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Norwegian Prime Minister Says Brexit Would Be Setback to Europe Economy; Trade in a Post-Brexit U.K.; Imagine a World. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired June 22, 2016 - 14:00:00 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: be careful what you wish for. Norway's opt-out of the E.U. is the model for many Brexiteers
but tonight the Norwegian prime minister tells me they might live to regret it amid the final countdown to the E.U. referendum.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERNA SOLBERG, NORWEGIAN PRIME MINISTER: I believe that if Britain leaves Europe, it will be a setback to the European economy and also, the British,
that will affect the Norwegian economy also.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Also ahead, a different view: meet the Brexit MEP who's campaigning for you to sack him. That's right, sack him. The former
head as well of the World Trade Organization, Pascal Lamy, on why he's backing Remain.
And at this political crossroads tributes around the country and the world for the murdered MP, Jo Cox, on what would have been her 42nd birthday.
AMANPOUR: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
It's a final push for votes as Britons decide on their future and that of the whole of Europe. One last major rally in Northern England saw the
Remain camp pulling out all the stops, including the former prime minister, Gordon Brown, while the current prime minister, David Cameron, again
hammered home his economic reasons for staying in the E.U.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID CAMERON, PRIME MINISTER, GREAT BRITAIN: If I've learned anything over the last six years as prime minister, the economy is the most
important thing. The stronger economy you can build hospitals, you can build schools, you can help people get jobs, you can help people with child
care. You can deliver opportunities. A strong economy is everything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And more than 1,000 FTSE business leaders agreed, coming out in full force for Remain on the front page of "The Times" here today.
Meantime, European leaders, including the Italian prime minister, the French president and the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, appeal for
voters to stay with them in the E.U.
Now throughout this referendum debate, the Leavers have held up one model for the future, Norway, which opted out of the E.U. So on the eve of this
historic step, I asked the country's prime minister Erna Solberg, if the Norway way could work for Great Britain.
AMANPOUR: Prime minister, welcome to the program.
SOLBERG: Thank you very much.
AMANPOUR: So it's about 24 hours to go until British voters go to the polls.
What is your message to those who always quote the Norway model?
SOLBERG: Well, first of all, I think it's a decision for the Brits to make themselves, whether they want to stay or leave. But if you believe that
the Norwegian economy and our situation is due to the fact that we are outside Europe, it's not true because we are quite inside Europe.
We have free movement of labor. We are members of Schengen. Part of our wealth in fact depends on our acceptance of these freedoms so that we can
be part of the internal market. So I think sometimes some people are quoting the Norwegian model outside, maybe a little bit wrong in the
European or in the British debate because we really are, on some issues, more part of Europe, without the decision-making, than Britain is.
AMANPOUR: So do you, are you basically saying the Leavers who think the Norway model is good, they are not going to like it at all?
SOLBERG: I don't think that a large country like Britain would like to have that type of decision-making made without being participating in the
We're a small country. We know the big country sometimes makes decisions over our head. And we need -- we need to have this type of participation
and accept that type of rules. I think it will be more difficult for British voters to accept that Brussels decide and the Brits don't have a
AMANPOUR: What about for Norway itself and for Europe if Britain decides to leave?
What will that mean for your country?
SOLBERG: The direct affects on the economy is very difficult to estimate. Norway is very -- of course we are oil dependent, we know that we have low
oil prices. We are trying to diversify our economy. We are very dependent on seeing a Europe that has an economic growth.
We're seeing in the last two years that the economic growth is catching up in Europe. Unemployment is going down.
I believe that if Britain leaves Europe it --
SOLBERG: -- will be a setback to the European economy and I think also the British, that will affect the Norwegian economy also. But especially we'll
be affected if Sweden and German economy is affected.
The second thing which I think is more troublesome is the political impact a British leave will us for the anti-editorian (ph), the anti-
establishment, the anti-migration movements, in fact, more extremist parts of the political life. And I think we will have less cooperation in
Europe, more nationalism. And I think that's the wrong answer in these days.
AMANPOUR: Your colleague in Italy, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, has written in a British newspaper many of the same things you're saying and
saying that while the British voters of course have the right to vote whichever they want, he said they have a duty to remain in, to vote to
remain in because of the impact it will have on all of Europe and the West.
Do you believe Britain has a duty to remain in and to vote that way?
SOLBERG: I think that's difficult for a Norwegian prime minister, since our people have decided not to participate. But I think -- I think those
who are saying that there's a good romantic story outside the European Union is underestimating their challenge that the whole process of the
mission will have.
And I think it's important to put these need for more in a way togetherness. We're interdependent in this world. That means that we also
have to accept that we have international bodies that make decisions and can make compromises.
Sometimes we have to get in some of our serenity to make those compromises work because the benefits for all of the world and for all of Europe is
Prime Minister, are you shocked or surprised by the way immigration seems to be the issue that this referendum is coalescing around?
And you would have to admit that the E.U. has simply failed to deal with immigration but, most especially viewed through the prism of the refugee
crisis that it has spectacularly failed to contain and to share the burden?
This affects all of us who are inside Schengen but Britain has already opted out of that part. I would have liked to see a clear, less
nationalistic decision-making process around migration --
AMANPOUR: The Leavers say Britain could harm immigration if it got out of the E.U.
SOLBERG: Well, I think there will be still a lot of people who would like to go to Britain.
As and for my empire, we do have a lot of people around the world who speak English. Of course, Britain is attractive to those who are migrating and
are moving around the world.
But -- and I don't think you will get very -- or less, get less people who will apply for asylum, for example, especially because I look at who are
applying for asylum in Britain and compare that to the rest of the Europe, you have a different background for a lot of those people who come to
AMANPOUR: There are a lot of people who take out their frustrations on the E.U., all sorts of failures they feel is the fault of these faceless,
unelected bureaucrats in Brussels.
And we have been hearing now from several high-powered leaders that, yes, Europe has to do a better job. And the answer, no matter what the British
vote is, is not more Europe; not an ever-closer union.
From your point of view, from your perspective, what does Europe have to do to make itself more accessible to voters and to do a better job?
SOLBERG: First of all, it have to make -- really make sure that they get growth and competitiveness much more into the focus of the work and less of
these smaller regulations.
Yes, yes, there is a bureaucracy that works and makes decisions and maybe they should have a little bit less of that and they should have more focus
on the large issues.
How do we make sure that Europe can become more competitive?
Create those jobs that a lot of young people who have no hope for the future are lacking and so they feel more adept and they feel that there's a
future in Europe. It's a big issue that E.U. should concentrate more on.
But you know, sometimes you make compromises. And if you want to move the world ahead, you can always get your own will. E.U. is one of the few who
have a decision-making process that makes for compromises in a way that they move faster ahead.
And we've seen that, for example, in the environmental and climate change negotiation. E.U. have been steadfast because they can make decisions and
they are lifting above the national level, making it easier to also find common solutions on big international issues.
AMANPOUR: Prime Minister Erna Solberg, thank you very much for joining us from Oslo tonight.
SOLBERG: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: And with just hours until polls open, we have our very last Brexit interview before that all-important vote tomorrow.
AMANPOUR: The former World Trade Organization boss, Pascal Lamy, joins me with the numbers from Paris. That's next.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.
And just a few hours left for both sides in the E.U. referendum here to persuade voters before polls open in the morning. We just heard a strong
case for staying in from the Norwegian prime minister.
Now the British MEP who is backing Leave and asking voters to, quite simply, give him the sack. Here's his pitch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANIEL HANNAN, BRITISH MEP (voice-over): I'm Daniel Hannan, a Conservative member of the European Parliament and I'm inviting the British people to
make me redundant from my comfortable and well-remunerated job by voting to leave the E.U. on the 23rd of June.
Believe me, I wouldn't be doing that if I weren't confident that the economy will be prospering once we leave and it'll be plenty of openings
for newly unemployed MEPs.
The European Union is obsolete. It's a hangover from an earlier era, from the 1950s, when freight costs were high and refrigeration was expensive and
regional blocs looked like the future. But that age has been made completely redundant by technological advance.
In a era of cheap flights and Internet, it's as easy for a company in London to do business with a firm in Hodiana (ph), India as with one in
Yobiana (ph), Slovenia. Geographical proximity has never been so irrelevant.
In 1973, the year that we joined, the 28 countries that now make up the E.U. were 36 percent of the world economy. Today, it's 17 percent and
Britain is a maritime merchant country. But as long as we're in the E.U. we can't sign our own trade deals with China or India or Australia. It's
time for us to raise our eyes to more distant horizons and rediscover our global vocation.
We fought a civil war in this country to establish the principle that laws should not be passed nor taxes raised except by our own elected
representatives. Now the supreme power in Brussels is wielded not just by people that we didn't vote for but by people that nobody voted for, by
European commissioners who are immune to public opinion, invulnerable to the ballot box.
I want to get power back from the E.U., not in order to concentrate it in the hands of civil servants but in order to pass it downwards and outwards
to local government or, better yet, to individual citizens.
I want to restore honor and purpose to the act of casting a ballot. And if the price for that is that a few well-paid bureaucrats do lose our jobs,
well, I say that's a price worth paying.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Well, if he gets his way and Brits do vote to leave the E.U., it will not only mean that MPs like him lose their jobs -- some happily -- but
that the U.K. leaving Europe's free trade zone could also be an issue. It's been central to the debate here in Britain.
AMANPOUR: And joining me now to discuss what that would mean is Pascal Lamy, who led the World Trade Organization for nearly a decade.
AMANPOUR: Mr. Lamy, welcome to our program from Paris. So a lot of people on the Brexit side have cited, even if they have to leave the single
market, they can do a World Trade Organization deal. They can have the World Trade Organization model.
What does that mean?
And is that enough to make up for the single market?
PASCAL LAMY, FORMER WTO DIRECTOR-GENERAL: Well, obviously not, which is, by the way, the reason why U.K. joined by the European Union 40 years ago.
At the time, they had the GAT (ph) and WTO system but they found it improper to expand their external trade, which is why they joined the E.U.,
in order to get free trade, not only with European Union, its huge and deep market, but also with countries with whom European Union has preferential
So outside of the E.U., Great Britain would lose the free trade it has today with Europe and these countries, which is roughly a bit more than 60
percent of U.K. exports. Tariffs on U.K. exports, on lamb (ph), on cheddar (ph), on cars, on whiskey, that would certainly severely harm U.K.
producers because it would harm their exports.
AMANPOUR: So, Mr. Lamy --
LAMY: What I hear from -- yes?
LAMY: What I hear from this pro-Brexit is that, of course, U.K. could negotiate free trade agreements with countries on this planet, which is
But mind you, if you discuss a free trade agreement, your weight is the size of your market. What E.U. has gotten from third countries for the
price of its 500 million consumers, U.K. with its 60 million would have 0.1 of that. So believing that U.K. would have any sort of serious weight
outside the European Union, while it has benefit of the European Union, that's just fancy.
AMANPOUR: Well, let me sort of dig down into that because, as you say, they have said we can renegotiate deals with all these different countries.
They say, for instance, that it's in their interest; 44 percent of U.K. exports go to the rest of the E.U. but just 17 percent of E.U. exports go
to the U.K.
So in that regard, who does that benefit?
Would it be difficult to negotiate a free trade deal?
And would the E.U. want to do that with any sort of alacrity and open arms?
LAMY: Well, I mean, we would have to see what the E.U. position would be but my own guess at what the E.U. 27 would be if U.K. leaves is, if you
leave, you leave. You cannot have one foot in and one foot out. If you leave, you leave.
And then what trade protection exists at the border of the E.U. has to apply to the U.K. as it applies to China or to U.S., which, again, would
harm U.K. exports as compared to the existing situation.
Now on top of that, this is the sort of direct impact on U.K. production. But on top of that, we know full well that many investors worldwide,
notably inservicers, which is a strong point of the U.K. economy, have invested in U.K. because U.K. is the gate eventually into the European
If you invest in the U.K. in financial services or in telecoms or in health, you get an E.U. passport for your services. Now if U.K. leaves,
E.U. passport no more. And then you're back to sort of square one.
AMANPOUR: Let me just play something you talked about: if you're out, you're out. And certainly Jean-Claude Juncker definitely said that today,
the European Commission chief. Just listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION: Which policymakers and the British voters have to know, that there will be no kind of any
negotiation. We have concluded a deal with the prime minister. He got the maximum he could receive and we gave the maximum we could give.
JUNCKER: So there will be no kind of negotiation. No on the agreement we have found that thing in February, no as far as any kind of truth in
negotiation (ph) concerned. Out is out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: That is a very definitive warning to the British.
Why do you think he's being so definitive?
Is it because he's trying to make it clear what a kind of a risk this vote is?
Or is it because he doesn't want to see any other countries spin off if Britain does?
LAMY: Well, I think what Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the Commission, is saying, is look, we've made a compromise in February on the
request of U.K., who asked for a special arrangement in. So the special arrangement in was negotiated, sort of we would not oblige the Brits to
jump in the train of a federation. But on the other side, the Brits cannot prevent the member states of the E.U., who want to go more to political
union to do it.
So that's the terms of the deal. That's the deal that's valued if U.K. is in.
If U.K. is out, this deal, which was negotiated in order to try and keep U.K. in, if they vote out, out is out.
And, again, in that sort of case, why should the Europeans give any free benefits to Great Britain?
That would make no sense and that's not what is going to happen.
AMANPOUR: So just to play devil's advocate, to take the Brexiters' side to this, they say, OK, let's say it's difficult but they don't think it will
be difficult to renegotiate a whole load of deals with Europe. We are a globalist vision. We want to go beyond Europe to -- you know, they talk
about India and China and all the South Asian countries and the United States and Canada.
Why couldn't that make up for the loss of the European single market?
LAMY: Well, simply because what China or India or Canada negotiate with the European Union, they negotiate with an elephant of 500 million
consumers. This is why we're negotiating a free trade with the U.S., with India, with Japan, which will open more trade between the E.U., U.S. or
Japan or India. Now that's the elephant.
If U.K. is outside of the European Union, U.K. becomes a much smaller animal and they will have -- they will get from a trade deal what they get
from the real sign. Today they benefit from the 500 million weight. If they are alone, they'll be back to their 60-65 million, which is roughly 10
percent of that in trade deals.
I repeat, you get the benefit of the size of your market. If you have a big market, you have a big benefit. If you have a small market, you have a
AMANPOUR: Fascinating. Pascal Lamy, former head of the WTO, thank you so much for joining us tonight.
AMANPOUR: And when we come back, we look to someone who is missing from today's campaigning but whose passion and moral voice are still being
Next, we imagine a world showing that we all have a lot more in common, thanks to Jo Cox. That's next.
AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, as the U.K.'s referendum campaign reaches its crescendo, both sides are getting out the vote. Tonight, we imagine
the passionate campaigner painfully absent from the trail: the British MP, Jo Cox, who was viciously stabbed and shot to death while campaigning for
Remain a week ago.
And tonight former prime minister, Gordon Brown, in a final rally, told voters of his dream for Britain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GORDON BROWN, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The Britain I know is a Britain of Jo Cox, the Britain where people are tolerant and not prejudiced
and where people hate -- hate -- the viciousness of hate itself.
I want our country back. I want to end the prejudice and the intolerance and the hate. I want us to take control again, so that unity replaces
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And today would have been Jo Cox's 42nd birthday. She would have been celebrating with her husband, her two young children, her friends
and her family. Instead, today she is mourned and memorialized the world over, in Washington and Paris, Buenos Aires and even Syria, in London's
Trafalgar Square as well, where her husband, Brendan Cox, who says his wife was assassinated as an act of political violence in this highly charged
campaign, today said the outpouring of love from around the world sustains him and especially their two motherless children.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRENDAN COX, JO'S HUSBAND: Since Thursday, Cuillin, Leila and I have spoken everyday about things we will miss and memories we will cherish. We
try to remember not how cruelly she has been taken from us, but how unbelievably lucky we were to have her in our lives for so long
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: How lucky indeed. And of course for all of those people for whom Jo Cox fought tirelessly all her life.
That is it for our program tonight. Remember, you can listen to our podcast anytime, see us online at amanpour.com and follow me on Facebook
and Twitter. Thank you for watching and goodbye from London.