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Anti-Brexit Protesters Gathered Outside U.K. Parliament; Queen Approves U.K. PM's Request to Suspend Parliament; Alastair Campbell, British Writer and Journalist, is Interviewed About British Parliament; Dorian Intensifies, Takes Aim at Vulnerable Puerto Rico; Brazil Accepts Britain's Offer of $12 Million to Fight Amazon Fires; CNN on Patrol with Brazilian Fire Brigade as Amazon Burns. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired August 28, 2019 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:00:00] HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London. It is an eventful evening here outside Parliament.
Protesters have reached the media court in here not far from our position chanting, "Stop the coup, stop the coup." That's after the British prime
minister, Boris Johnson, made a bold political move suspending Parliament as critics denounced the decision as constitutional outrage. We will have
Plus, tropical storm, Dorian, barrels toward Puerto Rico. Then it could hit Florida as a major hurricane.
And later, a CNN exclusive investigation, owning a pet cheetah is illegal, but for some of the world's richest people, that is not an obstacle. We
will have that exclusive report.
You might be able the hear what's going on behind me. As I mentioned the anti-Brexit demonstrators are angry and they want the word to know it.
They have been chanting "Stop the coup." For now, police who are here to keep the peace have been tolerating the gathering. This is public ground
after all. In the past, though, there has been a security and media cordon to prevent protesters from entering this place that we usually broadcast
from, which is called College Green outside Westminster.
Now, we are outside the Houses of Parliament on day the Brexit chaos here in Britain took yet another major turn. Queen Elizabeth approved the prime
minister's request to suspend Parliament. That means Parliament will recess by mid-September and not reconvene until mid-October. That's just a
little more than two weeks before October 31st, which is the withdrawal deadline and just days before an E.U. meeting on Brexit.
Now, people would think this is an unconstitutional move are angry because they say does not leave time for members of Parliament to try to block no-
deal. They say this is not democratic. Here's what Boris Johnson, the new prime minister, had to say earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: There will be ample time on both sides of that crucial October 17th summit, ample time in Parliament for MPs
to debate the E.U. debate Brexit and all the other issues, ample time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Opposition parties think that's not true. He's not telling the truth. Their leaders say the move is in fact designed to increase the chances of a
no-deal Brexit. A top Labour party official calls it an affront to democracy.
Nic Robertson is with me at College Green. Anna Stewart is standing by at 10 Downing Street.
I want to start with you, Nic. You're here. This has been building all day. People are getting off work, people who are outraged by this
announcement by Boris Johnson, the prime minister, are saying that they believe that this is a coup. Tell us how it's been building.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It really seems to have struck a chord. Early in the day it was relatively quiet. And then
there were small groups and there was a little singing and it was very good natured. It is still good natured. But as people got off work later this
afternoon, the xylophone, chap, you may hear in the background there, that's been here for a couple of hours now.
But the crowd just grew and grew and grew. And they reached a point that they just decided to come onto the Green. And I think in essence, what we
are getting is a foreshadowing and a foretaste. Boris Johnson's got on a battle footing by making the move that he's made. And what we are
beginning to see is a response, a public response of that, the anger, the disappointment. We're only going to get more of this, I think, in the
GORANI: Right. Anna Stewart, at 10 Downing Street, what does Boris Johnson do next?
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Well, this very much feels like the prime minister has kind of called the bluff of his opposition. Just yesterday,
the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, met with other leaders of other opposition parties to discuss how they were going to block a no-deal Brexit
it. They were talking about legislative ways and means. Of course, those are very much frustrated by the lessening of days that they will have in
Parliament and they already didn't have much time to do this.
Listen to what Jeremy Corbyn had to say today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEREMY CORBYN, BRITISH LABOUR PARTY LEADER: Yes, I have protested in the strongest possible terms on behalf of my party, and I believe all the other
opposition parties are going to join in with this in simply saying that suspending Parliament is not acceptable. It is not on. What the prime
minister is doing is a sort of smash and grab on our democracy nor is a forced through a no-deal Brexit from the European Union.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEWART: Now, from what I am hearing, rebel MPs from within Boris Johnson's Conservative Party plus those opposition leaders of the other
parties will still continue to consult to try to find a legislative solution to this. They will have to have the support, of course, of the
speaker of the (INAUDIBLE). But from he said today, it would seem they would.
However, the other option on the table is, of course, a no confidence vote of the government. And interestingly, on the very other side of the Brexit
divide, we heard from Nigel Farage, the leader of the Brexit party. Now, he has tweeted to say, "The government's announcement today makes a
confidence motion now certain. [13:05:00] A general election more likely and it's seen as a positive move by Brexiteers. The unanswered question is
whether Boris Johnson intends to pursue the withdrawal agreement. If he does, then the Brexit party will fight him every inch of the way. But if
he now wants a clean break Brexit, then we would like to help him secure a large majority in a general election."
So, you got Labour and some other opposition parties in Parliament saying they want a deal and they will try and block any effort to leave the E.U.
without one. But on the other side, the risk of the Brexit party, which if there were a general election would fight Boris Johnson tooth and nail.
So, quite a tricky situation the prime minister now finds himself in.
GORANI: Anna, thanks very much. We will get back to you soon. Let's bring in Alastair Campbell, a British writer and journalist, former
communications director for Prime Minister Tony Blair. Can Parliament block Boris Johnson here, do you think?
ALASTAIR CAMPBELL, BRITISH WRITER AND JOURNALIST: Well, Parliament's -- you know, he --
GORANI: With the limited time they have?
CAMPBELL: Very limited time and he is trying to cut them right off. And I mean, it is an incredible irony that he who led a campaign that was
allegedly about parliamentary sovereignty and taking back control of a Parliament and is now basically so scared of the judgement of parliament as
a representative of the people that he is actually trying to shut the place down.
And I think -- I suspect he is overreaching. Boris Johnson, you know, he doesn't -- I don't think he actually cares about anything. It is the game
of politics that he's engaged in. And I just think he's -- I think he's overreached.
CAMPBELL: And so, you know, we will see. But the MPs are really going to stand up now.
GORANI: I think they'll have the time. Is there even the time for a withdrawal agreement if a deal is struck with Europe to go through
Parliament at this stage?
ROBERTSON: The clock has been run down so significantly here. It doesn't seem that he -- I mean, look, he has already been told, "What you are
asking for, you are not going to get." So, let's say Brussels is a little bit more convinced that he isn't going to be cut off at the pass by
Parliament and they are -- they take him a little more for real. What he is asking for, they are never going to give him. So, the deal that he
wants is not one that there is time to get or is achievable for him.
But I want to ask you this, Alastair, if you don't mind me jumping in.
GORANI: No, sure. Absolutely.
ROBERTSON: I mean, I was struck that -- to (INAUDIBLE) over the weekend how there was this very serious and strong social media campaign by Boris
Johnson's communicates office, number 10. Is he being driven from behind here, do you think?
CAMPBELL: I don't know, but he's certainly emulating Trump in relation to communication strategies out there on social media much more than he used
to be. But look, in the end, the problem has not gone away. There is no mandate for no-deal. He has no new plan. He will not get a better deal.
Our ridiculous papers were projecting Merkle and Macron's comments as supporting him. They were basically saying, "Look, if you got any better
idea, bring it. But until you haven't, you're going nowhere."
GORANI: But is your country now inevitably headed to a no-deal Brexit? I mean, you wanted a second referendum, that really looks virtually like an
impossibility at this stage?
CAMPBELL: I don't think it is impossible at all because I think the -- look, in the end, Parliament is going to decide, right. Parliament -- yes,
he is trying to cut their legs off and he's trying stop them having a say. But there is a chance for them to do that. And I just -- I think what you
are seeing here is somebody (INAUDIBLE) weakness not strength. This is a panic. He's -- the guy is panicking. And I think what these guys, the MPs
are going to do now is actually use the limited time they've got, the limited opportunities they've got to stand up for what they really believe.
And these Tory MPs, in particular, they can't keep threatening and doing nothing.
GORANI: Yes. But the government has floated the idea that they wouldn't step aside, step down, even if they lose a vote of no confidence. Is that
-- I mean, has that -- sorry. Forgive me for asking potentially a stupid question but that is remarkable, right?
ROBERTSON: I think we are in the territory now where we can't predict what's going to happen. So, I don't think any question is too outlandish
to ask at the moment. And what is this prime minister prepared to do and how far is he prepared to go?
ROBERTSON: We don't know. Today was a surprise.
GORANI: Yes. So, Alastair, you are saying that there is still a possibility of a second referendum at this stage. What is the road map to
that end point?
CAMPBELL: Well, look, in the end, the choices haven't changed.
CAMPBELL: Crash out without a deal. That's a very, very big thing to do and that's a potential catastrophe and a lot of Tories are worried about
that. An election? Possible. And you see, Boris Johnson -- election might be the route to referendum. Because let me just tell you something
else about this. Theresa May thought she was going to get a landslide. Boris Johnson inhales all that stuff in the right-wing press and from his
supporters, right. They are not the public. The public is out there, what the hell is going on with our country.
GORANI: But tell me --
CAMPBELL: And so, an election might actually -- these people here, they are not going to go away. People are going to -- at a general election,
millions of people are going to vote according to what they think is the best way now to stop Boris Johnson getting his way. (INAUDIBLE).
ROBERTSON: We're talking here about an election before the 31st of October because this --
ROBERTSON: Because Boris Johnson must now [13:10:00] recognize from the conversations that he has had in Paris and in Beirut and in Berlin that he
is not going to get what he wants and a hard Brexit and all the problems that come with it would be his legacy.
ROBERTSON: And there must be -- and we are hearing it in the tweets today.
CAMPBELL: Yes, absolutely.
ROBERTSON: From Nicola Sturgeon of Scotland (INAUDIBLE). Are you actually afraid of where you are at right now?
GORANI: Number 10 on the legality of suspending Parliament for a month, lawyers are absolutely confident that the courts cannot interfere. So,
they have thought of this from a legal perspective, Alastair.
CAMPBELL: Well, they may have done. They may have done.
CAMPBELL: But listen, in the end, this is about policies. But, look, when you got like John Major who has come out and has questioned the principles
behind this, then you got to take that seriously. And I think what you are seeing is, Boris Johnson, a bit like Trump, just riding roughshod over any
institutions that don't automatically agree with him. I think he is going to find it harder in what is a Parliamentary democracy than it is for a
president to do what Trump is doing.
GORANI: Donald Trump, the U.S. president, has weighed in, where else, on Tweeter, "Would be very hard for Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain's
Labour Party, to seek a no confidence vote against new prime minister, Boris Johnson, especially in light of the fact that Boris is exactly what
the U.K. has been looking for and will prove to be a great one. Love U.K." This might actually hurt Boris Johnson, this endorsement.
CAMPBELL: I mean, obviously in writing, because he has got the English spelling of --
GORANI: O-U-R for Labour.
CAMPBELL: O-U-R, labour.
CAMPBELL: So, he is obviously cutting and pasting. Somebody has told him to put out there. I mean, I don't honestly think it helps Boris Johnson at
all. And, of course, Johnson -- you were talking about Beirut, he was desperate to pull away from the idea about the hell service being any part
of any trade deal. Trump is a -- look, I know Trump thinks everything loves him. Most people in Britain cannot stand him and it does not help
Boris Johnson when he comes out in this way.
GORANI: And you mentioned John Major, what he said today, "I cannot imagine Mr. Disraeli, Mr. Gladstone, Mr. Churchill or Mrs. Thatcher even in
their most difficult moments saying, 'Let us put Parliament aside while I carry through this difficult policy that a part of my party disagree
with.'" So, you're having heavyweight Conservatives come out against this decision.
ROBERTSON: So, when you look across the Conservative MPs who might have been thinking, "Let's give Boris Johnson a couple of weeks to see what he
can do with the Europeans vis-a-vis getting some concessions towards what he wants," I think that will have evaporated now. I do feel it.
I don't know what you think about that, Alastair. But it seems to me if you were a Conservative MP and two minds to give him another couple of
weeks to see what happens, it's very clear exactly what's going to play.
CAMPBELL: I mean, that's minus (ph) reaction what I heard what happened this morning, was, you know, these Tory MPs, they've got to stop pretending
they can wait and see. We now know what he's like, we know what he's going to try and do and he doesn't want them involved in this process.
CAMPBELL: They got to stand up and fight for that.
CAMPBELL: I want our viewers to -- also, we want to put this in historic context. Professor Colin Talbot from Cambridge University quoted in a BBC
article saying, "We have to stop pretending this is normal, what Boris Johnson did. The longest prorogation we've had in the last 40 years was
three weeks and that was due to very specific circumstances. The prorogue Parliaments for four and a half weeks -- two prorogue Parliament for four
and a half weeks in the run-up to what is arguably the biggest political crisis since the Second World War is quite extraordinary."
ROBERTSON: I think -- to me, it feels a little bit like the analogy of the frog in a pot of water that's slowly being heated. Theresa May, back in, I
believe it was February, warned off, March said, "We are entering a period of uncertainty, of uncharted political territory." The water has been
getting warmer and warmer and warmer. This morning we went up another notch on the gas mark I think on the water.
CAMPBELL: Several notches yesterday.
ROBERTSON: Several notches, yes. So, yes, the water is screamingly hot compared to where we were six months ago.
GORANI: Yes. Are you -- is this wishful thinking on your part, this idea that you still think a second referendum is possible? Because so far, the
march toward Brexit and even toward a hard Brexit has been -- you know, has not met many obstacles?
CAMPBELL: Well, all I will say is that Theresa May said we were going to be out by March 29th. She's gone. We are now on our third prime minister
of Brexit. And the thing is, the country is -- you can see it today, the country is not coming together.
GORANI: It is a small group.
CAMPBELL: It's a small group.
GORANI: You can have big -- I mean, could the only thing that would stop what is happening now, the prorogation of Parliament, the march toward a
hard Brexit be a real popular, you know, protest, bigger scale obviously?
CAMPBELL: Well, listen, this has just started today. But we would have marched on October 19th and I think that will be huge. I honestly do think
that people keep looking at this like it's sort of -- you know, anything the politicians say as if it is going to happen. I don't think they're in
control and I think that this decision is now so big, unless it goes back to the people, properly, I don't think the country is ever going to come
GORANI: I'm going to ask you a last question on Labour. Because Labour, if it -- I mean, if you look at the state of disarray that the Tory Party
is in, this should be a slam dunk for Labour to come in and [13:15:00] assert themselves. Why are they doing so poorly at that? The party you
left, by the way.
CAMPBELL: Well, I mean, I do think that -- look, there's no doubt about that Labour -- you're saying with a government this bad will be doing a lot
better. I do think yesterday though, Jeremy Corbyn did the right thing in getting the other opposition leaders together and understanding that, you
know, it is urgent, that it is great and they're going to have to work together to stop a no-deal Brexit. And that means they're going to have to
cooperate in a way they have not done thus far.
ROBERTSON: And that was the message that Boris Johnson got overnight, of course, with --
CAMPBELL: And it may have explained why this --
CAMPBELL: -- (INAUDIBLE) today.
GORANI: We're going to leave it here for now. But I want to remind our viewers what is happening behind us. There are protesters, anti-Brexit
demonstrators unhappy with Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament for a month. They feel this is a coup, in essence, that this is a way to
prevent Parliament from blocking a no-deal and they have been chanting, "Stop the coup." And we're seeing -- well, how many people would you say,
Nic, are here?
ROBERTSON: At least --
GORANI: A couple of hundred?
ROBERTSON: A couple of hundred at this time, yes.
GORANI: Yes. But they essentially reached the --
ROBERTSON: You think more? You think more?
CAMPBELL: Bigger (ph) than that, yes.
ROBERTSON: Yes, yes, yes. But maybe you got more football matches at a (INAUDIBLE).
CAMPBELL: I got a lot of (INAUDIBLE).
GORANI: But it's a small crowd but it's a vocal crowd and it's also people very, very passionate about Brexit.
ROBERTSON: Very passionate.
GORANI: Because they've made the effort to come here. The question is going to be in the coming weeks, obviously, will we see more people on the
streets? Will there be big demonstrations against Brexit, against the Boris Johnson government? That's something we're going to have to keep an
Thanks so much to both of you.
ROBERTSON: Thank you.
GORANI: A quick break. An important story developing in the U.S. There are have been hurricane watches and big warnings in the Caribbean. The
storm is once again threatening Puerto Rico. We are live in Puerto Rico after this.
GORANI: We are keeping a close watch on Tropical Storm Dorian right now. We'll get back to what's going on here outside Westminster in a moment.
But we want to update you on the storm because it is picking up intensity in the Caribbean and heading toward Puerto Rico. The island is especially
vulnerable because it still bears the scars from Hurricane Maria two years ago. Many people still don't have adequate shelter after Maria ripped
roofs off their homes and the island's power infrastructure is still very fragile. People are being told to prepare for the worst, possible
Let's get to -- we are we going to the meteorologist, Chad Myers, first? No. In a moment. But first, let's begin with Omar Jimenez. He's live on
Puerto Rico's East Coast.
Talk to us. Where is -- has it made landfall in Puerto Rico yet where you are?
OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hala, we are starting to feel the outer bands of Tropical Storm Dorian as it continues to churn east of us in the
Atlantic. To give you perspective on where we are on the island, we're about 50 kilometers east of the capital, San Juan. And while that
continues to churn and still get powerful by the minute, really, at this point, people here [13:20:00] are preparing as if it was a much stronger
storm, and that is because they still, of course, have the devastation that Hurricane Maria brought close to two years ago still at the top of mind.
Now, the good news is that this will not be a Maria-type event in terms of wind. The major factor that officials are concerned about is the amount of
rainfall that this is going to bring along with the potential flooding impact, as well. On the rainfall aspect, they projected in some places we
could see over 20 centimeters of rain fall and especially in some of the more mountainous regions that could turn into landslides and, of course,
water flowing down into some of the towns below.
And then on a long-term impact fear that officials here have, we heard from one Puerto Rican disaster recovery official, this is what he does, trying
to secure funding and find places to put at once that funding is secured. And one of his major concerns is that even since Maria, there are many
places that still do not have permanent fixes. And now we are in the middle of a second hurricane season, not just for Puerto Rico but for the
surrounding Virgin Islands that were impacted as well.
And so, they are worried that some of the little progress in some spots will then be put all the way back to the beginning as the rain begins to
intensify here. And it's only going continue to intensify as we get into the evening hours and overnight into tomorrow morning as well.
And as I mentioned, this will not bring the strength of Maria but people are taking the zero chances, of course, with the devastation that have
brought still very much top of mind, Hala.
GORANI: All right. And understandably so. Omar Jimenez, thank you very much.
Chad Myers joins me with more on where the storm is and where it is headed and with what strength it will hit Puerto Rico and eventually Florida.
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hala, right now, the storm is just north of Saint Croix, really hitting northern (INAUDIBLE) St. Thomas's Charlotte
Amalie as the U.S. Virgin Islands. Also, the BVI, getting hit very hard, Road Town, very, very hard now with these winds of 70 to 75 miles per hour.
That's 110 kilometers per hour, at this point.
Now, from El Yunque back over to Fajardo, the El Conquistador Hotel, that's where the heavy, heavy rainfall is happening on Puerto Rico right now.
Humacao, that's about ready to get more rainfall down here to the southeast.
This storm, though, is really a light event of where we're going with this. This is a 70-mile per hour, 110-kilometer per hour storm right now heading
to 185. This is a big deal. 185 kilometers per hour before it slams into the southeast coast of the mainland USA, Florida, Georgia or maybe South
Right now, we call it a category 1 at 120 kilometers per hour. But if you push this into very warm water, Hala, you're going to make it 185 KPH
storm. A devastating dangerous storm that would kill people if you don't get out of the way and you don't get out of the waters surged with this.
This is going to be another problem if you're going to take all of this water in the Bahamas and try to push it on shore, either Florida, Georgia
or up here would be South Carolina.
All models taking it very, very close. All the models intensifying it. The European model slamming it right into Florida. The American model
turning it slightly farther to the north and away from the Coast of Florida. That's a wait and see. That's five days away. That's five days
in water. That's 32 degrees and that's the problem, we're going get intensification, Hala.
GORANI: All right. Chad Myers, thanks very much. We'll keep our eye on that storm.
Brazil has changed its mind and says it' is open to foreign aid to fight the fires consuming the Amazon. It's government has accepted Britain's
offer of more than $12 million. President Bolsonaro had rejected a separate offer from the G7 for $20 million in aid. The country later
walked that back.
But as you can see, fires are consuming parts of Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay and Argentina.
CNN joined up with a fire brigade in Brazil. Nick Payton Walsh has the story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICK PATON WALSH, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: As with so much in the climate crisis, when the call comes, it may already be too late.
These firefighters work around the city. So, it means roads can speed them to the flames. The scene on arrival is familiar. So much of the remote
forest of the Amazon burning nearly twice as much as last year. Nobody comes to help. A plot, a half-built home and even what they think might be
exhibit number one.
"All I can see here in the terrain," she says, "and the things we've found, I bet it was someone trying to clean up their backyard who set the fire and
it got out of hand and they panicked and they called us. It's always this way."
The wind sets the [13:25:00] perma (ph) glow like it does to the plains all around. Nothing survives this speed of an inferno.
Even though this place was such a short drive from their base, still they get here and their real job is to try and control it. They can't put it
out. The intensity of how this fire burns is extraordinary. And without them, it would spread.
"It would burn a long time," he says, "because it's so windy. It's so dangerous." Andre (ph) is worried it's heading his way. "Dude, I have no
idea," he says. "I was home at cooking and I look out and there's a huge cloud of black smoke and I'm like everything is on fire."
It happened nearby before. Shoots of green, a reminder that locals do want to clear the land to farm. Investigators have found the landowner and
while they can't prove he set the fire, they launch a complaint.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All of the property has the responsibility --
WALSH: To stop the fire from happening?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
WALSH: But it seems unfaced for reasons that are probably personal, local. This is what his and our collective responsibility towards keeping it green
won't build him a house.
Nick Paton Walsh, CNN. Porto Velho, Brazil.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, still to come, more on this major turn in the U.K. as we careen toward Brexit. Angry protesters behind me demanding that the
government and citizens of this country stop the coup, is what they're calling Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament for a month.
We'll be right back with a lot more after this.
GORANI: Let's return to the top story. In the political turmoil unleashed by the British prime minister, Boris Johnson's plan to suspend Parliament
early next month has been approved by the Queen. That was expected. This means that MPs will have less time to debate Brexit. The U.K. is barreling
toward a no-deal Brexit.
This latest move means Parliament will return with just over two weeks to go until that big October 31st deadline. Critics are calling it an upfront
to democracy and a constitutional outrage. We're here at Houses of Parliament assessing the fallout. Once again, explaining to our viewers
what is going on behind me, lots of chanting. There's a group of protesters, numbering anywhere between 2 and 400 people who have reached
the perimeter that usually encircles media positions outside Westminster. Police officers, so far, are standing by. It's a peaceful crowd. Nobody
is causing any problems and nobody is moving to dislodge them from their current place.
And Nic Robertson is with me. I'll get to him in a moment. But first, CNN's, Hadas Gold, has been speaking to people in Romford, England.
Now, Romford, England is largely pro Brexit and probably at the opposite end politically from the people who have been protesting behind me for the
last few hours. Hadas, what have people in Rumford been telling you?
HADAS GOLD, CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Rumford is heavily pro- Brexit town that voted 70 percent in favor of leaving in the 2016 referendum. It's a big market town. There's a big market on Wednesdays
And it's just east of London. But as you said, it couldn't almost be any different -- more different, excuse me, than London when it comes to their
feelings on Brexit.
And the people that we've been talking to here, especially the people who voted in favor of Brexit, they agree with the idea to suspend parliament.
They understand that it might be a unique position to take, that it's unprecedented.
But to them, whatever it takes to get it done because they say they voted to get out of the E.U. They didn't actually vote to have a deal or no
deal. And they're totally fine with whatever they think Boris Johnson needs to do in order to make the 2016 referendum finally happen. Take a
listen to what some of them had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The best thing for us is to make clear not subordinate to Europe. And we're just another member of a club and therefore we can
survive better, even in the case America have to say.
GOLD: Whatever -- so in your opinion --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whatever gets Brexit through. It's what a lot of people vote for.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We voted and we (inaudible) and carry on with the people's wishes.
GOLD: So you're OK with the idea that this parliament will prevent people from trying to block --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's so many twists and turns, isn't it? So I mean until the outcome, we would not really. No, we'll not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLD: And Hala, what I found most interesting is you hear sometimes from a certain anti-Brexit people or certain politicians saying this wasn't the
mandate we were given in 2016. People wanted a deal.
But actually, when I talk to a lot of pro-Brexit people, especially in towns like Rumford, they say now, actually we didn't vote for him. We just
voted to get out. They understand that a no-deal scenario could possibly hurt the economy and they said that they're OK with that.
They think that the U.K. will be strong enough to get through it. And they think it will be better and stronger on the other side. Hala.
GORANI: All right. Hadas Gold, thanks very much. And that's what polling confirms across the country.
Those people who voted for Brexit are willing to take some economic pain in order to ensure that Brexit gets through. Let's get more now on the
political ramifications of this move by the prime minister.
Our international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson joins me. Now, you were there for the g7. How much are leaders, officials, foreign ministers
talking about Brexit outside the U.K.? Is it a big topic of this discussion?
NIC ROBERTSON, INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR, CNN: It was one of the topics of discussion. I think more a topic of discussion was Boris
Johnson. It was his first time in international stage, how was he going to handle himself, and I think the general feedback was this was a smart man,
that seized the sort of the nuances and the problems they're facing but one that's very focused in one direction on the challenge.
And that was the message that he wanted to communicate. So he came across effectively there. I think today, I'm interested that we haven't heard
from more Conservative politicians. Within the party, with the number of MPs, there's a spectrum. There's real hardliners who support what he's
How many in his cabinet really what this decision that was going to come and we've also heard from some of those like Philip Hammond, the former
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Dominic Grieve, the former attorney general express very clear dissatisfaction.
How many of those and others in the more middle ground are going to look now at their leader and with more concern than they had before.
GORANI: Yes. So it looks to me as though this crowd is growing. Police right now are just basically letting them be.
I think, obviously, it would be a very provocative decision to move in on peaceful protesters who are exercising their right to free speech. But I
wonder if across the country we'll see more of these?
ROBERTSON: I think it's possible. And look, when you have a demonstration like this and people coming out, this in a way is part of what people talk
about. They talked about the dangers of what Boris Johnson has done.
They're not just talking about political dangers. They're talking about social dangers.
Because when one side comes out on the streets with their protests, the other side will also want to come out and do the same. Particularly, if
they feel the people want to remain at getting the upper hand, and that's the danger.
So I do think that we're going to see [13:35:00] more protests like this. The more people feel that their democratic voice has been taken away from
them in the parliament, the only place for them to come to is the street, to be heard, and to make sure that their dissatisfaction is communicated.
In a way, you can say that's natural. But --
GORANI: Yes. OK. Well, this was predictable.
ROBERTSON: A good one --
GORANI: Things happen. The bigger, the better. That's totally fine. We can handle it.
There's a young man -- the young man -- I should say the man who plays the xylophone is right there. I think some people would like to somehow grab
him and make sure he doesn't get back his instrument.
But let's talk a little bit about the political ramifications here because it's chaos. It's chaos. You have a government -- this is the second prime
minister who has taken over in this country that hasn't won a general election. So, you know, he was elected by party --
ROBERTSON: He has the majority of one.
ROBERTSON: And that's even borrowing 10 members of another party, Northern Ireland who is fervently hardline Brexit. And they live in the area that
has the strongest lead, if you will, to find comprise but are not willing to do it. So, yes, politically he's in a very, very -- in a potentially a
very weak position.
GORANI: The parties who are opposed to a no deal, Labour, the Lib Dems, the SMP, some Torys even --
GORANI: Some Torys even. Do they have the time and do they have the organization to block this, to block this no-deal Brexit on October 31st?
ROBERTSON: The Labour Party is the largest of all of those, the main opposition of course, and they've seen very disarray. They won't say
clearly whether or not they want to stop Brexit.
And the other parties, of course, are much clearer that they don't want to follow through Brexit, particularly the Lib Dems. So that has been -- that
sort of tells the unifying factor back.
But I think from what they will have seen from Boris Johnson today, this will galvanize them to greater action. This will galvanize them to greater
It's what Jeremy Corbin said today. You know when parliament sets speedily, we will find a legal mechanism to block the no-deal Brexit.
So I do think we're going to see them coalesce but it does seem too little too late. There's been a whole summer recess when these things could have
GORANI: Because there's no written constitution in this country, you know, it's usually custom and precedent that guides how politicians, governments,
or parliament acts and behaves. So in a way, you know, it's not like the United States where you have a supreme court that decides what is and what
is not constitutional.
Could there be a legal challenge to this though despite that?
ROBERTSON: It's possible. But we don't know what it is today because there are a number of possible legal mechanisms.
However, experts are saying that once you've got in front of the supreme court, you wouldn't win the case and there isn't time to go through that
process. And the assessment that has been made in the past few weeks is that actually there wasn't a legal mechanism available.
However, this is what the opposition says they're going to do. We're in uncharted territory and feelings and passions and anger get high. And the
problem is if the politicians don't find solutions, and don't get inside parliament and talk this through, you will see more of this from the
And it's always a dangerous time in society if politicians are not able to set the discourse and set the direction.
ROBERTSON: That's not what is happening today but these are the dangers that lie ahead.
GORANI: It certainly feels like there is something in the air tonight where people are -- I don't know if you agree with me. There's some sort
of shift here going on where this decision by Boris Johnson could it be, on some level, a game-changer? Will we look back on today as a turning point?
ROBERTSON: It's quite possible. Look, he has changed the game today, without a doubt.
He's gone on a wall footing. The other side is going to go on the wall footing. The opposition groups are going to go on the wall footing. It's
everything to play for.
It's two months to go. The closer we get to the end of all of this and clarity, you're going to see tensions rise and you're going to see passions
spill over and they're going to spill over.
But people don't feel that they're getting what they want. And that's the point of having more time inside parliament because it's discussed and
people reach agreement and without the opportunity to reach agreement, again, I come back to that expression, that's where the dangers lie.
GORANI: Thank you, Nic Robertson. We'll be speaking to you a whole lot more in the coming hours.
A quick update on Prince Andrew. The woman who accuses Prince Andrew of having sex with her when she was underage is calling for him to "come
Virginia Guiffre [13:40:00] claims she was forced to have sex with the Duke of York when she was 17 years old. She says it happened when she was kept
as a teenage sex slave by Jeffrey Epstein who killed himself earlier this month in a New York jail. She vowed she will not be silenced. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VIRGINIA GUIFFRE: He knows exactly what hm-I's done and I hope he comes clean about it.
BRAD EDWARDS, ATTORNEY FOR VIRGINIA GUIFFRE: If anyone wants to come over here and talk with us and answer real questions that the victims have and
that we have on their behalf, we welcome that invitation. I personally extended that invitation to Prince Andrew multiple times.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: But Prince Andrew has acknowledged that he knew Epstein. I mean there are pictures of the two of them together but says he saw him
He denies any wrongdoing, adding that he deplores the exploitation of any human being and would not condone, participate, or encourage it.
Still to come tonight, the world's fastest animal cannot outrun human breed. A CNN investigation into the illegal cheetah trade and how it is
decimating the cheetah population. We'll be right back.
GORANI: Natural investigation that you'll see only on CNN. The thirst for pet cheetahs is driving the big cats to the brink of extinction. It's
believed only 7,000 cheetahs remain in the wild.
CNN has learned that much of the illegal trade is in fact fueled by social media platforms and online marketplaces. Our Jomana Karadsheh traveled to
the main thorough fair of cheetah trafficking in East Africa. Here is her exclusive report.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CORRESPONDENT: Barely a couple of weeks old. Golas is clearly in desperate need of his mother. But this orphan cheetah is one of
the lucky ones, rescued from the illegal wildlife trade.
Across the horn of Africa, if the mothers aren't killed, the cubs are snatched from them, smuggled in crates and cardboard boxes. By the time
they get to the shelter, they're barely alive.
According to the Cheetah Conservation Fund, some 300 cubs are smuggled out of this region every year. And for every one that makes it to captivity,
another three die on the way.
That valley down there is becoming known as the cheetah supermarket. Many of the trafficked cheetahs are being smuggled across this border with
Ethiopia into Somaliland.
[13:45:00] This breakaway state from Somalia is the main transit route for the trafficked cats out of the horn of Africa. Smuggled across the gulf of
Adan to the Arabian Peninsula. The survivors of the rough journey become an exotic accessory like designer bling, as rich gulf Arabs compete for
social media clicks.
At least a thousand cheetahs are estimated to be in private hands in gulf states. According to experts, most die within a year or two in captivity.
Although private ownership and trading of wildlife is banned in most gulf states, enforcement is lax. Illegal online sales are starting to be
policed but if you really want a cheetah, they're not hard to find.
This is an online Saudi marketplace and when we search for cheetahs, several listings came up. Some advertising 2 to 3-year-old cheetahs,
others selling young cubs.
This man in Saudi Arabia is eager to sell.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whatever cheetah you want. You want male, you want female, it's not an issue. From Africa. We import through a website with
a guy and we have another Saudi trader. I got more than 80 from them.
KARADSHEH: $6,600 seems to be the starting online price in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government did not respond to CNN'S repeated request for comment.
There are only 7,500 cheetahs left worldwide. Half the number from almost a decade ago.
LAURIE MARKER, AMERICAN BIOLOGIST: People who have a cheetah as a pet are causing the species to go extinct. It's leading the way toward extinction.
This bottle is one of the favorite toys that we found.
KARADSHEH: American biologist Laurie Marker in her Cheetah Conservation Fund are racing to save the species from extinction.
MARKER: This is not how a baby cheetah should be living. They need to be living out in the wild instead of the safe houses.
KARADSHEH: They've set up the safe houses in Somaliland for the rescues. It's bursting at the seams.
MARKER: Seeing them here, it breaks my heart.
KARADSHEH: You can see why people call them cats that cry.
MARKER: It's our responsibility to give them the very best care that they could have and to try to save every single one of them.
KARADSHEH: Ten-month old Kitty is in intensive care. The last survivor of his three sisters.
MARKER: She's not one of our healthiest cats. And it probably does have a lot to do with where she started in life.
KARADSHEH: Despite the team's efforts, Kitty didn't make it.
MARKER: These animals are smaller population, very rare population. And from that, each one of them do carry a different genetic code. This one is
KARADSHEH: Every cub gets microchipped. Their DNA is recorded. Without a mother, they have to be taught how to hunt and survive in the wild.
MARKER: It takes sometimes months to try to get one cheetah to get on its feet.
KARADSHEH: Neju Jimi, a soon to be vet, is their main care giver.
NEJU JIMI, LEAD CARER, CHEETAH CONSERVATION FUND: I love them so much. I don't even see my mom once a week.
KARADSHEH: According to Marker, there are only about 300 adults in unprotected areas in the horn if Africa.
MARKER: If you do your math, the math kind of shows that it's only going to be a matter of a couple of years that we're not going to have any
cheetahs in this region left.
KARADSHEH: Many have already been lost to conflict with humans. Somaliland Wildlife Authorities are busting traffickers. It's illegal here
along with private ownership.
But in the capital, a popular restaurant advertises burgers and captive lions pacing in the background for selfies. For three years, this cheetah
on a short rope has been the star attraction for paying clients to pet, poke, and pose with. The owner insists it's legal.
ABDIRASHIQ ALI MOHAMED, LION RESTAURANT OWNER: We have a license. Plus, there's only one cheetah here and he has a lot of space to run around.
KARADSHEH: Why it was tolerated in plain sight went unanswered by the authorities. More are hidden behind walls.
Even as we're leaving Somaliland, two more cheetahs have been confiscated from a house here. Three more received just a few days later.
As long as there's a demand by the rich, creating a lucrative trade for the poor, the cheetah's future hangs in the balance. Time is not on their
Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Hargeisa, Somaliland.
[13:50:00] GORANI: And when we return back to Brexit on Boris Johnson's dramatic move to shut down parliament, the view from a long-time observer
of British politics in just a moment.
GORANI: We're going to to return to our top story now. Boris Johnson has taken a major step toward ensuring Britain leaves the E.U. at the end of
He has suspended parliament by a month giving lawmakers very little time or options to stop a potential no-deal Brexit. The queen approved the
suspension. That was very much expected.
Joining me now is Carol Walker, a British political analyst and a former correspondent for the BBC, long-time political correspondent.
So this is unusual. This is an unusual move. Let's put it in history context here.
CAROL WALKER, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it was always going to be hugely controversial for Boris Johnson to try to suspend parliament just as
we're coming up to this Brexit date. Especially when he's made it clear that he's prepared to take the U.K. out of the European Union without a
But it is worth just remembering that parliament would have been suspended for three of those four and a half or five weeks in any case with a
political party conference. That is something that happens every autumn. And parliament is generally suspended for a short time before a new session
of parliament, before a queen's speech.
Now, to do this at such a sensitive time when Boris Johnson knows that there are his opponents plotting all kinds of different maneuvers to try to
stop him leaving without a deal, but constitutionally it may be unusual. He may have bent the rules but it's not so far beyond --
GORANI: But why did he --
WALKER: For example, that is why the queen has now approved it.
GORANI: But why did he bother, if it's for debating days I think that they're losing?
WALKER: Depending on how quickly the actual (inaudible) happens.
GORANI: But doesn't it show that he's worried? That he's worried that parliament will try to mount, you know, a legal parliamentary way to block
a no deal.
WALKER: Look, it limits the amount of time that parliament has for that kind of parliamentary maneuvering and by announcing the queen's speech, as
well. As soon as parliament comes back on October 14th, it's usually about five days of debate on a queen's speech.
That's going to eat even further into the very short space of time left that MPs have to act. I think it is something of a gamble, though, because
by announcing it like this and now, by announcing it now, by making it clear what he's determined to do. We've seen the demonstrators out there.
It may well be it will galvanize his opponents, that it will help them to work more closely together because until now, the problems of Boris
Johnson's opponents is that although many of them want to stop a no-deal Brexit, they are in different places when it comes to exactly how far
they're prepared to go to do that, exactly what they're going to do, whether they're going to try and pass a law to stop it, whether they're
prepared to bring down the government.
This may well just enable his opponent to galvanize a concerted effort to try to stop him.
GORANI: So we know the majority of Britain voted to leave [13:55:00] the E.U. in June of 2016. Do a majority of Britain support no deal?
WALKER: Polls at the moment suggest that there's not a majority in favor of no deal, but it's not so far off. Many people simply voted for Brexit.
The argument of deal or no deal wasn't particularly an issue --
GORANI: It's a huge difference, though.
WALKER: -- at the time of the Brexit vote.
GORANI: Well, at the time, it wasn't but now, it has to be.
WALKER: No, but there is a majority among those who voted to leave to go for a no deal Brexit. There isn't an overall majority for it out there in
the country. And if there isn't really a majority in parliament for no deal Brexit, but whether the opponents will be able to get their act
together sufficiently in order to do this is highly debatable.
What is interesting today is that although many of those within the Conservative Party who have been signaling their opposition to a no-deal
Brexit have expressed outrage, there is some who want to start a no deal Brexit. To say that the prime minister is perfectly within his rights to
act as he has and many of them are still saying that although they would block moves to try to legislate against a no-deal Brexit< they're not
necessarily prepared to try to bring down their own government.
GORANI: Well, that would be a question of whether or not they favor allegiance to the party or allegiance to the idea that they've -- within
the Tory Party, the idea that they oppose passionately for reasons of national interest a no deal.
WALKER: We should perhaps explain to those watching that the xylophone is one of the rather more --
GORANI: He's standing right behind us.
WALKER: -- democratic expressions hat we --
GORANI: We'll explore every option before me to limit the xylophone. Anyway, please finish it up.
WALKER: But the point I was going to make is that it is quite distracting, I mean the xylophone. But the point is that the leader of the opposition
Jeremy Corbin has made it clear that if the government is brought down, if there is a vote of no confidence in the government, then he believes that
he should be the person who then takes over as a caretaker government.
And that possibility, the prospect of ushering in a Jeremy Corbin government is something that is causing many conservative MPs to think very
hard before they would be prepared to vote against their own government to break it down.
GORANI: We'll see you next hour. Carol, will be right back with more news and hopefully less xylophone.