be a way of further strengthening the government's grip on power.

FIELD: We've concealed the identity of a young gay man who spoke to us still inside Brunei.

(on camera): To hear it will be law in your country that homosexual acts can be punished by stoning, what is your reaction to that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Inhumane. It's a very, I guess, aggressive punishment. It's not something that a human should suffer with just because of the

being a homosexual. That degree of punishment should not even exist in our modern time.

FIELD (voice-over): Despite mounting international pressure, he believes the laws will be imposed April 3rd as scheduled. He now lives with the

fear that those laws will be enforced. Alexandra Field, CNN, Hong Kong.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, we're back to Brexit for our Parting Shots this evening, with the utter mess of all of it has you on the verge of tears. Well,

maybe try laughing instead. Twitter is full of amusing Brexit jokes.

Like this one that pokes fun at the potential resignation of the Prime Minister by saying, we might see the end of May before the end of April.

Or this definition of the new verb Brexiting, which means telling every at the party that you are leaving, but then actually staying.

And if there's a viral hero in all of this, it certainly has to be the Parliament Speaker, Mr. John Bercow. The internet cannot get enough of

this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN BERCOW, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS: Order.

Order.

Order.

Order.

Order.

Order.

Order.

Order.

I'm finishing. Order.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Of course, he's much more than just the "order" guy, he also like to bello out the names of politician. In fact, some have made a song

out of Mr. Bercow calling on opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[11:00:55] BERCOW: Jeremy Corbyn, Jeremy Corbyn, Jeremy Corbyn, order.

Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn, Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn.

GROUP: Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn, Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn, Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn,

BERCOW: Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Good luck getting that tune out of your head. I know what's going on in the U.K. is no laughing matter, but sometimes you've just have

to find your humor in what is otherwise depressing, dysfunction.

You can always connect with stories the team is working on throughout the day. Great team here. By going to our Facebook page.

Facebook.com/CNN/connect. I am Becky Anderson. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you for watching.

END