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The Battle for Brexit; London's First Muslim Mayor; Imagine a World. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired May 9, 2016 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST (voice-over): Tonight: the British prime minister warns that a U.K. vote for Brexit could endanger peace in Europe.
We debate both sides with Lord Paddy Ashdown for Remain and the MEP Daniel Hannan for Vote Leave.
Also ahead: first day on the job for the first Muslim in the job, new London mayor Sadiq Khan. U.S. Congressman Andre Carson only the second
Muslim elected to Congress, one of many to congratulate him. And he joins me live to discuss this win and Muslim relations in the USA, in the age of
AMANPOUR: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
The gloves are off in Britain's battle for Brexit, with important British local elections now over. The two rival camps in the In-Out debate are
turning up the heat.
And today they wheeled out the big guns to talk war and peace. In one corner, Prime Minister Cameron, fighting for why his country should remain
in a reformed E.U. And in the other corner, the former London mayor, Boris Johnson, who believes that Britain is better off out. First, Phil Black
has our report.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In just 45 days, British people will head to the polls to cast the historic vote on whether to stay
in or get out of the E.U. As the clock counts down, the war of words picks up. Prime Minister David Cameron, for the In campaign, sets out the
security argument, saying peace in Europe could be threatened if Britain left the E.U. and the U.K. would become weaker in the face of terrorists.
DAVID CAMERON, PRIME MINISTER, GREAT BRITAIN: Can we be so sure that peace and stability on our continent are assured beyond any shadow of doubt?
Is that a risk worth taking?
I would never be so rash as to make that assumption.
BLACK (voice-over): For the Leave camp, the former mayor of London, Boris Johnson, delivered his own speech, accusing his rivals of running scare
stories and slamming the E.U. for being a force of instability and alienation.
BORIS JOHNSON, FORMER MAYOR OF LONDON: I don't think the prime minister can seriously believe that leaving the E.U. would trigger war on the
European continent, given that he was prepared only a few months ago to urge that people should vote leave if they failed to get a substantially
reformed European Union.
BLACK (voice-over): The politicians may talk.
But have the British people already made up their minds?
The stakes could certainly not be higher. The latest polls show the race is very tight -- Phil Black, CNN, London.
AMANPOUR: So let's hear now from both sides of this debate. With me here in the studio, is Lord Paddy Ashdown, former leader of the Liberal
Democrats here, who believes that Britain is better off inside the E.U.
And joining me from Strasburg is the conservative MEP, Daniel Hannan. He's author of the book, "Why Vote Leave." That is arguing the case for Out.
Gentlemen, welcome; thanks both for being here with me this evening.
So first to you, Lord Ashdown, not only were you a party political leader, you're a former special forces. You have even been a E.U. High
Representative after the war in Bosnia.
Is the prime minister right, does getting out of the E.U. endanger somehow Britain's war and peace, Britain's security?
PADDY ASHDOWN, FORMER U.K. HIGH REPRESENTATIVE FOR BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA: Absolutely.
By the way, we're old friends, Christiane, so Paddy will do.
Look, Boris Johnson seems to be a little behind the events. There already have been wars on the European continent. You and I were in one, you may
remember, from 1992 and 1995 in Bosnia. And it was my job to pick up the pieces for that.
And let me tell you, in rebuilding Bosnia after the war and creating a stable state with a sustainable peace, I turned to the institutions of the
European Union to help me build the instruments of the state in Bosnia far, far more than I ever did to the aircraft carriers of NATO and the United
Here's the central point, which it seems to me everybody else understands - - Mr. Obama does, Mr. Putin does, the leaders of every NATO country does -- that NATO is stronger if the European Union is united. It is weaker if the
European Union is divided.
Why do you think Vladimir Putin has spent the last 20 years trying to break up the European Union, using tanks in Ukraine, using energy?
And now if we vote to Brexit, we'll be helping him. So there's the message for Daniel Hannan.
ASHDOWN: If we vote Brexit, it isn't what any single one of our friends want you to do. But it's what Mr. Putin would just love you to do.
AMANPOUR: Well, answer that, if you would, Mr. Hannan. And also, you just heard what Paddy Ashdown has said.
Boris Johnson said the reverse of what you said today, Paddy Ashdown. He said that it was the E.U. that had undermined peace in Bosnia and the
Ukraine, not enhanced it.
How do you figure that, Daniel Hannan?
How is it the E.U.?
ASHDOWN: He wasn't there. Forgive him, I was.
DANIEL HANNAN, AUTHOR: Was that addressed to me or to Lord Ashdown?
AMANPOUR: Lord Ashdown made a comment. Now I want you to comment on how Putin is the one who's taking the most advantage, who's enjoying the idea
of destroying E.U. institutions.
HANNAN: For what it's worth, the Russian embassy says that they have no view on whether British should leave the E.U. but, frankly the last
person's opinion that we should care about is Vladimir Putin's. We should do what's right for our country.
And I think that the basic case here that the E.U. is a guarantor of peace in Europe is misplaced. I think it makes far more sense to see the
European Union not as a cause of peace in Europe but rather as a consequence of a European peace that was based on the defeat of fascism,
the spread of democracy and the NATO alliance.
I think in general throughout the democratic world, we've seen wars recede. There hasn't been a war in North America since 1865. There hasn't been a
war, barring a couple of minor border skirmishes in South America, there hasn't been a major interstate war since 1941.
Switzerland hasn't been involved in an interstate war since 1848 -- or, since 1815 and it's not in the European Union. So we're seeing a general
process, a very welcome process of the spreading of free trade and democracy.
The European Union, far from being a guarantor of that peace, I think, is stirring up national antagonisms through the migration crisis and through
the euro crisis. I think that instead of making countries get on better, it's making them argue in a way that we haven't seen for decades.
AMANPOUR: We're going to get to economy and migration in a second, two other big planks in this major debate.
But you say hasn't seen war and Paddy Ashdown just intervened, said go and talk to the people of Ukraine.
I mean, he's got a point. There actually is war on the continent of Europe. We saw it in the Balkans but we've also seen it in the last
several years, Ukraine, the gobbling up of Crimea.
So it isn't a frivolous thing to say this, is it?
HANNAN: Well, sorry, how on Earth do you get from that to saying that Britain leaving the E.U. will make wars more likely?
I mean --
ASHDOWN: He used the Second World War as an example of how Britain's interest was always to be engaged. Look, there's a very simple question
let me put to Daniel. He tells me that -- he tells everybody that, in fact, it's not Europe that guarantors the peace. It is NATO.
So can he name a single NATO leader, just one, any NATO leader who agrees with him that NATO will be stronger if Britain leaves the European Union
and breaks it up?
Whereas every single one of them have made it clear that they believe NATO will be stronger if we stay in the European Union and it stays united.
Can he name one who agrees with his view?
AMANPOUR: He's got a point there, right.
Can you name one?
HANNAN: Meaning the leader of a NATO country?
Most of them have said it's for the British people to decide, which is of course --
ASHDOWN: You're dodging the question.
HANNAN: Hang on, you said I vested my case in NATO. I didn't mention the two.
AMANPOUR: But Boris Johnson does. And that's a main Brexit -- Daniel, it is a fact, Boris Johnson did, in his speech today. And that is a Brexiter
plank, that NATO is what keeps us safe and not the E.U.
And Paddy is saying --
HANNAN: -- quite important distinction -- right, NATO is a military alliance, it's based on Article 5, it's based on the idea that an attack on
one country is an attack on all of them. No one is suggesting that Britain will leave NATO as a result either way of this referendum.
The European Union is an economic and political organization based around closer integration.
Now the question is, does that make us more peaceful?
Does it make us get on better, jamming together different people in one political system?
I would say that if you look at how German newspapers are writing about Greece, if you look at how Greek newspapers are writing about Germany, I
would say that the process of European integration, far from soothing national antagonisms, is stoking them.
ASHDOWN: Daniel, as usual, you are brilliantly -- and you are brilliant at skating over the question. Let me come back to it.
All of the NATO leaders believe that the things we fight for together will be better fought for because we will be stronger if the United Kingdom
remains within the European Union. In other words, the instrument by which you look to guarantor that peace itself wishes to see a united, not a
divided, European Union with Britain as part of it.
ASHDOWN: The message that Obama brought to us was, guys, the things we fight for together are better with you inside Europe than outside the
European Union. And the reason for that is, the United States policy has been right since the times of Kissinger and Kennedy when they believed in a
twin-pillar Europe, a strong United States and a united Europe.
You want to break the European Union up and that's in the interest of only one person and his name is Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.
HANNAN: That is just a ridiculous argument. To say that those of us who are arguing for a democratic post-E.U. Britain, we want close relations
with our friends and allies, which will continue --
HANNAN: -- to say that we're doing this at the bidding of Vladimir Putin, that he's the only person -- you did.
You said the only person who will be happy about it --
AMANPOUR: Let me just interview you. He is saying -- he's --
HANNAN: -- keep talking over me.
ASHDOWN: You are a most enthusiastic misrepresenter. I said that whether you liked it or not, whether you intend it or not, he's the only person
who's going to benefit from a policy that you propose.
AMANPOUR: May I -- we now --
HANNAN: No, the British people will be the chief beneficiaries. The British people will be the chief beneficiaries.
AMANPOUR: All right.
HANNAN: We will benefit from getting our democracy back, our laws back, our borders back and, above all, we'll be able to trade with the whole
world and be a global country pursuing --
AMANPOUR: I'm going to try and --
HANNAN: -- maritime and global vocation --
AMANPOUR: -- I'm going to try and talk about trade and immigration in a moment. But I need to put this sound bite to you, which was from Sir John
Sawers. These are not political appointees. These are technocrats who know intelligence. So he and the former head of MI-5 have written letters,
talking about how Britain is much more secure because of the shared information and intelligence.
Listen to what John Sawers said to the BBC yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SIR JOHN SAWERS, FORMER HEAD OF MI-5: Actually, E.U. has created the European arrest warrant. I remember back in the 1990s, when the French had
terrorists wanted in France who sought refuge in Britain. It took us 10 long years to extradite them back to France.
We've now, in the last -- in the last few years, we've deported over 5,000 people to other European countries.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So it's pretty persuasive, that. He's saying the E.U. is enabling us to actually do these things which are better for our security,
much quicker than had we had any other different kind of procedures.
You can't really argue with that, can you, Daniel?
HANNAN: Well, his predecessor, as head of MI-6, said exactly the opposite and thinks we should leave, because it will give us more control over whom
we admit and whom we can deport.
But, yes, I absolutely will argue against what was said in that clip. I had a constituent, a little boy, 5 years old, whose parents took him out of
Southampton Hospital to seek treatment somewhere else. They were detained under the European arrest warrant.
When I intervened as a constituency MEP, to try and at least allow them to be with their child, who had not been away from his mother since the first
day that he fell ill, I was told by the Spanish authorities, we're terribly sorry, (Speaking Spanish). It's the European arrest warrant. It's the
most powerful instrument in the extradition arsenal. The only thing we're allowed to do is to check that the people named on it are the people we've
That is the kind of awesome power that has been placed in the hands of the police. We were told when it was introduced that it would only be used as
an anti-terrorist measure. In fact, it's now used routinely.
And people regularly find themselves imprisoned without their case coming to trial, with a loss of liberty that would be intolerable --
AMANPOUR: Well, let me put that to Paddy Ashdown. We've got a minute left.
HANNAN: -- any other context, Paddy Ashdown would be furious about it because it happens to come from --
AMANPOUR: -- this case --
HANNAN: -- he's in favor --
AMANPOUR: -- we remember this case, Paddy Ashdown, and it was a bit of a farcical situation around Europe. But of course it's possibly apples and
oranges, I don't know. But this extradition -- but what about that argument, because people are in England concerned about sovereignty, about
having their own laws, about being able to (INAUDIBLE) through the court who they want.
ASHDOWN: As you rightly said, apples and oranges, a most skillful skating over answering the question.
The position is very clear. Al Qaeda is a network. We need our own network to be able to counter the network and that means remaining in the
European Union, using its instruments -- Europol, the European arrest warrant and others, which, by the way, is for criminals as well.
So the argument about sovereignty, Christiane, is a complex one but let me put it to you very quickly, today, the idea that sovereignty rests within
the nation state is an illusion for all of us. There is now more power outside the nation state at the global level that determines the lives of
ordinary people. You know that from defense and we've pooled sovereignty in NATO for the last 50 years.
It's applying that principle to give us a better chance of governing and controlling those global forces. If we pool our sovereignty with the
European neighbors, we don't have less sovereignty. We have more. We have more control.
And if we leave, we will actually have less control. We'll be more under the control of the faceless markets and those who manage global power
rather than have the interests of our citizens at hand. That's the modern version of sovereignty, which these guys, I think, just completely forget.
AMANPOUR: Well, I'm --
AMANPOUR: -- very sorry to say that you do have the last word because we're running out of time.
Daniel Hannan, we will have you back, because we do want to talk about the other main planks, which are economy, which are migration.
Paddy Ashdown, thank you very much.
Daniel Hannan, thank you very much for joining us from Strasburg tonight.
And coming up, we stay in the U.K. but we focus in on London, where its first Muslim mayor has just had his first day in the office. What the
triumph of Sadiq Khan means for this multicultural capital and for the world -- next.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.
London's first Muslim mayor spent his first day in office today at a Holocaust memorial event. Sadiq Khan, the son of Pakistani immigrants,
whose father was a bus driver and whose mother was a seamstress, says that he is a unifier.
The inclusive language, which is a far cry from U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump's rhetoric across the pond. Representative Andre Carson is
only the second Muslim ever elected to the U.S. Congress and he joins me now from Indiana.
Representative, Congressman Carson, welcome to the program.
REP. ANDRE CARSON (D), IND.: Thank you for having me.
AMANPOUR: So let me just ask you, what did you think?
And I know you tweeted your congratulations.
But were you amazed as everybody else that actually Sadiq Khan was elected first Muslim mayor of London?
CARSON: Well, I think it speaks to the political sense, the multiculturalism of the great city of London. I was there quite recently
and the people are phenomenal. So I think it speaks to London being a global city and I'm very pleased and I congratulate the mayor-elect.
AMANPOUR: What does it say about the campaigns?
I first want to ask you about that because it turned into a rather nasty campaign, all sorts of aspersions were cast against his faith. He was
called dangerous by his opponent.
And as you see what's happening simultaneously in the United States, Donald Trump, who won your state in the Republican primary a few days ago, has
also risen -- sorry -- raised the specter of anti-Islam.
How do you read these politics today?
CARSON: Well, I think we're living in a time where xenophobia and Islamophobia are certainly on the rise.
But having said that, there are scores of people in places like Indiana and across America and even in the U.K., who understand that Muslims are a
fabric of our societies, that they play an important role.
There are deep levels of bigotry, in many cases, acted out by the governmental apparatus and so Mayor-Elect Khan's election has great
symbolic value and it has substantive value. He's very qualified for the job as a former minister and as someone who is certainly accomplished.
But I say that his background, coming from public housing and having worked hard, coming from a hard-working South Asian family, I think he speaks and
represents all that is great and all that is yet to come from the Muslim community.
AMANPOUR: In fact, you've written and you've talked about how, in one of the great existential fights of our time right now, which is against
terrorism, radicalization, the --
AMANPOUR: -- threat within, that you cannot do it without having the Muslim faith on board and engaged.
CARSON: Precisely. I mean, from every day, whether it's MI-5, MI-6, the CIA, NSA and our global international network, even our FVEY partners, it
is very clear that a lot of attempted attacks were thwarted simply because there are Muslims who are in these agencies.
But there are also Muslims who are providing information, who are deeply concerned about creating and maintain safe spaces.
AMANPOUR: Let me ask you about your story because you were a convert to Islam, I believe as a teenager.
And why did that happen?
Why did you decide to do that?
And then you went into law enforcement, of all things.
CARSON: Well, you know, it was a part of a spiritual journey that I took. I studied, I grew up in a Baptist family. I went to a Catholic school. I
was an altar boy. It was my conversations with different pastors and even priests and other faith leaders that forced me to really study different
faith systems, be it Christianity, Judaism, Islam, many mystical schools and systems and schools of thought and different philosophical schools of
thought that brought me to this place.
I also saw a heavy presence of Muslims in my community, pushing back on crime and doing the job that law enforcement refused to do or simply were
incapable of doing. And I had my own negative experiences with law enforcement, having been arrested as a young man at the age of 17, a
And the charges -- I wasn't charged ultimately -- but having that experience propelled me to want to be a part of the solution. And, for me,
that was becoming a part of a law enforcement organization, Indiana State Excise Police. I've then went on to work for the Indiana Department of
Homeland Security in Counterterrorism.
And now I sit on the House Intelligence Committee. So my commitment of having knowing both sides of the aisle, from seeing excess as it relates to
law enforcement and being on the other side of the aisle, where we can help keep people safer. And I think that's an important balance to have.
AMANPOUR: So when you were running for election, did people look at your faith or your experience?
CARSON: Well, a bit of both. For many, they accused me of being a Trojan horse or some kind of sleeper cell. For others, my background as a police
officer, starting as a special deputy with the Marion County Sheriff's Department, on to the State Excise Police and Indiana Department of
Homeland Security, helped to offset any notion that I posed a threat.
Home-grown from Indianapolis, Indiana, so many people knew that but I still get a considerable number of death threats, also accusations from opponents
that I am somehow a terrorist simply because I choose to practice Islam.
And I think now society must change. The more it becomes accepting of Muslims, the more Muslims are free, who are very qualified, to participate
in the political process. And we're seeing more of that. We have Congressman Keith Alyson, that my father-in-law was the first elected
Muslim judge, Judge David Shahid (ph).
We have Muslims in our general assembles, more on city councils. We've have had mayors of small towns and I think that Mayor-Elect Khan's
symbolism is a inspiration to Muslims, not only in the U.K. but Muslims in America and across the globe.
AMANPOUR: Well, to that regard, obviously, Londoners defied the dog- whistle tactics of the opposition, who tried to paint him as a dangerous individual because of his faith.
Donald Trump is very divisive when it comes to American Muslims and Muslims in general.
Do you think the people, the voters of the United States, come November, are going to fall victim to those divisive politics?
Or will they, like the Londoners, look at the candidates for who they are?
CARSON: Well, Londoners are like Americans in that we value democracy. We certainly value sovereignty. But we understand that we live in a
pluralistic and multicultural society.
I think that Mr. Trump, who is a great showman, I've said over and over again. I've read most of his books, I've even met Mr. Trump, I have found
his rhetoric to not be compatible with who he is personally.
And so he has made a choice to present this image and to be wedded to this kind of rhetoric that I think and know it's divisive and the American
people have proven over and over and over again, especially in modern times, that we are against any forms of discrimination and bigotry when we
are given an opportunity to participate in the political process without hindrance, without the kinds of voter suppression tactics that we're
seeing, even in parts of our own country, when we're given the kind of opportunity to participate in the democratic --
CARSON: -- process in the past 10-20 years, we will push back against any form of bigotry or extremism.
AMANPOUR: On that note, Congressman Andre Carson, thank you very much for joining us from Indiana this evening. Thanks so much.
And from bigotry and divisiveness, next, we imagine the new arrivals who beat all expectations, the isolated German village, which has been
revitalized by its refugees. That's after this.
AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, they get a bad rap in the tabloid press and in some political circles but imagine a world where refugees bring renewal.
Sumte, Germany, hit the headlines last October, a symbol of the country's generous open-door policy. The tiny town with a population of just 102 was
suddenly host to about 1,000 refugees.
Now six months on, something strange has happened and that is nothing. Fears of violence, overwhelmed facilities and social tensions all proved
unfounded. Indeed, the influx of hundreds of refugees has had a positive impact, bringing 70 jobs to the isolated town and expanding public
And now some of the locals are even hoping the refugees don't leave at the end of their one-year term.
That is it for our program tonight. Thanks for watching and goodbye from London.