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Interview with Fabian Picardo, Chief Minister of Gibraltar, Release of Iranian Oil Tanker, Defying Request from U.S. to Detain Ship; Trump Urged Israel to Block Visit of U.S. Lawmakers; Israel Bars Two U.S. Lawmakers from Planned Visit; U.K. Set to Leave EU October 31 Deal or No Deal; U.K. Opposition Leader Plans to Call No-Confidence Vote. Aired 11a- 12p ET

Aired August 15, 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: Right now eleventh-hour tanker grab. America taking control of a giant Iranian oil tanker that's floating in

European waters, held under European sanctions. As moments ago, Europeans want to get rid of. So we ask now what exactly is going on? What

Gibraltar's chief minister live for you just ahead.

Then --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The things they've said about our country are terrible. What they've said about Israel are just

terrible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Others are listening to American Congresswomen now banned from one of their country's closest allies. Details on that are ahead.

And --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: If Johnson loses a no confidence vote, is that he simply refuses to step down. And that means it

could leave Britain adrift in a constitutional crisis.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: That's not even the worst way it could go. Ahead, Britain's opposition already trying to turf out the country's brand-new Prime

Minister. The Brexit mess it seems never ends.

It is 11:00 in the morning in D.C., 4:00 p.m. here in London, 7:30 in Tehran. I am Becky Anderson. We are connecting your world from the

British capital today.

And this hour, Gibraltar is releasing Iranian oil supertanker, the Grace 1. Seemingly defying the request from the United States to keep the ship

detained. Now you will remember. The Grace 1 was seized last month by Gibraltar authorities British Marines. They accuse the tanker of carrying

oil to Syria, violating EU sanctions.

Then, Iran seized a British flagged tanker in Strait of Hormuz about two weeks later.

Well, the court's decision coming in a little over a half an hour. And there's still a lot quite frankly we don't know or understand. But a man

who may have answers, Fabian Picardo is the chief minister of Gibraltar joining us now live from the British territory. As I understand it, sir,

your statement says the tanker is free to leave, but Gibraltar is still considering the U.S. case for detention. Sort this out for me. What is

going on?

FABIAN PICARDO, CHIEF MINISTER, GIBRALTAR: So good afternoon, and good afternoon to all of your viewers. Gibraltar has taken a very careful

approach to the detention of the Grace 1. We only acted in July when we had evidence that cargo aboard the vessel was going to Syria. What we

found aboard the vessel has confirmed the view that we took was the correct view. And we've only released the vessel in the section 38 and 39 of the

sanctions act, when we have been convinced that the vessel is not now going to Syria.

But of course, what we're doing in the context of another potential detention, whether or not the U.S. Department of Justice detention takes

effect is very respectfully looking at the requests from the United States, and making an independent assessment of that, which has not been done in

time for the hearing today. But which could of course come at any time before the vessel sails.

ANDERSON: So just to be very, very clear here. Is that tanker free to leave Gibraltar waters as we speak?

PICARDO: It is absolutely free to leave our waters now because the court order has lapsed and the original reason for the detention -- the fact that

its destination was an EU sanctioned entity -- is no longer something that we need to concern ourselves about. But until it leaves, it is of course,

still subject to the jurisdiction of Gibraltar and the Supreme Court of Gibraltar.

ANDERSON: The U.S. Department of Justice has applied to seize the tanker on as I understand it a number of allegations. Can you detail those

allegations for us?

PICARDO: So that is a matter which is dealt with by the independent mutual legal assistant services of Gibraltar. It's not dealt with politically.

So it's not something that will require political decision to be made, nor is it something on which I am at liberty to comment. That is really a

prosecutorial mutual legal assistance issue which does not involve politicians in our system.

ANDERSON: What grounds would the U.S. have for trying to seize the vessel?

PICARDO: Well, frankly I think that's an issue you need to put to those in the United States who would be seeking this assistance.

[11:05:02] Gibraltar has a strong relationship with the United States directly and through the United Kingdom. With the United States we'll

always be respectful of or supportive indeed of any requests by the United States to support it in the context of its own legal processes. But

whether or not they have good grounds is an issue which is independently assisted in our system. On what those grounds are really questions that

you should be putting to them.

ANDERSON: How last minute a request was this by Washington?

PICARDO: Well I think what's been said in court today is pretty clear. The position changed overnight and therefore the Attorney General of

Gibraltar sought a short adjournment in order to be able to assess the documentation that had come in overnight from the United States.

ANDERSON: Iran had accused Gibraltar of seizing the Grace 1 at the behest of the United States. Spain made similar accusations last month.

Gibraltar has denied that and has said that it acted independently. Are you saying today that United States did not contact authorities in

Gibraltar about the Grace 1 ahead of its original seizure?

PICARDO: What I'm saying is QED. Look at the way that we acted. We acted exactly as we said we would. We acted in the context of breach of European

Union sanctions, about the recipient, the potential recipient of this cargo of oil which was Syria. We've demonstrated that we were right to do that.

Aboard the vessel we found evidence that showed that the vessel was rooted to Baniyas in Syria, and that refinery is one of the refineries listed as

entity under the EU sanctions regime.

And when that that criteria of concern which is breach of EU sanctions is no longer fulfilled -- because I've received assurances from the owners of

the oil and from the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran that it's no longer going to an EU sanctioned entity. Then we have lifted the detention

of the vessel. I think the facts sometimes speak louder than the political speculation, whether that's in Tehran or elsewhere.

ANDERSON: With respect, did the U.S. put any pressure on your government to detain the ship?

PICARDO: It's not something that I would have reacted to. I mean, the idea that political pressure might somehow play out in the context of a

system that operates under the rule of law like ours does, it is to compare two completely different systems. That's apples and pears. Political

pressure does not apply in the context of discharging legal obligations. Our system is divided much as the United Kingdom system is and U.S. system

in that respect. So those are not issues that you even consider.

ANDERSON: Sir, I must put this to you. The Grace 1's captain says he learned from his lawyers that Gibraltar had passed laws to, quote,

facilitate the arrest of his ship a day before it was seized. Now you refused to comment on his statements last month. Were those laws changed,

and if so, why?

PICARDO: Well, of course they were. And in fact, it didn't require me to comment on something that is shown on the record. I specified the vessel

on the 3rd of July. That is what the rules actually envisage. Other laws which are in keeping with the laws in United Kingdom and elsewhere.

Actually envisage that there should be regulations made at the moment that an asset is going to be attached and that's what our law provides for.

It's the international mechanism for prescribing a vessel of this sort. The record speaks for itself and shows the timeline. And I acted entirely

properly and in keeping with the international mechanisms put in place for just these eventualities. There should be nothing remarkable about that.

Well course, I understand that the layman might think it is remarkable.

ANDERSON: The Iranian foreign minister has just tweeted in response to today's actions. This is quote, piracy. Your response?

PICARDO: Well, as far as I'm concerned, the process that we have followed is an entirely proper legal process. I try not to engage myself in

exchanges that don't involve my government. I know that my government has acted entirely properly throughout. I know that the resilience and

robustness of the legal system in Gibraltar has now been demonstrated for the whole world to see. Both from the process of the prosecutorial

authorities in Gibraltar, pursuing the position under the Sanctions Act and indeed the court in Gibraltar following all due process throughout.

[11:10:00] So I think that speaks for itself. In when proper legal analysis is done, we will come out of this having shown that the Gibraltar

process and rule of law in Gibraltar are entirely respectable.

ANDERSON: This is the full tweet from the foreign minister of Iran, having failed to accomplish its objectives through its #EconomicTerrorism --

including depriving cancer patients of medicine, the U.S. attempted to abuse the legal system to steal our property on the high seas. The piracy

attempt, he says, is indicative of Donald Trump's administration's contempt for the law.

Sir, you say that Gibraltar is satisfied now that this tanker is not headed for Syria and therefore will not be busting sanctions. Where is it headed

and when does it sail?

PICARDO: Well, that is not an issue for the authorities in Gibraltar. You see we are able to exercise controls to prevent any vessel or indeed any

other asset being used in order to act contrary to EU sanctions. Where else it may go -- as long as it's not to an EU sanctioned entity -- is not

an issue that the government of Gibraltar is able to express any views on. And indeed when it sails -- it is now free from any court process in

Gibraltar or order in Gibraltar. When it sails is a matter entirely for the owners of the vessel. Of course, between now and its sailing, while it

is in jurisdiction of Gibraltar, other preventions for its sailing could be applied if others have a good legal reason for applying new orders or

applying for any new orders of detention.

But those are not matters which involve the government of Gibraltar under the Sanctions Act, and the breaching of Sanctions Act because of the

asset's destination in Syria which is why we acted and entirely properly as has been demonstrated from evidence that we found on board.

ANDERSON: Sir, we appreciate your time today. Let me just ask this last question because it's important. To clarify, you say it's not clear when

this tanker will leave, it is not clear where it is headed, and at this point given that you are still looking at the allegations that the U.S. has

made in order that it seize this boat, you are not completely definite this ship will go, correct?

PICARDO: Well let's really be very clear in answering your questions. I am not looking at those things. Those are not matters for me. Those are

matters which relate to mutual legal assistance requests which may or may not come in. Those are determined by other authorities in the context of

our constitution, not by the government.

As far as the government is concerned, we acted under the Sanctions Act. That action was demonstrated to have been vindicated entirely by the

evidence we found on board the vessel. We now have an undertaking from a state with representation of the United Nations of where the vessel will

not go, and we will not look behind that.

Other matters which are not political matters, which are not gubernatorial matters relating to sanctions are matters for others within this

administration, not for the politicians of this administration. I answer only for those things for which I have responsibility.

ANDERSON: Do you feel Gibraltar has been a pawn in a much bigger game here, sir?

PICARDO: I think Gibraltar demonstrated as usual that we punch above our weight. Our geopolitical and strategic value continues as great today as

was 315 years ago when we first became British. We guard the entrance to the Mediterranean and the exit from the Mediterranean. We've acted I think

in an operation that has demonstrated that Gibraltar has deprived the Assad regime, the sanction Assad regime of $114 million plus of assets. And

therefore I think our action was entirely proper, entirely vindicated and demonstrates that Gibraltar acts in keeping with the rule of law.

ANDERSON: The chief minister of Gibraltar, Fabian Picardo joining us live on the show. Sir thank you for that.

I want to bring in our correspondents. Kylie Atwood is in Washington. Nick Paton Walsh is with me here in London. Let's start with you, Nick.

What do you make of the chief minister's words?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm a little confused to be honest. Because it is clear that they have ruled that is no longer

in violation of the EU sanctions. They're not concerned about where it is headed. Fine, absolutely. But there appears to be a ticking clock now as

they assess the weight of American allegations. He didn't want to get into what they were. Which frankly is a little bit strange. I mean, he's

willing to justify an awful lot of the legal things he went through to get to this point, but one's going forward, that's no longer his business.

That leaves me confused.

So yes, I think the court is presumably racing now at the end of business in Gibraltar to look at the allegations and then what happens tomorrow? I

don't know.

[11:15:00] The other question I think too is, who's piloting this tanker anyway? Is it legal? Well we think the crew apparently is safe to go.

Are they going to want to stay on board this vessel that appears to be a bit of a wait around her neck for the last six weeks or so? That's unclear

as well. But it really is what's in new allegations from the United States. Is it serious? Is it more of the same? Is this simply a bid by

Washington who want maximum pressure against Iran, to continue to pile that on, even though the EU's sort of courts here in Gibraltar has decided it

can go on its way. Those questions I think are getting answer to in hours ahead.

ANDERSON: Kylie Atwood in Washington then. Is it clear what grounds the U.S. has for trying to seize this vessel?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN U.S. SECURITY REPORTER: No, it's not. We still have heard nothing back from Department of Justice or State Department when

we've asked about this DOJ declining to comment. The State department not yet replying to our request for comment. So we don't know from the U.S.

perspective what evidence they have that they brought to the Gibraltar authorities to encourage them to detain the ship for longer.

What's confusing now -- as Nick says -- that Gibraltar authorities have now said that they are going to release the ship. It's no longer going to

Syria. They seem to have had conversations -- they have had conversations with the Iranians about that and they believe the Iranians here. But the

question is what did the U.S. bring and are there further questions about sanctions or is this just a political play for the U.S. to try and get the

U.K. to be tougher on Iran?

We know that Ambassador John Bolton was just meeting with top officials in the U.K. earlier this week. I was traveling with him. And that is one of

the things that he discussed with those officials, being tougher against Iran.

ANDERSON: Kylie in Washington, Nick in London, thank you. More questions than answers it seems still.

Well still to come, a rather unusual ban. Israel blocks two U.S. lawmakers from visiting the country. Did a tweet prompt the move? Details on that

ahead.

And British Prime Minister Boris Johnson could see his days in office numbered as the opposition gets ready to call for a no confidence vote.

More on that after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Banned for their beliefs. We've just learned Israel has decided to take an extraordinary step against two lawmakers from the United States

-- its strongest ally of course. Preventing them from entering the country. Democrats Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are both fierce critics of

Israel and its treatment of Palestinians. And support a controversial boycott movement known as BDS.

[11:20:00] Israeli law allows officials to deny entry to BDS supporters. Israel's U.S. ambassador had said the Congresswoman would be exempt because

of the country's special relationship.

I want to bring in Oren Liebermann in Jerusalem for you now. Oren, the remarkable thing is that President Donald Trump himself wanted Israel to

ban the two Congresswomen just a short time ago. Tweeting that Israel would show great weakness if it allows them in. How is this going down

where you are?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well it's an unprecedented intervention on the part of President Donald Trump. Essentially telling

Israel and of course, one of his closest allies, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, how to run Israel's foreign policy. And then just the idea that

Israel is banning two U.S. Congresswomen from entering the country is also unprecedented.

We don't know when the decision was made or who made the final decision. But Israel's deputy minister said just a short time ago that the decision

had been made to ban these two from entering the country because of their support for a boycott of Israel as well as criticism of Israeli policy

toward the Palestinians.

We also know that decision came minutes after President Donald Trump's tweet, saying that Israel would showing, quote, great weakness if it

allowed them to enter.

Up until that point Israel was still weighing the possibilities, the considerations and whether to allow them to enter or not. Now it's worth

noting that just a short time ago as you point out, the Israel Ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer, had said they would be allowed in. And even some

right-wing lawmakers here suggested they should be allowed here if they're here to listen and learn. That has now gone away. As Israel confirming

they will be barred entry from the country.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): They are two of the most vocal critics of Israel in Congress. Democrats Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar. They supported the

boycott movement against Israel for its policies toward Palestinians. And were among few House members to vote against a bipartisan resolution

condemning the boycott movement known as BDS. Tlaib, the first Congresswoman of Palestinian origin defended her position in an interview

with Jake Tapper last month.

REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D-MI): I can tell you they're all around college campuses. There are Jews, Muslims, Hindus, all different kinds of

backgrounds who are pushing back against racist policies in Israel. Because they see that the human rights violations of children being

detained. The fact that my grandmother that lives in West Bank does not have equality. She doesn't have freedom of travel.

LIEBERMANN: The Congresswoman we're scheduled to arrive Friday night and spend next week meeting Israeli and Palestinian activists, as well as human

rights organizations. But an Israeli government official said the trip might not be allowed in its current proposed format, offering no more

details about what aspect of the trip concerned Israel.

Organizers of the planned trip say the two women wanted to visit the holiest site in Jerusalem. Known to Muslims as Haram esh-Sharif and to

Jews as Temple Mount. They were also supposed to visit Bethlehem, Ramallah and Hebron in the West Bank.

The Congresswomen have been frequent targets of President Trump who has a close relationship with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Trump

telling them last month to quote, go home. Tlaib was born in Michigan, while Omar was born in Somalia and is a naturalized U.S. citizen which

changed little for Trump.

TRUMP: I'm unhappy with the fact a congresswoman can hate our country.

LIEBERMANN: The visit by the two Congresswomen would have come just after a bipartisan delegation was in Israel, led by pro-Israel lobby APAC.

That's a visit the freshman Congresswomen chose to skip.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LIEBERMANN: At this point there has still been no comment from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But we did just a moment ago get a statement

from interior minister, Aryeh Deri, saying the decision was made by the Prime Minister, the foreign minister, the interior minister and others to

prevent them from entering -- Becky.

ANDERSON: The U.S. President has repeatedly attacked these Congresswomen, accusing them of hating Israel. Here's just a sampling of what he has had

to say -- Oren.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: One other thing I might want to say is that anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress, and Congressman Omar is terrible what

she said.

The things they've said about our country are terrible. What they've said about Israel are just terrible.

The Democrats have become an anti-Israel party they become an anti-Jewish party.

You look at what they said. The most vile horrible statements about our country.

If they want to embrace people that are so anti-Semitic and anti-Israel, they want to do that, that's up to them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Oren, many with say Mr. Trump is playing to his base at home. But could those attacks also be meant to give the Prime Minister Benjamin

Netanyahu a boost with his own base with what is an election in September and count down here, 32 days to go.

[11:25:02] LIEBERMANN: There are always political considerations in Israel and this is certainly no exception. The comment, or the tweet rather, that

President Donald Trump sent is certainly good for Trump and his base. Whether it's good for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is an entirely

different question as it gets much more complicated on this end.

Netanyahu is in a very tough re-election campaign for what would be his sixth term in office. And he's dealing with a very fractured right-wing

base. So denying them entry may in fact boost his support amongst right- wing voters and perhaps get him a few more votes, perhaps a seat or more.

The bigger risk here though, the political risk, is that Democrats aren't going away. Whether they do or don't hold Congress, and Democrats will be

there even after President Donald Trump, whether he is out in a year and a half or five and a half years. And deciding to ban two Democratic

Congresswomen grows the rift between Israel and the Democratic Party. And that is the much bigger risk for Netanyahu moving forward, even if he gets

a short boost -- if he does it all -- going into this election. That is what's difficult. And that's sort of the cost benefit analysis here at

what makes this perhaps a very risky decision for the government of Netanyahu in the long run.

ANDERSON: Oren Liebermann's in Jerusalem for you folks. And just so that you know, the BDS movement is a highly controversial both in Israel and in

the United States. Supporters say its nonviolent movement to promote Palestinian human rights. Opponents say it aims to demonize and

delegitimize Israel as a Jewish state.

Now it was inspired by the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa and it calls on countries and companies to stop doing business with Israel until

it ends the occupation of all land captured in the 1967 war, including east Jerusalem. Grants full equality to Palestinian citizens of Israel and

assures Palestinian refugees the right of return.

Coming up. Can Brexit be stopped? Renowned philosopher A.C. Grayling joining me live to discuss the U.K. opposition's plan to call for a no

confidence vote. That coming up after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We will be able to look back on this period, this extraordinary period, as the beginning of a new golden

age for our United Kingdom.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[11:30:00] ANDERSON: Well we are 77 days out from what the Prime Minister calls the golden age of post Brexit Britain. One man doing everything he

can to stop it is the opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn. With October 31st fast approaching, the Labour leader vowing to delay Brexit and called for a

no confidence vote. Let's kickoff with CNN's Isa Soares with more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SOARES: In theory, all Boris Johnson has to do is wait and let the clock tick down. The 31st of October is enshrined in law as the day the U.K.

leaves the European Union, deal or no deal. But in reality, there are a number of potential roadblocks opponents of no deal may use to hold things

up.

(voice-over): MPs return to this building in three weeks. One of the first actions could be to call for vote of no confidence in the government.

Something Johnson will likely lose, given his parliamentary majority is down to just one.

(on camera): After that, well this is when things get really murky, uncharted legal waters. And no one really knows how it would work. What

we do know is that the Prime Minister will have 14 days to respond in which time the country could be swept along in four possible directions.

He could call an election leaving the British people to decide which course to steer. Alternatively the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, could

be given chance to captain the ship and try to form a government. And he has already said he would call a second referendum on Brexit.

It's also possible a unity government could be formed led by someone other than Jeremy Corbyn. That they could try and sink Brexit all together.

A fourth possibility if Johnson loses no confidence vote is that he simply refuses to step down. And that means it could leave Britain adrift in a

constitutional crisis. And this is where the Queen comes in.

The Labour party's John McDonald says that if Johnson refuses to accept aside, he'll put Corbyn in a taxi straight to Buckingham Palace where the

Queen is tucked away, trying to stay out of politics. Some have said in this sort of constitutional crisis it would fall upon her to act.

Back in Parliament, MPs have a couple other things they can try to avoid a no deal Brexit. They could force Prime Minister Johnson back to Brussels

to ask for an extension, although the EU has already refused to rework the deal. Or they could create a law to revoke Article 50, the very law which

began this Brexit process.

All of this requires opposition and rebel politicians to be very organized and coordinated. Something they aren't exactly known for around here. And

if they fail to unite, no deal looks inevitable. Isa Soares, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Let's break it down for you with renowned British philosopher and author A.C. Grayling. He says a Brexit must be stopped and that

Corbyn's plan is great. The only obstacle he says is himself -- Corbyn that is. He is so toxic to so many. But this is the time to work with

possibility, not personal animus and tribalism. A.C. joining us now. That's quite some pointed tweet. That's quite some pointed statement.

You're no fan of Jeremy Corbyn. Less so of the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. What happens next, sir?

A.C. GRAYLING, BRITISH PHILOSOPHER AND AUTHOR: Well I think the opposition parties are working very hard, thinking very hard and actually are getting

organized. And more to the point, there's a substantial number of Conservative MPs who are not at all happy with the direction of travel that

Boris Johnson is set on at the moment. Because one has to remember that it's not actually Boris Johnson himself. He is the front man, the noise,

the distraction. He's the dust in the eyes.

But the people who are very keen on Brexit actually are panicking. They're pretty desperate. Because the longer of the Brexit process is delayed, the

less likely it is to happen. So they really want to try and grab the country out before end of October. But they're not going to be allowed to.

Because there's just too much going on behind the scenes to stop it.

ANDERSON: A lot of our viewers will be saying the opposition getting its act together now, it was June of 2016 when the opposition needed to get its

act together. There were calls for a national government of unity back then and since then. And now we're 77 days away. You say Brexiters are

panicking, they'll say they're not. They're just organizing themselves for what they believe will happen on the 31st, whether they get a deal or not.

Britain will leave the European Union.

GRAYLING: Well you're absolutely right. This all should have happened three years ago. You're quite right about that.

[11:35:00] This is a symptom of the fact that tribalism in British politics is so deeply rooted. But you know, we're facing a crisis now, a crisis

with the economy, a crisis to our democracy, to our constitutional order and this really has focused minds. But I can tell you that from behind the

scenes, there are people who are now thinking the unthinkable. That is they're thinking of reorganizing, realigning, working together with other

people.

The idea that's come to capture imaginations now is this. If this moment of crisis, people do have to set aside all the old things that keep them in

their tribal loyalties and they've got to work together. Reset, reboot and then there can be return to that tribalism once all the dust has settled.

ANDERSON: Looking for the end of the year of narcissism I think in the U.K. U.K. politicians have reacted to the opposition leader's plan to lead

an emergency government, including the Liberal Democrat leader. And she's a new leader, Jo Swinson. Have a listen to what she said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JO SWINSON, BRITISH LIBERAL DEMOCRAT PARTY LEADER: There is no way he can unite rebel Conservatives and independents to stop Boris Johnson. It's not

even certain he would secure all the votes of Labour MPs. This isn't about personalities. This is about having a plan that actually works.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Corbyn needs Jo Swinson. Right?

GRAYLING: Yes, he certainly does. She's absolutely right actually. I mean, the problem is that Jeremy Corbyn is a very divisive character. He

has a lot of support by a small group of enthusiasts in the Labour movement. But there are a lot of people even in his own party who don't

like him. You have to remember, a couple years ago there was a vote of no confidence against him by Labour MPs. And it is certainly the case that

he's a very toxic figure from the conservative point of view. And there is a number of Conservative MPs who are very, very keen to stop Boris Johnson,

stop a no deal. They have to be got on side for this. And therefore, whoever takes the lead in this no confidence endeavor to stop no deal and

to get another general election or get a second referendum, it can't be Jeremy Corbyn. It's got to be somebody who's

agreeable to everybody. And there are some very outstanding figures and they are neutral. They are people who are admired on all sides of House of

Commons. I'll give you to examples from the Conservative side, Dominic Grieve and Ken Clark, Harriet Harman on the Labour side. I mean, these are

people who would come out with some support for a caretaker position.

ANDERSON: What chance its success at this point?

GRAYLING: I think considerably greater than 50 percent. Because the country is really facing a cliff edge.

ANDERSON: October 31st is 77 days away and counting. Thank you, sir. We'll have you back.

Just time for a quick break. I will be right back.

And just ahead, some inspiration to close out what is our working week. Remember, we normally broadcast from Abu Dhabi in the Middle East.

Thursday the end of that working week. Back after this.

[11:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Well we end the week with a little dose of inspiration for you. 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg setting sail this week across

the Atlantic. Her destination, New York, for climate conferences with world leaders. She's getting there aboard a zero-carbon yacht. She

doesn't fly due to the environmental impact. That incredible teen, truly making waves. From everyone here on CONNECT THE WORLD. we wish her the

very best of luck.

My connectors all based around the world and all of us thank you for joining us today. I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. See you

next week.

[11:45:00] (WORLD SPORT)

[12:00:00]

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