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Russia and Turkey Establish Joint Patrols on Syria Border; Sources: Taylor Testifies U.S. Ambassador to EU Cited Political Probes as Possible Reason for Ukraine Aid Delay; Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau Wins Second Term But Loses Majority. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired October 22, 2019 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: We're an hour away from the closing bell on Wall Street. The market is doing virtually
nothing at all, which is about the only thing that's not exciting today.
If you look at what's happening in Parliament, if you take a look at what's happening with Syria and Russia and Turkey -- there are major events and
they're all taking their toll on the financial markets as much as any other.
Those other markets and these are the reason why.
The no's have it. Boris Johnson's bid to rush Brexit through the Parliament has been defeated -- come to be defeated. The Prime Minister
says, one way or another Britain will leave the E.U. when his deal. There was progress. He did get something agreed.
And now, tense situation in Northern Syria, a shaky ceasefire has come to an end. The issue, of course, is what Turkey now does, and how far the
agreement with Russia pushes anything forward.
We are live at Westminster tonight on Tuesday, October the 22nd. I'm Richard Quest, and of course at Westminster, I mean business.
Hello. Good evening to you. Breaking News across the agenda at Westminster. Tonight, Westminster has forced Boris Johnson to press pause
on his Helter Skelter Express plan to push his Brexit deal through.
A few moments ago, having voted in favor of putting it forward, the House then rejected his timetable. It was a fast track of the Brexit law three
days to deal with 110 pages of complicated legislation.
A major blow, in fact, probably fatal, probably I say, not definitely to his chances of taking the U.K. out of the E.U. by the end of this month
because without that approval, the House cannot physically, spiritually, logically, psychologically deal with the legislation in time.
Before the vote, the Prime Minister said if he didn't get his way, he'll put things off and call for an election. We don't know if that's what he
is actually going to do.
Speaking moments ago, the pause has been put on until the E.U. has decided on the request for a delay.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Our policy remains that we should not delay, that we should leave the E.U. on October the 31st and that is
what I will say to the E.U. and I will report back to the House.
And one way or another, we will leave the E.U. with this deal to which this House has just given its ascent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Nic Robertson is with me. Nic, that was interesting. I'm not sure if you even heard. He says with this deal, the one that they just had, the
second reading -- with this deal, we will leave the E.U. one way or another. Now that was the progress part.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, it was the progress part. And then of course, it came to a grinding halt with an X
vote. I was struck by the fact that the leader of the Opposition got up and spoke first, which is not his normal won't. He will sort of hang back
a little and he is criticized for that.
And he said, in essence, I will offer you a technical extension so we can work out the timeframe to get this done properly and the Prime Minister
dodged around it.
QUEST: Yes, but he dodged around it, if I understood correctly for two reasons. Firstly, because it was to -- he wants to keep his 31st deadline.
But secondly, surely Nic Robertson, if he had gone along with it, then you can pile on the amendments, Customs Union, single market, no Northern
Ireland -- blah, blah, blah.
ROBERTSON: Everything that clearly the majority in the House wanted to do that they felt that they were being bounced in place by the Prime Minister
and that there were things about this that needed to be changed. It needed to get the full scrutiny. It was a weighty -- it was a weighty document.
It was a weighty moment in British history. And therefore, the Prime Minister will have to wait to get his Brexit.
Now, he has, as you say, put it on pause. He has said that he will call the European Union leaders and he will wait until he hears back from them.
QUEST: What is he going to say? I mean, he is going to say and by the way, the Parliament is completely stymied. I'm about to lose this that and
the other. Please don't give me a delay. But that would put the onus on them, surely.
QUEST: To appear to be throwing the U.K. out.
ROBERTSON: But yes, it would. They don't want to do that and if that was the nature of his phone call, then that Scottish Court that was considering
how well he had stuck to the letter and the intent of the law to ask for an extension, may well say, uh-huh, here's the evidence.
The Prime Minister clearly is going against the law and this will put him in legal jeopardy as well. So it's stacking up against him.
QUEST: Nic, thank you. Nic Robertson with me. The opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn as we were just saying said the only sensible thing for Boris
Johnson to do was to work with the opposition to agree a timetable considering the deal.
He told the Prime Minister he was willing to cooperate and that MPs agreed to have a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEREMY CORBYN, BRITISH MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, LABOUR PARTY: The Prime Minister is the author of his own misfortune. So I make this offer to him
Work with us, work with us -- all of us to agree a reasonable timetable, and I suspect this House will vote to debate, scrutinize, and I hope amend
the detail of this bill. That would be the sensible way forward and that's the offer I make on behalf of the opposition tonight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: James Blitz is with me. The White Wall Editor for "The Financial Times." Good to see you. I need to go through this bit by bit with you,
if we may.
JAMES BLITZ, WHITE HALL EDITOR, THE FINANCIAL TIMES: Absolutely.
QUEST: First of all, the decision to pull the bill tonight pending Europe deciding. He has effectively given Europe an impossible situation.
BLITZ: No, he has not pulled the bill. This is an important point.
QUEST: He has paused it.
BLITZ: He has paused it. He was saying -- you're absolutely right. Earlier in the day, he said I'll pull it.
QUEST: He did say that today. But he has paused it.
BLITZ: He has paused it. What he is doing now is he is waiting to see what is Europe going to do? They have to give an extension and we're going
to see how long that is.
QUEST: But he doesn't want them to.
QUEST: He said, I'm going to speak to Europe and see what -- but I don't really want them to.
BLITZ: I think I want to step back. It's so complicated.
BLITZ: The good news for him, he has had good news tonight. For the first time in this whole story, the House of Commons has voted in favor of a
Brexit deal on the first in principle reading. That's the good news. We mustn't lose sight of that.
The bad news for him is he wanted to take us out by October 31st. He is not going to do that. That's the problem.
QUEST: But let me challenge you on that first bit of good news. The House only voted for that bill on the second reading, because they want to wreck
it in the committee stage.
BLITZ: Yes, there will certainly be a lot of questions, but I don't think they will wreck it. They will wreck it if they vote for a second
referendum on his deal, then he will really have to pull everything.
But apart from that, there'll be a lot of argy-bargy, a lot of difficulty. But I think in the committee stage that will be fine.
The problem is, he is not going to meet his goal of getting out on October 31st because what the House has said tonight is, you gave us Prime
Minister, 48 hours to discuss the most important legislation that's come to this House in 50 years, but we need more time.
QUEST: But did he -- did he give them that 48 hours purely because he wants to meet frankly, an arbitrary deadline set six months ago, either
October 31st. Or he doesn't want them to really have a chance to put in things like second referendum, confirmatory vote, Customs Union.
BLITZ: It's a mixture of the two. He wants to try and meet the October 31st deadline. He can't. He also wanted to have a very short conversation
about the bill. He can't.
My reckoning is -- this is what I think is going to happen.
BLITZ: I think the European Union is going to turn around and say, okay, we'll give you an extension. It's not going to be up to January 31st. We
will do it up too late November, early December. We will then give the House of Commons roughly one month, something like that, to discuss this
thing, and then we'll be out.
QUEST: So to some extent, the House of Commons discussing this thing is the democratic event or political determination that they are always
talking about that they want to see from London.
They want to see something happening before an extension.
BLITZ: This is important for the Europeans. They have got that signal tonight. There is a majority in the House of Commons for the first time
for a Brexit deal. They've never seen that before. They've seen that tonight.
They now have to give an extension. They will give an extension. They do not want to be blamed for a no deal Brexit on October 31st.
QUEST: So why didn't -- why didn't the Prime Minister accept the leader of the opposition's request offer of a technical extension, since he knows he
is going to have to get one from Europe anyway.
BLITZ: Good question. He probably will accept it in the end. I mean in the end, this is an embarrassing moment for Johnson because he had made a
promise about October 31st and he is not going to meet it.
BLITZ: But he will have to accept the offer from Labour to say, okay, let's have two or three weeks of discussion, because in the end, this is an
enormously complex and important bill. It was absurd to want to do it in two days.
QUEST: It was almost offensive to the British people.
BLITZ: Correct. Absolutely.
QUEST: But related to that, where in all of this is our general election?
BLITZ: I think that's going away now. To have a general election, one thing -- two things have gone away tonight. October 31st Brexit has gone
away and a general election before Christmas has gone away as well.
You need 25 working days to hold a general election in this country. Twenty five working days to hold a general election and we're not -- they
won't have the time to do that. Parliament will be sitting into November. The election will be next year.
QUEST: What a night.
BLITZ: Very good indeed.
QUEST: Good to see you.
BLITZ: You, too.
QUEST: You're the best in the business.
BLITZ: Thank you very much.
QUEST: You really are. I tell you, when you're with me, I certainly understand it all, or at least, I don't feel so concerned about it.
BLITZ: Be concerned. Don't let the concern go away.
QUEST: Good to see you, James. Thank you. We'll talk about the politics. Still to come, what's in the withdrawal bill and what has to happen before
it becomes law?
And also time is running out for the ceasefire in Northern Syria. The leaders of Turkey and Russia are discussing a path forward. This is CNN.
QUEST: We're in Westminster. The Prime Minister's Brexit bill is in limbo. He has lost his fast track. Anna Stewart is there.
In Parliament throughout the course of the day, so much was made of this fast tracking and the impropriety of this large bill. What is actually in
this Brexit bill that everybody says cannot be fast tracked?
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Now, well, Richard, I had the joy of trying to get through it today, 110 pages. I thought, well, that sounds not too
difficult until I sort of opened it. And it's incredibly technical.
This is real legislation, of course. And in it, you have to really, to understand it truly, you have to cross reference it with bills that have
already passed through Parliament that this seeks to amend. You have to cross reference it with standing orders.
And it's not a simple read. You can complete understand why many MPs in Parliament felt they needed much longer than two to three days.
Ordinarily an international treaty, it requires 21 sitting days in Parliament.
STEWART: The Treaty of Rome had 22 days, I believe. The Treaty of Maastricht that was 23 days. Two to three days, they said in Parliament
and clearly, they did say in this vote is not enough time -- Richard.
QUEST: It's not enough time, but they couldn't really amend that much of it anyway because if they had, they would have had to go back to Brussels
to get there ascent to any of the major changes in this, such as they were.
STEWART: And some of the amendments were fairly huge. I think that some of the opponents in Parliament wants to put forward, but Richard perhaps
that was the point.
Yes, the Prime Minister did finally win a vote on that second reading, but did all of those MPs who voted for it truly back his deal? No, absolutely
not. Many of them wanted to bring forth amendments, some wrecking ball amendments that would have forced the Prime Minister to get back to
Brussels, something he would not do.
Question is, of course what happens next? This is now on pause. We are in absolutely extraordinary territory. The Prime Minister wants to wait and
see what the E.U. says regarding the extension. And I guess from there, it's whether or not we see a short technical extension just to help the
Prime Minister with the Programme Motion maybe has to get passed October 31. Or are we looking at general election territory?
QUEST: Anna Stewart, thank you in Downing Street. Just actually before we leave you, Anna, just show me that piece of legislation again, just thumb
through it as I read the next introduction to the next story.
STEWART: I hope you can see some of my notes -- Richard.
QUEST: I can't, but getting a hefty piece of legislation like that through Parliament -- thank you -- would normally take weeks. Boris Johnson was
hoping to do it in just three days. Now lawmakers have told him that's not nearly enough.
Look at what has to happen for bill to become a law. Three readings in both Houses of Parliament, along with a committee stage for detailed
examination and the committee is the whole House, then it's the Lords, then amendments, then reconciling the two backwards and forwards. The Commons
And then finally, the Royal Assent. Joelle Grogan is the Senior Lecturer in Law at Middlesex University. And so what happened tonight?
JOELLE GROGAN, SENIOR LECTURER IN LAW, MIDDLESEX UNIVERSITY: My gosh. So, we've bought a big piece of law, a massive piece of constitutional
legislation presented to the House of Commons. It succeeded to getting to second reading.
However, the program this idea of only spending three days on the next very important third reading stage was rejected. Only three days was considered
not enough to consider a piece of legislation which will have impact in the generation ahead.
QUEST: Okay. But the argument being put forward is as Crispin Blunt put it earlier, you can't change it anyway. Now, agreed the MPs could change
that part of the agreement and how it would affect domestic law or domestic effects of it.
But they couldn't change the actual gravamen of the treaty.
GROGAN: This is the big distinction between what's happening at E.U. level in terms of those substantive commitments between the U.K. and the E.U.
GROGAN: But also how it comes into U.K. law is very significant. We're seeing a huge amount of power being shifted away from the MPs and
Parliament to individual Ministers, in terms of bringing E.U. law in without any or very little scrutiny in that transition period, in addition
to a protection of citizens' rights, but again, being up to Ministers to decide, a huge power shift across. But this is only the beginning of the
QUEST: But it is quite normal, isn't it? Ministers will lay orders. Ministers will make standing orders. Ministers will lay before the House.
GROGAN: But there's a shift. There's a lack of scrutiny. What we've actually seen in terms of this piece of legislation is so many of the
biggest questions that people had a difficulty with in terms of the E.U. law, that the lack of scrutiny over certain E.U. laws being made in
Brussels and coming into the U.K., not going through Parliament.
But what we're seeing in this big withdrawal agreement bill is essentially a continuation of E.U. law with good reason to ensure certainty.
But what everyone is saying is there's simply not enough time.
QUEST: So they are saying there's not enough time. Now we're into the political sphere of whether or not he gets a technical -- I mean, the Prime
Minister didn't accept the leader of the opposition's offer of a technical extension, but he's going to have to accept.
I mean, because Parliament has made it clear, it doesn't want a no deal Brexit at the end of the month.
GROGAN: There are some very important legal points here, which is the extension. I'm all about the legal point.
QUEST: Yes, please. You should be. Of course, yes, yes.
GROGAN: Any extension, any extension, must be requested by the U.K. which is what we saw from Boris Johnson on Saturday. But it must be agreed
unanimously by the E.U. leaders, not by Parliament.
QUEST: Right. But what about this legal doctrine that we were talking about once before that you not to frustrate the law. If the law -- if it's
named after a particular case, which are --
GROGAN: The wonderful Padfield.
QUEST: Padfield. That's it. Thank you. So the Padfield doctrine says what?
GROGAN: You cannot frustrate the intention of an act. A Minister cannot use any of his powers to frustrate the intention of an act. This is what
we saw in the Benn Act on Saturday.
The Benn Act said you must request an extension until the 31st of January 2020. And if any alternative timeframe is offered, you must bring it back
to the Commons.
QUEST: Right. But arguably his third letter is saying don't do it. Now, arguably, his conversations over the next 24 hours with E.U. leaders, if he
says don't give me the extension, that would be frustrating the Benn Act.
GROGAN: There's a very important additional point that I will join on to this, which is in terms of the stages that any agreement needs to go
through, we do have the U.K. stages which we're seeing right now, which is the ratification through passing an act through Parliament, but we have two
other E.U. stages.
First, a qualified majority of the European Council must agree to the withdrawal agreement. But next and very importantly, a majority of the
European Parliament must vote in favor of it.
But very importantly on that, the next plenary session of the European Parliament is November. We won't see any ratification on all levels that
are needed before the 31st of October if we're looking at the plenary.
QUEST: Does this give you a headache?
GROGAN: I'm barely surviving with all my coffee.
QUEST: Coffee? Excellent. And then just a biscuit with it as well. I think we need always the digestive at times like this. Good to see you as
always. Thank you so much.
To the other major story and difficulty in the world at the moment. The U.S.-brokered ceasefire between Turkish and Kurdish forces in Northern
Syria has just expired. Turkish President Erdogan and Russia's President Putin held meetings today to talk about developments in the region. They
say they've agreed to establish joint patrols along much of the Turkey- Syria border.
Nick Paton Walsh joins me from Irbil in Iraq. Nick, in the time, we've got two things we need to look at, firstly, the expiration of the pause. And
secondly, this deal. Let's start with the expiration. Has it expired yet? And have you seen any activity as a result?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We are 20 minutes since the expiration, but frankly, Richard, it has been
overshadowed by this new deal. And given the players involved in crafting this new deal, I would be very surprised if we saw an uptick in violence, a
substantial one I should say, between now and noon tomorrow.
Why noon tomorrow? Well, that is when the first phase of this Russia- Turkey agreement kicks in. It's complex, but it is wide ranging and it clearly was pretty much defined before Putin and Erdogan frankly sat down
in Sochi today.
What happens noon tomorrow is the Russians -- the Russian military police and the Syrian regime move up to the border areas right now across much of
the Syrian-Turkish border and ask the Syrian Kurds to pull back 30 kilometers along with their weapons.
Syrian Kurdish fighters that is, that has about a six-day implementation period as of noon tomorrow, 150 hours. Phase two is after that, there is
then been going to be a 10-kilometer depth area from the Syrian-Turkish border and with Turkish forces and Russian military police patrol
potentially along the whole border with the exception of the key Syrian Kurdish town of Qamishli.
Now, it isn't clear if this means the whole area. It is clear that the area that Turkey has taken 32 kilometers deep between the towns of Tall
Abyad and Ras al-Ain that will remain in Turkish hands.
So this is possibly to some degree, a win for Turkey because they get a buffer zone of the size they wanted. It's an enormous geopolitical win for
Russia, because it's calling the shots. The Defense Minister actually issuing a statement telling the United States to kind of back off as of 20
minutes ago, with its U.S. brokered ceasefire.
And for the Syrian Kurds, well, it's something of a complicated situation. It is probably the best deal they're going to get because the Russians and
the Syrian regime are kind of going to reinforce them being able to have their population near the Turkish border and not lose further territory.
But it's early days, I suspect what we're really going to see is a Syrian regime stepping in with Russian air power backing it up. But this,
remember, is a Russian-Turkish deal. The Americans have nowhere to do with it. And also what it does to broadly more geopolitically, Richard is put
the Russian military in force along the southern flank of NATO's border. That's what Turkey really is to some degree.
This is a NATO member doing a deal with Russia, pretty much against U.S. interest even though at the end of day, America is probably quite pleased
to see this come down and calm things down. Startling end to this saga -- Richard.
QUEST: All right, Nick, finally, briefly, the way in which they this deal will work on the ground is how?
PATON WALSH: So you will have tomorrow most likely, if overnight is calm, tomorrow, the Syrian regime and Russians head to the border, take it over.
They tell the Syrian Kurdish fighters and their weapons to pull back in the next under a week or so. And then you have these joint patrols.
And really important to remember that the Americans had a similar mechanism for shallower joint patrols along the Syrian-Turkish border with the
Turkish that was blown out of the water by the Trump phone call with Erdogan. That got the Americans out of the way. And now the Russians are
essentially taking the place whilst asking the Syrian Kurds to move further back.
QUEST: We'll have more in a moment. This is CNN. Thank you, Nick.
QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest, there's a lot more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS as we continue. We'll be talking to a Conservative lawmaker about Boris
Johnson's Brexit defeat. What happens next?
And in Brussels, E.U. leaders and their reaction to events in Westminster. Before any of it, this is CNN. And on this network, the facts always come
The British Prime Minister said he will pause his E.U. withdrawal bill in Parliament until the European Union decides whether it will grant a Brexit
Boris Johnson says, in the meantime, the U.K. must accelerate preparations for no deal. The Prime Minister spoke moments after two crucial votes.
They rejected his attempt to ram the bill through Parliament in three days, but they did vote to advance the bill in the first place. And that's a
first in the Brexit legislation.
Russia and Turkey have agreed to joint patrols along the Syria-Turkey border. They are demanding Syrian Kurds move their fighters and weapons 30
President Putin and President Erdogan announced the agreement after talks in Sochi in Russia.
We are learning details now about the testimony of the acting --
QUEST: With the south. President Putin and President Erdogan announced the agreement after talks in Sochi in Russia. We're learning details now
about the testimony of the acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor in the ongoing impeachment inquiry. Sources say Taylor has testified that
U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland told him aid to Ukraine could have been held up in part because of an investigation that could help
Donald Trump politically.
Violent clashes in Bolivia as protesters accuse authorities of electoral fraud. Demonstrators raided two tribunal buildings in which confusion
about the results of the presidential election on Sunday. The incumbent President Evo Morales took the lead after vote was inexplicably halted and
then restarted. He's claimed victory. The opposition has called a fraud.
And in Canada, Justin Trudeau has narrowly won re-election as Prime Minister. His liberal party lost the majority and will now have to form a
partnership with one of the party. Prime Minister's campaign suffered multiple problems including the blackface photo scandal from years ago
which surfaced. He apologized and said he didn't realize that what he was doing was racist.
The European Council has responded to the events in parliament tonight. And EU spokeswoman says the EU Commission takes note of tonight's result
and expects the U.K. government to inform us about the next steps. The European Council president is consulting leaders on the U.K.'s request for
an extension until the 31st of January 2020.
France says there's no justification at this point for another extension. According to the French Foreign Minister, speaking to the French
parliament, that was before the events tonight. Donald Tusk says he'll have a decision in coming days. Speaking a few moments ago, Boris Johnson
said the government had no choice to ramp up plans. The next move for the EU was crucial.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: The EU must now make up their minds over how to answer parliament's request for a delay. And the
first consequence, Mr. Speaker is that the government must take the only responsible course and accelerate our preparations for a no-deal outcome.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Nina is in Brussels. Nina, you heard what the spokeswoman said, but what are they actually telling you?
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, let's start our way, taking a look at what Leo Varadkar, the Irish Taoiseach has been saying because
remember that, that is the key border country between the EU and the rest of the U.K. that has such a big say in all of this.
Leo Varadkar has been saying that basically in any circle it's welcome that the House of Commons voted by a clear majority in favor of legislation that
is needed to enact withdrawal agreement. We will now await further developments from London and Brussels about the next steps including the
timetable of the legislation and of course the need for an extension.
Now, we know that, obviously given the fact that the timetable of the legislation as per the House of Commons, that second vote dramatically
slipped and Boris Johnson didn't win it earlier today. But the withdrawal agreement second reading did pass. That gives at least some comfort here
But again, the big question is whether or not Boris Johnson will now decide to scrap this whole Brexit procedure and instead agitate for a general
election. It is a situation that the EU had to deal with before. Again, one step forward, two steps back. And for that reason, they've been very
When it comes to a date for any extension, Donald Tusk remaining diplomatically quite mum on that subject as you saw there in that tweet
from Mina Andrei(ph) who represents the U.K. Commission, the executive arm of the EU, all they have to work with at the moment is that January 31st
QUEST: Nina --
DOS SANTOS: In 2020, this on the letter that Boris Johnson sent. Richard?
QUEST: Mina, are they going to give a delay and if so, how much do you think it will be?
DOS SANTOS: This is the big question. It's looking very likely. If you listen to all the various sets of messaging we've had over the last couple
of days here in Brussels in the European parliament that's had its governing over the last few days in Strasbourg. They are angling towards a
delay, even albeit a short technical delay. Anything from the EU's side to try and avoid being pinned with the blame of a no-deal --
QUEST: Right --
DOS SANTOS: Exit here. The big question is whether or not they'll need a longer delay and whether or not the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson
would actually ask for that. Remember, he's always said he'd rather be dead in a ditch than ask for a delay. And many people here in Brussels
suspect that he might try and use anything --
QUEST: All right --
DOS SANTOS: To try and angle for a no-deal exit. Richard?
QUEST: Nina is in Brussels, Nina, thank you. Sir Peter Westmacott is Britain's former ambassador to the U.S., ambassador to Turkey and then
France. So what do you -- Mr. Ambassador, what do you make?
PETER WESTMACOTT, FORMER BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: Well, it seems to me that the whole Brexit process has taken another lurch into the unknown.
It's sort of predictable that there would be a vote in favor of let's have another look, let's have a proper look at the government's withdrawal bill.
But it's sort of predictable as well that people would say this is indecent haste and we've got to have longer to look at this really important piece
of legislation for the future of our country. So, we're in a muddle, and we're a bit of unknown --
QUEST: But how do we -- but which way does it move? Who has the impetus now to move forward because he's paused the bill --
WESTMACOTT: Yes --
QUEST: He's waiting for Europe, but with your knowledge of what happens over there, what are they likely to do?
WESTMACOTT: Well, many of them in Europe did not want to give us another extension. They're fed up with the whole process.
WESTMACOTT: But Macron was very clear. The French who said we don't really see that this service is a useful purpose. But now that we have got
this vote and parliament is sovereign in its own way, and even though Boris Johnson who was going to leave on the 31st of October, no "ifs" and "buts",
done or ditch, if not, it's not going to happen, we now know that.
I think the Europeans having now been invited to consider the letter that he sent reluctantly, asking for an extension will probably say yes. The
question is how long do they give him? And they won't want to be here again in ten days time or in two months time. They'll want to do it once more
and then be done with it.
QUEST: Right, but they doing it once more will be contingent either on a Democratic event such an election or on parliament scrutinizing this bill
and passing it. But they can't guarantee that that's actually going to happen in any meaningful way with amendments.
WESTMACOTT: You're quite right, and so we don't know whether Boris Johnson wishing what he intimating earlier today, was the right to hold a view, I'm
going to the country -- general election, then at least the European side would know that he's paused. As you say, he hasn't pulled. And it is
possible that he will say, well, they voted for the second reading of the bill, let's take a few more days and get it right.
Ken Clark was suggesting that in the house earlier on. So, we don't know whether he wants a few days or whether he wants a few months in order to
hold a general election. And that's going to be a bit of a problem for the European side.
QUEST: And as he was on -- and now look at -- let's go to parliament quickly, let's go and see this in parliament if we've got it -- there you
are. The parliamentary session is coming to an end. There is the mace being hauled up out of the -- out it goes. And this is what you see once
parliament ends, you see the clock, it's over for today.
WESTMACOTT: It's over for today.
QUEST: Let's go to -- there's a good moment for us to shift to actions, Turkey. Let's talk about Turkey. President Erdogan, you were the
ambassador to Turkey, you know the story backwards, upside-down. The President Erdogan and Vladimir Putin have agreed joint patrols along the
Turkey-Syria border. Should we be worried about that?
WESTMACOTT: Marathon session at Sochi, it lasted six or seven hours and it seems as though President Erdogan was looking for a buffer zone, the whole
length of the north Syrian border which would have been really a bit too much, I think, the Syrians wouldn't have accepted it and the Russians
That's been a bit less, but there is now a deal between them for joint patrols along a reasonable chunk of Turkey's southern border. I think this
is bad news for a lot of people in Syria, but it's deeply worrying I think, for the fact that the southern flank of NATO is going to be patrolled by
the Russians now.
QUEST: So, the -- I hadn't thought about that, but what about the buffer zone? Does the buffer zone continue? Does the buffer zone still exist or is
Syria allowed now pretty much to come all the way up to the border?
WESTMACOTT: It looks as though the Turks and the Russians will patrol that buffer zone. The Syrians, I doubt it because the Syrians if you recall did
a deal with the Kurdish militias, the YPG in order to fight back against the Turks. So, I suspect the Syrians will keep their distance, the
question will be, will the Syrian militia like the YPG withdraw from that zone to avoid a conflict.
QUEST: Is this a Trojan horse for Putin to put considerably more forces -- he's already got a lot in Syria anyway.
WESTMACOTT: Yes --
QUEST: But he'd withdrawn quite a lot of them as the civil war was drawing down. But he's now got a chance with another government to put serious
militia and military forces in there.
WESTMACOTT: Russia always had a substantial military presence, intelligence, Naval base and so on in Syria. Russia wants to have Assad in
charge so that they will get what they want, asking his permission. They don't necessarily need a large permanent military presence, but this is a
victory for Putin and I'm afraid the decision that President Trump made to say to Erdogan EU go was what sparked this off, and it's not good news for
NATO. I don't think it's very good news for the Kurds, either.
QUEST: For the United States, Donald Trump says it's not our war, they've been fighting for years, bullies on the playground, let them fight it out,
it's no business of ours.
The U.S. has strategically decided this is not relevant. Why -- I mean, do you agree that this is damaging or not?
WESTMACOTT: I think it is damaging because the U.S. had taken a position, had given a lot of assurances to the brave Kurdish militias --
QUEST: Right --
WESTMACOTT: Who lost 11,000 soldiers and once again, the Kurds have been ditched, and once again a lot of people around the world would say we can't
trust America's word.
QUEST: Quick question, which I know no knowledge of, but it's all -- they're the best ones. If you had been an ambassador when somebody asked
you to withhold aid and you heard all about it and you were the Ukrainian ambassador at the time all the shenanigans were going on with Gordon
Sondland, what would you have said because you were an ambassador -- if you were asked to do something that smelled?
WESTMACOTT: Our system has got quite a high level of honesty. If I was asked to do something that smelled, that was quite wrong, in order words
using government means for purely political purposes, I'd like to think I'd have refused, and I'd like to think that I would have got a lot of support
back in London for doing so.
QUEST: Good to see you, Ambassador --
WESTMACOTT: Yes, thank you, Richard --
QUEST: Have a good night. After the break, a conservative MP David Morris is with us, this is CNN, a very busy day.
QUEST: Boris Johnson is pausing his Brexit bill after suffering a defeat in the House of Commons. It looked like a break in the deadlock initially.
Parliament had voted to advance the Prime Minister's deal on second reading, and then they rejected his bid to fast-track the complex
legislation into law before October the 31st. David Morris is a conservative MP, good evening. So, this was really strange, but now what
happens? The pause is on, but pause from what?
DAVID MORRIS, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE MP: There's a few avenues you can go down with this. Think of it like this, you stop legislation now, does he
have to start it again? No, he doesn't. We've agreed on an exit strategy, we've agreed on a deal on second reading. He still don't have to do
anything now, he could leave without a deal on the 31st on the basis of what we've agreed.
QUEST: Well, except for the Benn Act.
MORRIS: Well, the Benn Act can force him to go with a deal, but if it's been paused at that particular point and Europe agrees this second reading,
and parliament have agreed to this second reading, that fulfills the Benn Act.
QUEST: Right, but none of that is going to happen because Europe is contemplating the delay or extension that the Prime Minister is requesting.
What do you hope they come back with?
MORRIS: Well, I don't really know. I don't know what's going on in Europe. But the ambassador who was on before said that, you know, the
Europeans weren't for giving another extension.
Maybe the Europeans quite rightly are fed up with this just like we are --
QUEST: But --
MORRIS: And they just want to see an end to it and go on the basis we're at.
QUEST: But what would you see -- what would your preference be? If I give you a range of options from the full until January the 31st, a technical
extension on the grounds that parliament is now agreed on something or no extension, you're out on the 31st if you can't get it done before.
MORRIS: I want to see us -- see us gone on the 31st. I've just had enough. And I'm sure people out there, your viewers even across the other
side of the Atlantic, even they're seeing this is a bit of a charade now.
QUEST: But why would you want all the potential risks of a hard Brexit on the 31st, if the leader of the opposition said, you're going to have a
technical extension for ten days, two weeks. You know, surely, you shouldn't let pride on the matter of a date determine --
MORRIS: It's --
QUEST: Something as important as this.
MORRIS: The problem we've got is, you've seen how we -- you saw how parliament behave. We need more time to -- even talk about this for three
years. Three years of this. So, how long is a piece of string? Do we go past that date? How long do we go to the 31st of January? And it goes on
QUEST: But do you -- do you accept that it was nonsensical to try and put this bill through when nobody had seen the detail until 24 hours ago?
MORRIS: Well, funny enough, the bill was -- no, second reading, it got voted upon.
QUEST: You probably knew they were going to wreck it further down.
MORRIS: That's what the idea was, but the whole idea of where we are at this moment in time, there was a majority carried for the basis of this
deal. If we leave on the 31st and the Europeans --
QUEST: Right --
MORRIS: Accept it and we accept it, and that's the basis for us to go forward on, that can't be a bad thing.
QUEST: David Morris, the Conservative MP joining me here. It seems like a good idea for us to take a few moments break as we look at what's happening
on Wall Street. Take a look at the Dow Jones, the Dow is see-sawing, Facebook is pulling down the Nasdaq at the moment. Reports of attorneys
general are investigating Facebook.
We've had good earnings from Procter & Gamble and United Technologies, McDonald's and Travelers earnings, they were disappointing. We'll be back
in just a moment.
QUEST: News in Boeing has replaced the head of its commercial airplane group. Stan Deal is in for Kevin McAllister, the airplane's group has been
at the heart of the crisis involving 737 Max. Rene Marsh is in Washington. Kevin McAllister who I know well, he joined in 2016. He was an outsider
when he came into Boeing. But why is he the fall guy in all of this at the moment?
RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION & GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: He certainly is the fall guy, and you know, there was going to be one and we
are seeing this all play out right before our eyes. This is the first high-ranking Boeing executive to leave the company.
Of course, Richard, it comes without saying that this comes at a time when the airplane manufacturer has been struggling with its brand and of course,
this long drawn-out process of trying to get the 737 Max recertified after those two deadly crashes. As you point out, Kevin McAllister has been at
the center of the problems with the plane's Automated Flight Control System.
The plane has been grounded because of issues surrounding this system since March, making this --
QUEST: Right --
MARSH: The longest grounding. So, yes, that is exactly what we're seeing play out here where he is clearly at least, one of the fall guys here. But
we saw Richard, not long ago, I think it was last week or the week before, the CEO of Boeing, Dennis McAllister -- Dennis Muilenburg, he lost his
chairmanship. So the --
QUEST: Right --
MARSH: Company is shaking up leadership.
QUEST: But you know, when you -- I mean, for McAllister to go, there has to be a suggestion firstly, that in some way he arrived in 2016 and then
forced through many of the -- you know, get the Max into the air because that job is also, Rene, the chief salesman, is the person who does all the
So, I'm wondering, is there some sort of suggestion that the culture changed with his arrival, whether that's fair or unfair?
MARSH: I mean, one could read into that. But here's the thing, and just for our viewers at home, let's set up the time line, he joined Boeing,
November 2016 and just for folks at home, this is shortly before the plane, the 737 Max was granted FAA certification. That happened in March of 2017.
So, you see clearly a very close timeline there. Richard, you could be on to something, we don't have reporting at this point that points
specifically to why McAllister. But when you look at the timeline here, joining November 2016, the plane again certified by the FAA, March 2017,
clearly he was involved in this process and this all happened shortly after he arrived at Boeing.
QUEST: Rene, thank you, we'll obviously hear a lot more about it, it does seem as if he has been the fall guy at the moment. And it's still not
certain that Muilenburg won't go as well. All right, thank you, Rene Marsh joining me. Back to Brexit finally tonight.
Well, it look like Brexit might actually happen in the next ten days, everything changes. The House of Commons rejected Boris Johnson's plan to
fast-track the deal. Now, the chance of leaving the EU the end of October -- Carole Walker, how would you rate that chance?
CAROLE WALKER, POLITICAL ANALYST: I think that chance has now gone, and I think it was fascinating when we heard the Prime Minister who of course
promised he was going to die in a ditch rather than extend Brexit beyond October the 31st, what he said after that effort to try to rush the
legislation through was blocked.
He said, "we will leave the EU with this deal." To which parliament has given it's assent. But that date was missing. And I think that that is an
indication that he now accepts that there will be efforts under way to have an extension and it's going to be very difficult for him to avoid that.
QUEST: Right, but you know, they're tying themselves in knots on the question of whether the extension -- you know, when -- fine. Does it
matter? Other than for pride and prejudice? Does it matter if they say right, we'll give an extension for three weeks, will that be long enough
for Mr. Johnson, for you to complete your parliamentary process?
WALKER: I think the problem is that Boris Johnson knows that even if he has three weeks, he's not going to get that deal through intact. Because I
think what parliamentarians will do if they have three weeks to discuss all the detailed legislation, all those very complex arrangements regarding
customs for Northern Ireland about regulations, about who oversees the rights of the EU citizens, all kinds of specific issues like that will be
picked apart. MPs will try to pass amendments --
QUEST: Right --
WALKER: And if they change the deal that upsets --
QUEST: Right --
WALKER: The whole thing because it's unpicking the deal that he's made with the rest of the EU.
QUEST: OK, but then where does it go from here because if they grant some form of delay, and he still can't pass it here, we're back to square one.
I mean, the area -- yes, all right, it's important that he's managed to get something through. But he can't get the whole thing through.
WALKER: No, and I think that there will be a sense of exasperation and frustration amongst many conservatives and certainly in Downing street.
They still think that there has been a huge achievement in finding a deal which has got the support of parliament, 19 Labor MPs voted for that deal
tonight. And I think what Boris Johnson really wants now is to move to an election. I think that the --
QUEST: Let me -- and he'd rather do an election rather than taking the delay and then still getting it through?
WALKER: Because I think that he knows that during that delay, it will be very difficult for the reasons I've just given to get his deal through,
without unpicking it so much that he then have to go back to the EU. He will now seek to have a general election.
The trouble is that Labor has been trying to avoid one, and I suspect that Labor will find further reasons to try to say that they're still not
prepared to have a general election. And the reason here is that they think they're going to lose.
QUEST: All right, they're going to lose, what a day. What do you make of it?
WALKER: Another extraordinary day in this Brexit saga, and I think once again, we had before us a number of different potential scenarios and
nobody quite knows where it's going to end up, despite a historic vote in parliament tonight.
QUEST: It's amazing, the historic vote in parliament is the least of the major things that we can -- that is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight,
Carole Walker is with me. Well, it's been such a historic night one way or the other, you do get an honor that few are granted. I am Richard Quest in
London, whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, go on --
WALKER: My goodness --
QUEST: Go on --
WALKER: I am truly honored.
QUEST: He pays your money, he takes your choice. We'll be back after the break.