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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
MPs In The Chamber Have A Free Vote On A Variety Of Options, Including A Customs Union Or A Second Referendum; EasyJet Airline Says The Uncertainty Is Driving Ticket Prices Lower; U.S. Lawmakers to Issue Subpoenas for White House Staff; A Comedian Leads After First Round of Ukrainian Vote; DNA from Ethiopian Crash Site Sent to the U.K.; Rapper Nipsey Hussle Shot Dead in Los Angeles; Lawmakers in U.K. Vote on Alternatives to Theresa May's Brexit Deal; Mark Zuckerberg Calls for More Internet Regulation; Strong Manufacturing Data in China and U.S. Lift Stocks; George Clooney Calls for Luxury Hotel Boycott Over Brunei LGBT Death Penalty; Hotels Respond to George Clooney's Boycott Call; Outrage Grows Over Brunei's Adultery and Anti-Gay Law; A Graffiti Artist Paints a Picture of Brexit; Brexit Stockpiling Boosts U.K. Factories
Aired April 1, 2019 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
AMARA WALKER, ANCHOR, CNN: Hi, everyone. It is Monday, April the 1st and we promise, this is far from an April fool's joke. Once again, we have our
teams standing outside the Houses of Parliament at Westminster as lawmakers are trying to pull Brexit out of the mud.
Tonight, MPs in the chamber have a free vote on a variety of options, including a Customs Union or a second referendum. For the first time,
could May be over before the end of April? She will decide whether to hit the nuclear button and go for a snap election.
Meanwhile, Brexit is turning Britain into a laughing stock says a top Siemens executive while easyJet warns the uncertainty is hurting its
business. I'm Amara Walker and this is "Quest Means Business."
RICHARD QUEST, HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Good evening to you, and a warm welcome once again to Westminster where MPs have now just started voting on
the alternatives to Theresa May's E.U. withdrawal deal. Now, they managed to unite behind the plan. They could force the Prime Minister's hand and
change the course of Brexit.
There are four options and MPs are trying to whittle it down to find one that can get a majority. If that happens, it could lead to a long Brexit
delay and new negotiations.
Bianca is with me to go through the ones that are actually being talked about. If Parliament doesn't back any of today's proposals, the Prime
Minister could ask for the full term -- if the Prime -- what is likely to happen?
BIANCA NOBILO, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Tonight, we're expecting that there will be a majority around one of the soft Brexit options. That's because
the Labour Party has said it's going to support, it's going to whip for support of three of them including the Customs Union and Common Market 2.0.
Those are the ones that they have a real eye on.
QUEST: Right, so which ones -- I have my --
NOBILO: We both have our order papers, Richard. We've had two here.
QUEST: I have my order paper here which is going to lead the way here. So as we go through this evening, which ones have been accepted by the
NOBILO: We have C to start with, which is the Customs Union.
QUEST: Just a moment, so we are going to have a Customs -- all right, let's talk briefly through the first ones. Customs Union -- what does that
entail? That's the one where ...
QUEST: ... straight forward they'll either going to join a permanent Customs Union.
NOBILO: Exactly. Permanent Customs Union tabled by Ken Clarke, Father of the House considered to be popular, has some cross-party support and also
did what was one of the best votes last week. It was one of the most popular.
QUEST: Right, and the second one is D has been accepted.
NOBILO: D, that's Common Market.
QUEST: Which is the Common Market.
NOBILO: Yes, Common Market 2.0. That requires a bit more discussion, so it's tabled by a Conservative MP, but Labour is going to support it.
QUEST: Let's listen to what Labour says. It will support the Customs Union and the Common Market 2.0. It will also support some of the others.
Let's listen to what was said in the House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMILY THORNBERRY, BRITISH MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, LABOUR PARTY: We've been trying to do things that will help the British economy and protect British
jobs and we accept that in the referendum, 52 percent of people voted to leave but 48 percent voted to remain. And so, really, the answer for any
states person we think in those circumstances is to try to keep the country together to leave, but actually not go very far.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Right, then we have -- he's accepted number E which is the -- well, confirmatory. How do you say it?
NOBILO: Yes, I say confirmatory, but it's up to you how you say it, but the point is the branding is different from a second referendum. The idea
is, it will be a public vote on whatever it is that Parliament decides versus remain.
QUEST: Right, and then the last one that's been accepted was --
NOBILO: The last one, now this is the safety net option, I think is the easiest way to refer to it, so that means --
QUEST: Parliamentary supremacy.
NOBILO: Yes, so that means, if there is deal agreed, then you go to the E.U. and ask for another extension. If the E.U. rejects that, then
Parliament votes on whether or not wants to do no-deal. If Parliament rejects that, then you revoke Article 50 and Labour is not supporting that.
QUEST: Right, so what we like -- how long is the piece of string -- the Speaker has already said that you can't go for -- you can't vote yes or no
on the same one. So you can't spoil your ballot paper.
NOBILO: Actually, let's talk a moment about the Speaker's choice because usually you'd select a spectrum. Now, all of those are soft Brexit
options. He didn't choose either of the two Brexiteer amendments which were put down.
QUEST: Now, for good reason.
NOBILO: They were less popular last week. But still he always says it's his job to show the fullest expression of Parliamentary will.
QUEST: But hang on. I read the note that you wrote on this. Didn't he also say that there's no point because a hard Brexit is the default option
and, anyway, even if you add them all up, they still wouldn't have got a majority or wouldn't?
NOBILO: I mean, not quite. You would expect them to have something from the other side, but he's chosen four which, for those people who have
criticized the Speaker's role in this Brexit debate and say he's had an agenda, that he was a remain supporter and wants to facilitate that, the
selections today do support that idea. However, the majority in Parliament is squarely around a softer Brexit, so it makes sense to facilitate that.
QUEST: All right, so let's tick tock. They're voting now which is why you see the clock, not that you can see the clock, but you see the clock.
They'll finish voting. Let's display that one, four crosses or ticks on a piece of paper and then there's the clock seven minutes past 8:00, but
we're not expecting a result. The House is suspended when you see the clock. Tell me what will happen.
NOBILO: So we're expecting a result around 10:00 because the votes will take a while and then the counting takes a while. The Speaker will
announce all of them together. Usually, he will announce the results of the division right after it.
QUEST: So what time?
NOBILO: So some time in the 10:00 hour.
NOBILO: Meanwhile, there will also be other Brexit statutes going through as well.
QUEST: Well --
NOBILO: I will see you.
QUEST: Don't go too far. Put something warm on, though. It was a beautiful day in London, but it's jolly chilly now, I can tell you that.
As the sun has gone down, I've got the heaters on. Right, when we come back after -- thank you.
As we come back, companies across the continent say Brexit is hurting their business; easyJet has reported a loss and says demand somewhat looks weak.
The easyJet airline says the uncertainty is driving ticket prices lower. In a moment, we'll talk about it.
QUEST: Companies across the continent say Brexit is hurting their business. EasyJet has reported a loss and says demand somewhat looks weak.
The share price down nearly 10%. The airline also says the uncertainty is driving ticket prices lower after nearly -- off nearly 9.7 at the close.
The chief executive of Siemens says Britain is becoming into a laughing stock. Jurgen Maier is warning MPs he is having trouble making the case to
his colleagues that it is worth investing in the U.K. whilst Goldman is telling Brexit is costing the U.K. nearly $800 million each week. That's
about 2.4% of GDP.
Anna, you've been reviewing these. Are they just alarmists? Hyperbole?
ANNA STEWART, REPORTER, CNN: I wish they were, Richard, but unfortunately, Brexit uncertainty quite apart from Brexit itself is costing businesses, is
costing the economy. Where should we start? Should we start with easyJet?
STEWART: I mean, we knew that they were going to have a loss for the last six months, 360 million pounds.
QUEST: Yes, but hang on, hang on. But they usually make a loss in the quarter anyway.
STEWART: And lots of different head winds, but the thing that was much more worrying in this trading update was the outlook for the summer. Very
soft, weak demand for consumers and the CEO says today, macroeconomic uncertainty, many unanswered questions concerning Brexit are driving weak
customer demand in the U.K. and on the European side, too.
QUEST: Siemens describing the MPs or Parliament or Brexit as a laughing stock. I think he put in here -- he is describing about he can't justify
STEWART: Yes, this is very interesting. Open letter in POLITICO today and it was a real stinging rebuke actually against Parliament. I mean, it was
very direct in fact to MPs. Let me read you one line. It says, "The world is watching and where the U.K. used to be a beacon of stability, we are now
becoming a laughingstock. I personally can no longer defend the action of our Parliament when reporting to my managing board."
And he is going on and on about compromise and the need for compromise across parties. He wants a Customs Union, of course. So he'll be watching
the indicative vote tonight with great care.
QUEST: Where are these hundreds of millions coming from -- Goldman says is being lost? I mean, again, people on the streets will say, well, I didn't
see any money going.
STEWART: Quite, and you've got to think about, firstly, look at the economic picture. Both the CEO and Goldman Sachs are saying we've lost
2.5% potentially on GDP that is looking at where the U.K. economy could be and where it is now since the referendum.
In terms of money per week that Brexit is costing, they all come to different conclusions because they use different little parameters here.
Goldman Sachs, $790 million a week. The CER, $470 million, the Bank of England, $1 billion a week. Depending on whether you are looking at
consumer spending, business investment, borrowing for the government.
QUEST: Isn't this exactly what everybody forecast would happen with a shoddy Brexit? A sort of a mishmash of indecision?
STEWART: Well, I don't think anyone quite predicted this level of indecision, I would suggest. You know, the CER did say that lots of
forecasts, particularly from the Treasury themselves were wrong after the vote, and they were. But they say independent forecasts like their own
were bang on the dollar.
QUEST: Good to see you, Anna. Keep watching those, please.
QUEST: We'll also talk about that. We want you to join the conversation. We'd like you to join the conversation. It's really quite simple now at
cnn.com/join. It's really a straightforward one. Bearing in mind what Anna was just telling me from the comment on Siemens. Tonight's question,
is Brexit making the U.K. the laughing stock of the world? And as a Brit it gives me no treat or pleasure to put that question tonight.
But bearing in mind the seeming inability to do anything, is it -- is Brexit making the U.K. a laughing stock? Mohamed El-Erian is the chief
economic adviser at Allianz and Mohamed is now with me from New York. When we see these numbers about loss of -- Goldman says it's costing $800
million a week. What are they referring to?
MOHAMED EL-ERIAN, CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISER, ALLIANZ: They are referring to three things and that is what you get when you have slow Brexit. People
postpone decisions so they are referring to investment decisions that are being postponed. They refer to consumption decisions that are being
postponed, and they refer to the inflows of capital of direct investment from the rest of the world that's being postponed and add those three
things together, they all point to growth being a victim of this unusual uncertainty associated with a slow Brexit process.
QUEST: How does one reconcile those economic realities with the very passioned and passionate arguments being put in the House? I mean, nobody
I suppose is doing this willingly or wantingly. They are doing it because they believe in it. Is it possible to square that circle economically?
EL-ERIAN: It is because there's two arguments. One is about the destination. What does the destination look like? And here you can argue
whether a soft Brexit or a harder Brexit dominates, but that is about the destination. What we are learning is if the journey is too slow, and we've
been on a very slow journey, there are costs that are associated not with the destination but with the journey.
And let me give you an example. There was no political appetite to look at any other issue today in Britain other than Brexit. You need a major
crisis to get focused. So any attempt to promote productivity and growth gets delayed pending the resolution of the Brexit issue.
QUEST: Mohamed, stay with us, please, because we're going to come back to you in a moment or three. We're going to talk about the Customs Union and
the merits or demerits of such a thing versus the Common Market. Stay with us for that.
On the question of what Europe makes of it. Brexit is no April fools' joke. It's a tragedy. The words of Guy Verhofstadt, the European
Parliament's Brexit coordinator said, "The U.K. is nearly out of time and the clock is now at five to midnight."
Mairead McGuinness is Vice President of the European Parliament. Always good to see you even in such very difficult circumstances like tonight.
Parliament is voting again. What do you hope they will vote for and what happens once they've voted that way?
MAIREAD MCGUINNESS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: Well, I am actually not sure what I hope for anymore. What I had hoped for was that
the withdrawal agreement negotiation would be passed and we'd get on to chatting about the future. So I'm quite nervous and anxious about what's
going to happen tonight.
There are four amendments, and you've been talking about them. It's going to be another late night here trying to look at the results and ponder
about whether they chart a way forward.
I suppose what concerns us here at E.U. level is the time -- I mean, we were talking about March the 29th, I think previously, but now we're
looking at April the 12th and I don't see any coming together.
I tried to watch some of the debates to see what the movement -- and you know, some are actually now saying they would vote against the withdrawal
agreement that had previously voted for it.
So I really don't have the wisdom to say what I hope for anymore other than what I had hoped for hasn't happened. Now perhaps I should try and be
optimistic and with the results that come this evening, maybe the Prime Minister can eventually get her withdrawal agreement over the line by
promising to MPs that she can adjust the political declaration. That's my hope. But do I think it will happen? I'm not so sure.
And I think around this town today, it's Monday. It's April fools' day, it's April the 1st, nobody was smiling very much. There were a few jokes
told, but I think we're all really aware now that while a no deal was something we thought was there, we now realize it's a much closer to
happening almost by accident rather than by design.
And I think that's the worst possible outcome for the United Kingdom and for the European Union.
QUEST: All right, but the Taoiseach is saying today warning about the possibility of a no deal and warning Irish companies to be ready for it.
Do you think the E.U. -- remaining E.U. is now ready for a no-deal Brexit.
MCGUINNESS: Well, we've done a lot of work in Parliament to vote through a lot of measures to deal with the no deal scenario and we'd do more of that
this week. The Irish government have been running all sorts of engagement with businesses for many months now, in fact, since the referendum we've
been looking at this and what the appeal from the Taoiseach this evening is to those businesses that perhaps, had not made enough preparations.
But all companies are anxious. Whether they are in the U.K. or in Ireland, and I think your previous speaker mentioned uncertainty, and I know that
from my constituents, there are businesses that are delaying investment until they see what is going to happen and that really doesn't really help
us as an economy and it doesn't help the U.K. either.
QUEST: Mairead, thank you. We'll talk more I am pretty certain. Always grateful that you take the time to talk to us on "Quest Means Business."
MCGUINNESS: Thank you.
QUEST: Thank you very much and the same with Mohamed El-Erian, always grateful to have you. The Customs Union tonight is being discussed. It's
either Customs Union or Common Market 2.0 which is more single market, but just on Custom Union alone now, does it make sense or is this sort of a
Norway plus and a rather poor option?
EL-ERIAN: It's a feasible option and it is better than the alternatives. I think, Richard, the tragedy in all of this is that you have increased the
probability of what's known as tail events -- things that were thought to be very unlikely that now command material probability.
We heard about hard Brexit. There's also the possibility of an early election in the U.K. So suddenly, you have all these other scenarios that
have become possible, much more possible and that's before you talk about the two very complicating issues. What do you do with the European
Parliamentary elections, and what do you do the second referendum advocates?
I love multidimensional games, I love the analysis, but this is getting really complicated, which means you may get unintended consequences.
QUEST: Is one of those -- I mean, the difficulty is you and I could sit here all night and sketch out a million possibilities and options in
between, but what's the most realistic option tonight, do you think, looking at it from the financial point of view? Is it some sort of long
delay leading to an ultimate Customs Union?
EL-ERIAN: Yes, I think certainly delay. No one wants to go down in history to being the decisive voice enforcing a hard Brexit. So when push
comes to shove, people delay. Now, if you want to be an optimist, you say delay in order to reach consensus, but the reality is that the political
process is much better deciding what it doesn't want rather than what it wants.
So we will get a delay and that delay will go longer and we'll talk again about the economic cost to the U.K. of this process that's a saga by now.
I think that's the most likely outcome which is delay, delay, delay.
QUEST: Can I turn to one other matter before -- I mean, the rest of the world watching is also very concerned. This inversion in the yield curve
in the U.S. admittedly it's the 10 and the 3-month so it's not exactly a major, but the view seems to be that's not suggesting immediate problems,
but 2020 potential recession. How concerned are you about the inversion?
EL-ERIAN: So I'm not concerned when it comes to the outlook for the U.S. economy. I do not think we are heading into recession either this year or
in 2020. What it tells us is two things. One is people are worried about the rest of the world and the spillover effects and today's China data was
encouraging, whether it was as encouraging as the markets' bounce suggests is a different issue, but it was encouraging.
And the second thing the inverted yield curve is telling you is that it is distorted by monetary policy, by unconventional policies. So I do not
think it's the signal of a recession coming up in the U.S. either this year or next.
QUEST: Mohamed, thank you very much indeed. We will talk more, obviously, as we'll need you to interpret and help us understand from the financial
point of view, from the wider geopolitical point of view what's happening with Brexit. Always grateful to see you. My apologies that I'm not in New
York to do it face-to-face. Thank you.
The question that we asked, of course, about the U.K. being a laughing stock in Europe. If you look at the result, it is pretty overwhelming.
QUEST: I don't think we've had one quite as overwhelming. Maybe once or twice; 92% of you say Brexit is making the U.K. a laughing stock. That
will not be pleased music to the ears of internationalists here in London or indeed those who have to do business.
As we continue, the European market's strong data from the U.K. lifted the stocks in London. The FTSE climbing 0.5%. Apparently, it was some panic
stockpiling in case of a no-deal Brexit that helped boost Britain's factory sector. We'll look at all of those numbers a little bit later on. This is
"Quest Means Business" live tonight. They are voting. The MPs will have probably voted by now, and we'll have the result, we suspect, in about two
QUEST: I'm Richard Quest. There is more "Quest Means Business" in just a moment. Preparing to vote -- lawmakers have voted and it's going up for a
late night. They're looking to see if they can find a path forward and in doing so, pick Brexit that's right for them.
Amid all the gloom, there is satire for survival. We will meet the artist who is painting the town red with his interpretations of Brexit. This is
CNN and here on this network, the facts always come first.
President Trump is repeating a threat to close the border with Mexico. But this time, he says there's a deadline. He says he will do it this week,
unless Mexico stops all illegal immigration into the U.S. The President says closing the border would also help stop the flow of drugs.
The head of a congressional committee plans to subpoena key White House staffers saying a whistleblower has revealed grave features of national
security at the highest levels of the Trump administration.
He said the whistleblower told his committee that senior Trump officials overruled concerns about dozens of people who were initially denied
After the first round of voting in Ukraine's presidential election, a television comedian has the most votes. With more than 90 percent of the
votes counted, Volodymyr Zelensky seems headed to a runoff against the incumbent president. Zelensky is the star of a popular TV show in which he
plays a nobody who accidentally gets elected president.
DNA samples found at the site of last month's Ethiopian Airlines crash are being sent to the United Kingdom for analysis. Victims' families have been
trying to get the analysis done so that they can identify remains and give their loved ones proper burials.
And the music world is mourning the Grammy-nominated rapper known as Nipsey Hussle. The 33-year-old was shot dead outside his Los Angeles clothing
store on Sunday. And so far, there's no word on a suspect.
Now, these are live pictures inside the Houses of Commons. For some reason, it's not entirely clear. The speaker of the house has come back
in. I suspect it's just for some sort of procedural matters that are taking care of because normally when the house is suspended, all we see is
But John Bercow; the speaker is now back in. And there are four alternatives to Theresa May's Brexit deal on the table for MPs. Motion C,
the Customs Union, we've talked about this quite a bit, motion D, the common market 2.0, motion E, having a public vote on a deal that's put
together, and motion G, is think about we don't want to get into it, it's basically the Brexit safety net.
Carole Walker is with me at the moment. What -- I think we're getting into just some procedural issues in the house. What do you make of what's --
what is the difference between all these motions do you think for MPs?
CAROLE WALKER, POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, there are four different options there. All of them essentially would be what is loosely termed a softer
Brexit. Ken Clarke would be just a Customs Union, that basically means that you don't have an independent trade policy, you have the same tariffs
as the EU on the rest of the world.
But there are no tariffs between the U.K. and the rest of the EU. So that would help some businesses, but it would severely restrict the U.K.'s
capability of forging new trade deals around the world. The one that there is most interested in, which is called Common Market 2, would be a form of
membership of the European economic area with a Customs Union tacked on.
So we have those sorts of arrangements which I've described, but also an arrangement to be inside the single market, that means that you match your
regulations with those of the European Union. Those who back it, of course say, well, that helps trade much more easily. But if you are a true
Brexiteer, you say, well, it's not really Brexit --
QUEST: OK --
WALKER: If you're so closely --
QUEST: All right --
WALKER: Tied --
QUEST: But --
WALKER: To the EU.
QUEST: But you -- with that one, I suppose we don't know the details, but would you have to take freedom of movement of labor, freedom of movement
of people. I mean, if you're so aligned, would you want to be in the single market, with that comes the price of the four pillars?
WALKER: Well, that's right, and the European Union has always insisted that if you're a member of the single market, you've got to have all four
of those pillars. One of them is freedom of movement, so you wouldn't be able to have your own independent immigration policy, but there's a bit of
a get out clause where you can say if there is huge pressure on the economy of a particular region, then you could put an emergency brake on
But under normal circumstances, no, you'd have to allow EU citizens to come here and live and work here and of course --
QUEST: Right --
WALKER: British citizens would be able to do the same across the EU.
QUEST: Right, moment of truth, which one do you think is going to win?
WALKER: Well, the one that is gaining the most traction is that common market 2 that we've just been talking about. And the reason for that is
that both labor and the SMP, the Scottish Nationalist Party are whipping their MPs to support it.
Now, that in itself may expose some of the divisions within the Labor Party because there will be some Labor MPs in strongly leave supporting areas who
will not be happy at the prospect of staying so closely --
QUEST: Right --
WALKER: Entwined with the European Union. But that's the one that's most likely to get --
QUEST: Right --
WALKER: The most votes tonight.
QUEST: You're not going anywhere, are you?
WALKER: Where else could I go to on a night like this?
QUEST: It's a little cold, isn't it?
WALKER: To talk to you about the latest extraordinary developments. It is another extraordinary night in the Commons. It is unusual --
[15:35:00] QUEST: Right --
WALKER: For MPs to have control of parliament like this. And the key question is, when they do reach a decision, if they reach a decision, what
does the government do next?
QUEST: You've dropped your pen.
WALKER: I have dropped my pen, I can continue there if you like without it.
QUEST: No, I'll tell you, why don't we take a break and then I can pick up your pen for you.
WALKER: Thank you.
QUEST: All right. We've got so much more to talk about as we continue. We return, a push for privacy and a request for regulation. Facebook wants
governments to play a more active role in making rules for the internet. Isn't this a bit like the poacher turned gamekeeper? We need to understand
that, it's after the break.
We are in the final hour of trade, we'll show you the markets as well. This is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS live from London.
QUEST: Hello, it's the final hour of trading on Wall Street, and look at that, 1.17, a strong start to the second quarter. The Dow comfortably over
26,000. A good manufacturing data from the U.S. and China. The Dow 30 shows Caterpillar, Boeing, Dow -- well, look, there we are, ask and we
shall show. Everybody is up.
And McDonald's is the only lagger there on the market main one. And we're now hearing from some of the nine luxury hotels that George Clooney has
called for people to boycott. The Hollywood star wants people to snub the hotels because of their links to Brunei, the tiny Asian nation is
facing a fierce backlash.
New laws that would come into effect on Wednesday will begin treating same- sex relationships and adultery as crimes that are punishable by death and stoning. Yes, you did hear me right. It sparked an international
condemnation and Mr. Clooney wants to hit luxury hotels with links to the sultan.
Now, statements from some of them -- now, bear in mind, these hotels are owned by Brunei Holdings. Brunei Holdings is the sovereign fund of Brunei
which is owned by, of course, the sultan of Brunei. The Dorchester in London says "we do not tolerate any form of discrimination." The Le
Meurice in Paris told us "we want to stress that we do value LGBTQ rights."
Also in the French capital, the Plaza Athenee says "any form of discrimination is not tolerated." CNN's Alexandra Field has this story.
[15:40:00] ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL 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 could 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
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 defends his country's rights 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're protecting fled the country to be able to live freely in Canada.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just want my LGBT vows to be safe and, if possible, get out of Brunei. It's not a good place to have your freedom be taken
away from you. Your human rights not being there, it's a terrible way to live.
FIELD: Sharon(ph) left Brunei after he says he was charged with seduction for criticizing the government. He hid his sexuality until he was safely
in Canada. He sent this message home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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 any time soon.
FIELD: Brunei imposed parts of Sharia law back in 2014, full implementation was quietly announced on a government website last December.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In Brunei, the economy is starting to decline, 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 that 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 not -- should suffer
with just because of being a homosexual. That degree of punishment should not even exist in our modern time.
FIELD: 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.
QUEST: Facebook's Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg says he wants more regulation of the internet. In a "Washington Post" opinion piece, he calls
for a stricter rules regarding harmful content. He also argues government should do more to guard against online election meddling and the misuse of
users' private data.
Facebook was recently condemned for failing to protest or prevent a terrorist live streaming video of a mass shooting in New Zealand. CNN's
Brian Stelter with me in New York. Is this the poacher turned game keeper? Seems a bit bizarre, he's now sort of saying to government, no, this is
your business, you get on with it?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: He knows regulators around the world have a lot ideas. And he is trying to shape the conversation
about how to regulate these big tech companies. That's definitely what's going on, Richard, and it's part of a multi-pronged effort we're seeing
from Zuckerberg and from his new head of Global Affairs, his new PR chief Nick Clegg who was hired of course from where you are right now.
Right now, Zuckerberg and Clegg are both in Berlin, they've been on an European tour of sorts, meeting with publishers, meeting with regulators,
again, trying to set the debate on their own terms. Zuckerberg says for example, that there need to be regulations about online content, about what
kind of hate speech is tolerable and what's intolerable on sites like Facebook.
And this is something that we have seen Facebook executives privately saying --
QUEST: Right --
STELTER: For a while. They've told me for a couple of years, if there are rules, we will follow them. Now, Zuckerberg is actively himself, saying
the same thing and trying to set the agenda.
QUEST: Brian Stelter, Brian, thank you.
QUEST: Turning to tonight's Brexit, joining me now Stephen Doughty is a member of parliament for the Labor Party. How did you vote?
STEPHEN DOUGHTY, BRITISH LABOR MP: I voted for a confirmatory vote which obviously --
QUEST: All right --
DOUGHTY: Attached to any deal, a vote for one of soft Brexit options for a Customs Union and I voted for a revocation if we got to a stage where it
was going to be a no deal.
QUEST: So as I was just saying before we came on air, you defied your own party's whip.
[15:45:00] DOUGHTY: Well, I vote consistently with how I vote in the last round of confirmatory votes while our whip actually slightly changed
between those two things. I always had an independent mind on all of these issues. Now, I listened very carefully to the arguments in the chamber
today before I cast my vote.
QUEST: Right, but you know, what's the point of having a whipping system if everyone says I voted my conscience, which might be completely true, I'm
not -- I'm not questioning for a second that you -- your ethics or integrity --
DOUGHTY: Well --
QUEST: But you're saying, but you didn't vote the whip.
DOUGHTY: Well, I'm a former whip and you know --
DOUGHTY: Jeremy Corbyn --
QUEST: You're a game keeper turned poacher.
DOUGHTY: Well, I mean, Jeremy Corbyn of course broke I think 550 times. I mean, I think what's extraordinary about this period in British politics is
of course the --
QUEST: Right --
DOUGHTY: This is an issue that transcends --
QUEST: Right --
DOUGHTY: Traditional party boundaries, it transcends factions. And actually, particularly on this indicative votes, people are voting in the
way that they feel is the best way forward.
QUEST: So let's assume just for the purposes of my question that the Customs Union wins the day. What do you do with that? You've still got
to pass the withdrawal bill. Now admittedly, the Customs Union gives you cover against the backstop, but how do you take this vote and turn it
into something tangible?
DOUGHTY: Well, I think fundamentally, there's going to be a deal that goes forward. If we have a deal with the Customs Union attached or if one of
the other options succeeds tonight, where I think indeed it's the Prime Minister's deal. I think any one of them now has to go back to the people.
And I think, you know, we've had the chaos in here, we've had the --
QUEST: Yes, well --
DOUGHTY: Impasse. And we've got to have a chance for people to have the final say on whether they want to leave with a deal, a real deal, but a
fancy deal and then whether if they don't want that deal, whether they want to keep the deal that we've got.
QUEST: So you -- assuming -- but what if there is no confirmatory vote. I mean, the Prime Minister is pretty much against it, your own party agrees
on a second vote, but in very dubious circumstances, and would prefer an election first.
DOUGHTY: Well, I mean, and obviously Labor Party would prefer an election, we'd all prefer an election, I'd prefer an election, but --
QUEST: Would you really? Would you really --
DOUGHTY: You know --
QUEST: Prefer an election for a country that is absolutely split at this time? When the former Prime Minister, Sir John Major, is calling for a
national unity, but says this would be disastrous?
DOUGHTY: I think it's very unlikely that we get an election at the moment. You know, a lot of conservatives have made clear they won't support one.
And of course, as you say, we're in the middle of a crisis and we had a chance to vote for an election a few weeks ago, that didn't happen.
But I think the crucial thing now is that, if we just sort of cobble together a deal in here, it may be at the risk of not meeting what either
leavers voted for or what remainers voted for. And you only have to look at the protests in the last few weeks, the million people who were on the
streets for the people's vote march, the 6 million people signing the petition to revoke --
QUEST: Right --
DOUGHTY: Article 50. There's something happening out there in the public, and we need to respond to that.
QUEST: We've had -- one last quickly. We've had -- and we've been asking our viewers following on from what Siemens CEO said. Is this making the
U.K. the laughing stock of the world?
DOUGHTY: Well, I think -- I think it has made us, you know, diminished in the international world -- in the international standings both in terms of
our politics --
QUEST: And you're prepared to accept --
DOUGHTY: Our business and our government.
QUEST: And you're prepared to accept your part of blame in that?
DOUGHTY: Well, I think the government fundamentally, they chose to handle this process in a particular way. Parliament actually is the one that's
taken back control here to try to find a way forward. We're working across all bases to find compromise --
QUEST: Well --
DOUGHTY: And that's going to be a way to find a solution.
QUEST: We're out of time, good to see you sir --
DOUGHTY: Pleasure, always --
QUEST: Good to see you, thank you. As we continue, painting a picture of Brexit. We'll meet the man wielding the paint cans in London.
[15:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
QUEST: As British lawmakers prepare again voting on alternatives to the Prime Minister's Brexit deal, frustration is growing across the U.K..
You've heard about it from our correspondents, Nina and Stewart both reported at the sheer anger at the political turmoil here in Westminster.
Well, that's the case in Stockton-on-Tees in Northern England, the region that wants out of the European Union and where Hadas Gold is this evening.
What you're hearing from the people there is what?
HADAS GOLD, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Well, Richard, this area voted overwhelmingly in favor of leaving the European Union. In some areas in
this key side region, which is what it's known as, even voted up to 70 percent in favor of Brexit. Now, this area has been really hurt in the
last few years, the closure of especially one large steel plant.
And the unemployment numbers here are double what they are on the national average. And a lot of people here blame the U.K. being part of the
European Union as one of the reasons why they think this area has had trouble reinventing itself or reinvigorating itself.
They believe that EU regulations and rules have prevented the U.K. having sovereignty over their own business decisions. So they see Brexit as a way
out, as a salvation. Something that will bring them new opportunities, including a new free port proposal that's been brought up here, that would
turn it into a Customs tariff-free zone.
They -- but they can't get any of that started they believe until Brexit happens. Now, these people are very frustrated with parliament, one person
yesterday described parliament to me as a bunch of squabbling children and other people say, you know, we've survived world wars, we're tough people
especially up here in the north.
We can survive a Brexit, we can survive even a no-deal Brexit. They are incredibly frustrated and they just want to be able to move on.
QUEST: Hadas, thank you. We listen to what people say where you are. You really do get the flavor of the colorful way in which they put it.
GOLD: They definitely put it in a colorful way, but it's also a reflection of just their own frustrations with what is happening. Their own
frustrations with the politicians. They don't believe that the politicians reflect their values, reflect what they actually want to see
They say the people voted in 2016 and the politicians in Westminster are not executing on what that vote told them to do.
QUEST: Hadas, thank you. Hadas Gold in Stockton-on-Tees in the Northeast. The writing is on the wall, literally, Brexit is a mess. This is the scene
outside just on the street where our offices are. Sleep-walking towards Theresa May in various poses, sleepwalking, falling over hurdles, amongst
other things. People walking by told us this paints an accurate picture of Brexit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think they're really good. I think it sums up the mood of what everyone is feeling at the moment. And you know, the mood is
stop wasting money, stop wasting time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think one purpose of this art is to really inform people at the same time to really evoke emotions and, you know, what's
going on, on people's mind.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: While I stopped and take a pose is because it made me happy, because I could laugh at it for once and it's been quite depressing
scenario and it's been going on for years. I'm really glad that someone can take a relatively light-hearted poke at it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: The artist responsible goes by the name Loretto and Loretto is with me now, good to see you, sir --
BIO LORETTO, GRAFFITI ARTIST: Hi, nice to see you --
QUEST: Thank you very much indeed --
LORETTO: Yes --
QUEST: And why did you do these things? Because I saw them on -- as we were walking back from dinner the other night --
LORETTO: Yes --
QUEST: And they're really attracting a crowd. Why did you do them?
LORETTO: I feel so inspired about all these things that happen actually. You know, actuality, here and other countries, United States, and I think
it's a lot of inspiration for artists, really.
QUEST: But your art -- you're not European.
[15:55:00] QUEST: But you've decided that this satirical art against Brexit, what was the motivation? I mean, when you feel the mood of the
LORETTO: It's like I think as an artist, we feel sometimes as inspiration how people feel.
QUEST: Right --
LORETTO: And I --
QUEST: So what are you saying about Brexit here?
LORETTO: What do I say? I think she needs to think what people are thinking or what people are telling because I think a leader must do
sometimes what people want, expect her to do, yes. And I think --
QUEST: Are you surprised at how popular these pictures have been? I saw lots of people take --
LORETTO: Yes, I'm so happy about it.
QUEST: I mean, it has been quite -- people are taking pictures, and when I saw you the other day, people were coming up and talking to you about it
LORETTO: Yes, I like the --
QUEST: What were they saying about it? What did they say?
LORETTO: They like the artworks, they like the meaning, they like the colors. Because I want also to create something beautiful about maybe a
higher moment, yes, because this is all about life, right? Through her moment we can create something good, you know, and give some sort of
And also in another hand to do like a comedy, you know, like a comedian.
QUEST: Well, let's face it, the comedian is about -- could become the most precedent --
LORETTO: I'm glad you liked my work.
QUEST: Very much so, thank you, sir.
LORETTO: You're welcome --
QUEST: So to the European markets, strong data, strong data from the United Kingdom lifted stocks in London. The FTSE 100 climbing half of a
percent, others stockpiling of no deal, in case of a no Brexit, helped bruised Britain's factory sector.
You can see the gains on the last, no losses today. Nearly out of time in terms of the Dow, what a day in New York, you've got the Dow that marched
on to a high, look at that, up 351, 1.3 and all the other markets are up as well. We'll have more, we'll continue, there is much more because the news
never stops, neither do we. This is CNN.