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New Era for British Politics; Imagine a World. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired July 13, 2016 - 14:00   ET




CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST (voice-over): Tonight: from Downing Street, a new British prime minister as David Cameron moves out, Theresa May moves

in and the U.K. will start moving out of the E.U. It is the dawn of a new era.


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I have just been to Buckingham Palace, where Her Majesty, the queen, has asked me to form a new government

and I accepted.

DAVID CAMERON, FORMER PRIME MINISTER, GREAT BRITAIN: As we leave for the last time, my only wish is continued success for this great country that I

love so very much. Thank you.



AMANPOUR: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour, outside Number 10 Downing Street, the new home of

Britain's new prime minister.

Theresa May arrived here in the past hour, stepping through this famous front door behind me to begin her first night on the job after making this

promise to this nation.


MAY: We're living through an important moment in our country's history. Following the referendum, we face a time of great national change.

And I know, because we're Great Britain, that we will rise to the challenge. As we leave the European Union, we will forge a bold, new,

positive role for ourselves in the world and we will make Britain a country that works not for a privileged few but for every one of us.


AMANPOUR: Momentous change indeed. Earlier Theresa May joined MPs in the House Oversight Committee for David Cameron's last-ever Prime Minister's

question time. His last chance to deliver the wit that he's known for and joke in a very biting British way with the opposition leader, Jeremy



CAMERON: Just take the last week we have both been having these leadership elections. We got on with it. We've had resignation, nomination,

competition and coronation. They haven't even decided what had the rules are yet.


CAMERON: If they ever got into power it would take a year to work out who would sit where.


JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER, U.K. LABOUR PARTY: Democracy is an exciting and splendid thing and I'm enjoying every moment of it.

CAMERON: I have to say, I am beginning to admire his tenacity.

He is reminding me of the black knight in Monty Python's "Holy Grail." He has been kicked so many times but he says, keep going, it's only a flesh

wound. I admire that.


AMANPOUR: Now of course Jeremy Corbyn faces his own leadership challenge. The Tory Party is now in the hands of Theresa May as prime minister and the

party thanked David Cameron for his achievements: steadying the economy, reducing unemployment, making Tory politics more centrist, introducing gay


They all rose in standing ovation as he left the House.

Then he went to see the queen, her first prime minister was Winston Churchill, who made the same journey from here in Downing Street to

Buckingham Palace back in 1955.

Theresa May will be her 13th. As per custom, the queen asked whether she could form a government and, with that, she became only the second female

prime minister in British history.

But what a legacy she's left with, negotiating the long and winding Brexit road ahead. As a former chancellor warned in Parliament today, no two

people actually know what Brexit means right now.

So to discuss all of this, joining me now from Abingdon Green, right outside Parliament, are Nadhim Zahawi, Conservative MP and Lady Catherine

Meyer, who's a personal friend of Theresa May and the former wife of the British ambassador to the U.S.

Let me first ask you, Catherine Meyer, because everybody wants to know what kind of a woman Theresa May is.

Is she is the iron lady a la Margaret Thatcher?

She is cold?

What is she like?

CATHERINE MEYER, WIFE OF FORMER BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: Well, she is a combination of everything. There is a steeliness about here. She's

strong-willed. She's -- there is something about the Margaret Thatcher about her.

But on the other hand there is also a very deep compassion and I'm saying that because I know her personally but I have also met her many times

because I used to run a charity dealing with missing and abducted children.

And when I --


MEYER: -- approached Theresa -- or I should say now Prime Minister, for the very first time, she immediately offered her help and she was very,

very helpful in any issues dealing with children. And there's a side of her which is incredibly compassionate. She cares about the needy. She

cares about the vulnerable. And, in fact, she has expressed this in her speech.

But on the other hand, there is this very strong-willed woman and I have no doubt that she will be a fantastic prime minister because she is capable of

negotiating. She's also calm. And I think, at this point in our history, we need calmness. We need somebody who's going to examine the facts, who

is pragmatic and who is not going to make rush decisions because we're in a very, very difficult time.

But I know that Theresa is going to make it for us and I just hope everybody is going to be behind us.

AMANPOUR: Well, let me Nadhim Zahawi that. You know, she has talked about unifying this nation in her speech just outside Downing Street in the last

hour. She was very, very clear about that. She talked about not just England but Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, the whole union.

Can that happen in a country that is literally split down the middle on this E.U. issue?

NADHIM ZAHAWI, CONSERVATIVE MP: Well, the clip that you showed was of her talking about the positive outlook for our country once we exit the E.U.

and the relationships that we will forged with Europe and the rest of the world.

I think Theresa May is made for this job. She is cut out to do this work. If you look at her campaign to become prime minister, her candidacy brought

the whole party together. She didn't just have MPs who voted for Remain. She had many colleagues who voted for Leave.

Her campaign manager, Chris Grayling, was one of the lead Leave campaigners. Many others: Liam Fox, Priti Patel (ph), David Davis;

myself, I voted for Leave. But she brought us all together. She is a great unifying force in our party.

And I think the message that she delivered in 4.5 minutes, it's so powerful. She spoke to those families, those hardworking families that are

just getting by and she talked to them directly and her message was, whatever we do in this place behind me, we will do it with you in mind.

We won't be working for the elites and the powerful and privileged. We'll be working for you. I think she will lead the union, as she said in her

speech, and remind us that we're the unionist party, i.e. that the Conservative Party is about the union of the people of this island. That

is, I think, the great strength of Theresa May.

And as Lady Meyer has just pointed out, she has that steely determination to deliver. What she will tell you tonight she will deliver tomorrow and

the day after. She doesn't just talk the talk. She walks the work.

MEYER: I just received an e-mail --


MEYER: -- was a staunch.

AMANPOUR: Just let me hold on one second to ask Nadhim and I will get right back to you, Catherine.

But Mr. Zahawi, talking about walking the walk. We have just seen Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond walk into Number 10 Downing Street and everybody

wants to know who are going to be at least the top three or four big cabinet appointment appointments.

What do you think?

What do you think Philip Hammond is doing behind me right now with Theresa May next door?

What job might he get?

ZAHAWI: Well, I don't think I am going speculate at what her cabinet will look like. That is up to Theresa May, our new prime minister. She has got

a great team around here. She's already begun the process of planning. You heard it in her speeches during the campaign, when she talked about

bringing a team together from, obviously treasury, the foreign office, the business department and the cabinet office to lead on the negotiations for


So she will form that cabinet tonight, I am sure, and tomorrow. And it will be a strong cabinet from all traditions of the Conservative Party and

will -- she will deliver a one-nation government and will rule as a one- nation prime minister.

MEYER: She will also bring in women, I think.

AMANPOUR: Well, I was going to ask you, Catherine, because you were talking about an e-mail you received and also Theresa May is known for her

attempts to make much more women empowerment in Parliament.

And what do you expect to see as the shape of her cabinet?

There's more movement and cars coming into Downing Street. That's Boris Johnson, who's just going in. Now interesting, because Boris Johnson

obviously led the -- was the front man of the Brexit campaign and then literally --


AMANPOUR: -- has barely been seen since the referendum 3.5 weeks ago. And as you remember, of course, he was going to throw his hat into the ring for

leadership and then didn't because another Brexiteer, Michael Gove, said he was going to challenge him. And everybody sort of imploded and now it is

Theresa May, who is the stable, calm pair of hands to lead this country forward.

Catherine, what do you expect in terms of women in the cabinet?

What must she do?

MEYER: Well, I don't think she must do anything. But I think she will do lots of things.

First of all because she has always supported women. In fact, my very first -- the very first time we met each other was at an event for women

to win. It was a Conservative thing to get more woman involved in politics.

She likes the company of women. She feels comfortable with women. And so I am sure that she will be appointing more women to be close to her and

more women to be a member of the cabinet.

So this is point one but also the way she is also going to be different to other prime ministers is she is not coming in with a group of people that

she has known since her childhood or with whom she went to school.

She is coming in and she is going to appoint the people that she feels are the best suited for the job. Theresa May is quite a private person and so

she doesn't need this entourage of friends constantly to feel secure. She is strong willed and she is going to choose the right people -- this is in

my opinion -- but amongst them, I am sure there are going to be quite a few women.

AMANPOUR: And Mr. Zahawi, finally to you, David Cameron today said to Theresa May, "Keep the U.K. close to Europe," or at least he has said that

to her in the past.

What is it that you believe is Cameron's legacy?

She paid tribute to it here outside 10 Downing Street not so long ago.

And how quickly she is going face pressure to trigger Article 50?

ZAHAWI: Well, I think, today, David Cameron demonstrated why he has been such a great Conservative prime minister, a truly progressive prime

minister. His departure was quintessentially British but yet superbly modern. And his legacy is what Theresa May and her team will build on, the

national living wage which he delivered, equal marriage, taking 4 million people out of tax all together, free schools, the academization process of

education, the system.

Yes, he did talk about us remaining close to Europe and I think that's right. We will remain great allies with our European neighbors. But as

Theresa May has quite rightly pointed out, she is true democrat. She believes that she has to deliver for 17 million people who voted Out.

So Brexit will mean Brexit but she will actually govern for the whole country, for the 48 percent who voted to remain because they wanted to see

a dynamic economy. She will deliver both of these things, I think.

As Ken Clark was caught off camera mentioning, she is a difficult woman but she'll be difficult on our behalf and she'll be a great champion for the

United Kingdom when it comes to the negotiation. I am sure of that.

MEYER: And she has a lot of experience. She has been to Brussels many times. She's been a two-time foreign home secretary. So she will be good.

ZAHAWI: Absolutely.

MEYER: I think so.

AMANPOUR: Indeed. And thank you very much, both of you, Lady Catherine Meyer, Nadhim Zahawi, thank you for talking to us on this really historic


And when we come back, the view from Europe. Prime Minister May promises a successful Brexit for Britain. But what will it be?

And what about how it's going to be for Europe? We will explain -- next.





AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.

Now she has won the battle for Number 10 but now as Britain's prime minister Theresa May faces an even greater test and that is divorce from

Europe on the best possible terms. Today David Cameron offered these words.


DAVID CAMERON, FORMER PRIME MINISTER, GREAT BRITAIN: My advice to my successor, who is a brilliant negotiator, is that we should try to be as

close to the European Union as we can be for the benefits of trade, of cooperation and of security. The Channel will not get any wider once we

leave the European Union. And that is the relationship we should seek.


AMANPOUR: But negotiations, in the words of Angela Merkel, will not be easy.

And will Europe seek reconciliation or revenge?

My next guest says that Britain leaving the E.U. is quote, "the biggest setback for Europe since the Second World War."

Urmas Paet is a member of the European parliament and he is the former Estonian foreign minister. He joined me earlier from New York.


AMANPOUR: Urmas Paet, welcome to the program.


AMANPOUR: So a new British prime minister in Downing Street. She is a Remainer. But she has to implement Brexit.

What do you think this will mean for Europe?

Is it sort of a relief for Europe to get rid of their British eurosceptic resistance?

Or as the French ambassador to Washington told me, it could be actually very sad?

Listen to what he told me.


GERARD ARAUD, FRENCH AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: We're facing everywhere, from the U.S. to France to Scandinavia an outburst of populism. And there is a

real danger that the Brexit could be the first act of the unraveling of the European Union.


AMANPOUR: So what do you think?

Where do you come down?

PAET: My first thinking is here that we should still give some time and I have, well, small hope that maybe Brexit will not be implemented because

it's a really big thing for Europe, also for the U.K.

But if we look already the first reactions, analyzes associations related to Scotland, Northern Ireland but of course Europe as such, then I still

hope that it would be possible to find another solution. We don't know yet 100 percent what will be the all consequences.

But certainly U.K. is and will be a very close alliant (sic) and friend for the rest of Europe so it means that all new possible agreements and deals

should be prepared very carefully and very friendly way.

AMANPOUR: You said you hope Brexit won't be implemented. Let me take that a little bit first and play you what Prime Minister Theresa May said just

this week.


MAY: I couldn't be clearer. Brexit means Brexit and we're going to make a success of it.

No attempts to rejoin it by the back door, no second referendum. The country voted to leave the European Union and, as prime minister, I will

make sure that we will leave the European Union.


AMANPOUR: Well, she couldn't be clearer.

But do you hope that's just politics?

What do you expect her to do?

PAET: Well, of course, the new prime minister was very clear. But still, it should be the decision made by British parliament and government and it

is absolutely important that all the negotiations between the European Union and the U.K. will be very practical, pragmatic but also very


AMANPOUR: So how do you think it's going to go?

Because just before the referendum, European Commission president Jean- Claude Juncker basically said in an interview, "I am sure the deserters will not be welcomed with open arms."

He was referring to Britain out of Europe. But president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, this week said, "The U.K. should not be treated

as a deserter but as a family member who's still loved but has decided to go in another direction."

I know what you hope.

But what do you think your fellow European leaders will do?

PAET: I am absolutely sure that in final end U.K. will be treated as beloved (INAUDIBLE) because we all, yes, have seen lots of emotions after

referendum and the outcome of referendum. But I am absolutely confident and sure that in final end all the rest 27 countries will understand that

it is absolutely in Europe's interests to keep the U.K. close to the rest of European countries because we all know all the problems --


PAET: -- in Europe, around Europe, be it security, be it economy, be it terrorism and so on and so on, so that in this regard, U.K. is and will

remain very valuable, a partner, friend and, well, family member for Europe.

AMANPOUR: Well then, do you expect Europe to allow Theresa May not to trigger Article 50 this year, which is what she said?

She wants to get all her ducks in a row. She obviously wants to get the best negotiating position for Britain while other European leaders are

saying let's do it as fast as possible and lift this veil of uncertainty.

PAET: Well, it's clear that the ball is now in the hands of British Parliament and government so that also the timetable must be done and then

prepared by London.

But I am also, well, quite sure that other countries will not press London or new government to make faster steps because, as I said in very

beginning, there is also, of course, still political hope that somehow it will be possible that Brexit will not be implemented. And it's only

possible if there will be no immediate pressure to London at this very moment.

AMANPOUR: I see you hoping against hope that this actually won't become a real Brexit.

In that regard, do you think Jean-Claude Juncker should leave?

I mean, obviously there are calls for him to leave because some people think he's handled this badly.

Is that a likelihood or a possibility?

PAET: Well, actually, I don't think that the changes in the European Commission's leadership will be helpful because we all understand that this

very moment, that there is lots of even misunderstandings, but certainly lots of turbulence.

And if at this very moment also the political leadership of European Union, well, will have some sort of changes, still of course this period of

instability will even be deeper. So that's why I think that at this very moment it's wrong to demand that Mr. Juncker should leave.

AMANPOUR: You are from Estonia and your country is bordering Russia and you have had incidents with Russia and you're concerned about Russia's

aggression and expansion.

Even though the U.K. remains part of NATO, what difference do you think it will make in, for instance, politics with Russia by being out of the E.U.?

How will that affect you?

PAET: It's U.K. and London's positions when all what happens in Russia and in the neighborhood of Europe, well, mainly in Ukraine, U.K. has played

here very clear strong position and that's why also I see there are problem that some elements of common fear and insecurity policy of Europe might be

weaker if U.K. really leaves.

AMANPOUR: Urmas Paet, former foreign minister of Estonia, thank you very much for joining us with this perspective.

PAET: Thank you very much.


AMANPOUR: So as we said, we have seen two senior members go into Downing Street. We know that Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has been appointed

Chancellor of the Exchequer. In other words, finance minister of this country. We also know that Boris Johnson is in there. He was the front

man for the Leave campaign. We haven't heard any news on what might be in store for him.

And we expect more people to come in here tonight and be appointed to at least the most senior cabinet positions.

So there are difficult times ahead for U.K. trade negotiations but one of its most famous exports should still be trading strong. That would be

PMQs, as David Cameron spoke of glowing reviews for those question-and- answer sessions in Parliament, glowing reviews from across the pond.


CAMERON: This session does have some admirers around the world. I remember when I did his job and I met Mayor Bloomberg in New York and we

walked down the street. And everyone knew Mike Bloomberg and everyone came up and said, Mayor, you're doing a great job.

No one had a clue who I was until eventually someone said, hey, Cameron, prime minister's questions. We love your show.



AMANPOUR: And you really do have to laugh at that.

When we come back, we imagine this unique ritual through the ages.

How does Cameron's goodbye session stack up with those of previous prime ministers?

Find out after this.






AMANPOUR: -- potential new cabinet minister has just walked through that door, Number 10. Amber Rudd, who's currently the energy minister and she

is being tipped for a top job.

The first woman we have seen in terms of potential new cabinet positions. So all will be revealed most certainly in the next several hours.

And there is Philip Hammond.

How do you feel?

Well, that is the foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, of an hour ago, who is now Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, in the new Theresa May


So back to finally tonight, as the U.K. loses one leader, David Cameron, and gains another, Theresa May, imagine a world where you can get to take a

final bow on the national stage. Unless he's voted out of office, a British prime minister gets a chance to take part in a final climactic PMQ

session in Parliament.

And now former British prime minister David Cameron bids farewell with humor.


CAMERON: When it comes to woman prime ministers, I'm very pleased to be able to say pretty soon it's going to be 2-0.

And not a pink bus in sight (INAUDIBLE).


AMANPOUR (voice-over): And for who was not voted out but rather lost out in the biggest gamble of his political life, the farewell came with

heartache and emotion. Reminders of Tony Blair's emotional farewell in 2007, when he handed over to Gordon Brown.


TONY BLAIR, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: It's only a little politics but we know who are in engaged in it that it is where people stand tall. If it

is on occasions the place of low skulduggery, it is more often the place for the pursuit of noble causes and I wish everyone, friend or foe, well.

And that is that, the end.


AMANPOUR (voice-over): The end. And as prime minister now, Theresa May ascends to Number 10, time to recall the last woman who lived there was

also done in by Europe. The Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher, was ousted from office by her own party but still managed to revel in her rowdy



ALAN BEITH, BERWICK-UPON-TWEED: Will she tell us whether she intends to continue her own personal fight against a single currency and an

independent central bank when she leaves office?

DENNIS SKINNER, BOLSOVER: No, she's going to be the governor.



THATCHER: -- what a good idea.


THATCHER: I am enjoying this. I am enjoying this.


AMANPOUR: And that is it for our program tonight. And we leave you with a final picture of the new prime minister, Theresa May, meeting her staff in

Downing Street.

Thank you for watching and goodbye from London.