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UK Prime Minister Calls For Snap Election; European Reaction to the UK Snap Election. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired April 18, 2017 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:00] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Tonight, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May makes a dramatic U-turn with a surprise call for a
snap general election. Will it give her the strong hand she wants for Britain's Brexit negotiations or will it lead opposition parties to band
together and refine Brexit terms.
I'm live from the Houses of Parliament with top level reaction from the British government, from the opposition Labour Party and we'll have the
view from Europe.
Plus, could Brexit lead to Frexit? Our special report from France as the race tightens in the battle to become the country's next president.
Good evening, everyone. Welcome to the program. I am Christiane Amanpour at the British Parliament here in London. And in the middle of the most
important negotiations in Britain's history on leaving the EU, the Prime Minister wants to hold a snap general election on June 8.
Theresa May made that shock announcement today just a short walk from here outside Number 10 Downing Street.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Division in Westminster will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit and it will cause damaging uncertainty
and instability to the country. So, we need a general election and we need one now.
Because we have, at this moment, a one-off chance to get this done, while the European Union agrees its negotiating position and before the detailed
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Now, the opposition parties say they will back a snap election, but they're also calling it an opportunistic political move.
Here's the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICOLA STURGEON, SCOTTISH FIRST MINISTER: It's very clear that the prime minister's announcement today is one all about the narrow interests of her
own party, not the interest of the country overall.
Clearly, she sees the opportunity, given the total disarray in the ranks of the Labour Party, to crush all opposition to her, to get rid of people that
disagree with her and to give herself a free hand to take the country in the increasingly right wing direction that she wants to take it in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, it will be another European election in tumultuous times. It will come just a month after France will have decided on its new leader.
Prime Minister May had repeatedly insisted that she would not hold such a snap election, but perhaps the opportunity to crush her weakened opposition
may have left its mark.
We're joined now by Sir Malcolm Rifkind, a former British defense and foreign secretary to talk about exactly what's on the horizon.
Welcome to the program.
SIR MALCOLM RIFKIND, FORMER BRITISH DEFENSE AND FOREIGN SECRETARY: Thank you very much.
AMANPOUR: So, OK. Were you surprised? She went on and on and on about not doing this.
RIFKIND: I was surprised. I must admit that, but it was irresistible because two things really. The scale of her apparent lead over the Labour
Party and other political parties is enormous by British standards, which suggests she's almost certainly got a very large majority, but also it has
serious consequences both nationally and internationally because up till now her critics have been able to say you were never elected prime
minister. You didn't have a mandate for Brexit and all that type of thing.
If she wins this election as now seems likely, she will be much, much stronger in Brussels, in Paris, and in Berlin, and they might be relieved
as well because if compromises are required, she'll be in a much stronger position to make them if they are reasonable.
AMANPOUR: Well, that's interesting because already some of the European leaders have said, when it comes to Brexit negotiations, she's put down her
terms, she's written the Article 50 letter and anyway it won't make any difference.
We have a completely different set of negotiations that do not revolve around domestic British politics.
RIFKIND: Well, of course, they don't revolve around domestic, nor should they. That's not the point at issue. But in any negotiation, particularly
one over two years, you don't seem to have an opening position on both sides with no ability to move by either side. That would be absurd. That
doesn't take two years. That takes about 20 minutes before they collapse.
So, of course, there are going to be proposals that might require compromise. The Prime Minister Theresa May is essentially pragmatic on
these matters as long as she doesn't have to sacrifice the fundamental questions, which we believe were determined by the British electorate.
We're leaving the European Union. The European Court of Justice will not have jurisdiction over our law and there's going to have to be some change
with regard to free movement of people into the United Kingdom from other parts of Europe.
[14:05:07] AMANPOUR: Now, do you think that such a mandate, should she get a larger majority in parliament than she already has, can you sort of read
where she's heading, to a hard Brexit or a soft Brexit?
RIFKIND: Nobody in Britain that I'm aware of actually positively wants a hard Brexit, in the sense of making life as difficult as -
AMANPOUR: Well, some do. On the right wing, they do.
RIFKIND: Well, that may be individuals. But, no, hard Brexit essentially is interpreted as making life as difficult as possible for British
exporters, for the City of London and people like - nobody wants that.
The question is what has to be considered in order to avoid that. And what the prime minister is looking for is also a long-term grown-up relationship
between Britain and the European Union. We are geographically neighbors. They are our closest friends. And we want to have a relationship that will
work for the long term. As will they because the United Kingdom is important to their strategic security and other matters as well.
AMANPOUR: Do you think it's smart of her, clever of her to already say that she won't be taking part in any televised debates? Do you think that
takes - of course, everybody knows her position, as she said. But does that take her out of the rough-and-tumble public battle with the
RIFKIND: I think it's quite a smart move. And I think what will be behind it is that she'll be saying, look, this is not about theater, this is about
a serious matter. Are you, the British public, prepared to give the United Kingdom government - the current government - the mandate it requires with
a healthy majority to take forward what you voted for in the referendum, as well as the other range of issues.
And I think, particularly at a time when the main alternative government, the Labour Party, is in such an unholy mess.
AMANPOUR: Well, in that regards, it is an opportunity as the others have said to crush her opposition.
RIFKIND: Yes, but for the purpose. It's not just for the sheer fun of doing it, enjoyable that that might feel. It also serves a political
purpose because the Labour Party is, at the moment, led by a very hard left leader, Jeremy Corbyn.
He seems to have no rapport with the broader British public. They have an existential problem. And I suspect most of the Labour members of
Parliament in this building who are not in favor of Jeremy Corbyn are delighted there's going to be an election.
They know they're going to be hammered. They can get rid of him after that.
AMANPOUR: So, what about the other opposition, not just Labour, but the Liberal Democrats, the SNP and others, who actually want a vote on a deal
once the Prime Minister comes back from Brussels and might be able to band together and say, listen, if you want to have another say in this Brexit
referendum - not really a referendum - vote for us.
RIFKIND: Well, they will say that and they'll get some support. I think the more likely risk to the Prime Minister is not the SNP, it is the
Liberal Democrats making some sort of revival. And I think it's quite possible their vote may go up.
Whether they'll win additional seats is another matter. And, of course, if the Conservatives are winning huge numbers of seats from the Labour Party
they don't current have, then they can afford to take that sort of risk. It won't affect the strategic decision the prime minister has taken nor the
likely outcome overall.
AMANPOUR: Fascinating times. Sir Martin Rifkind, thank you very much indeed. Former Tory Party foreign and defense minister.
Now, up next, Theresa May wants a strong mandate, she said, ahead of those tough Brexit negotiations. What is the reaction from Europe? We speak to
German lawmaker Norbert Roettgen about how this snap election is being viewed over on the continent.
[14:10:08] AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program. As Europe braces for yet another consequential vote, this time here in the UK, it is putting the
already brief Brexit timeline under an extra strain.
At the very least, it will cost the European Union some time to reach a deal with Britain and at the very most it could see the country get a new
government. Granted, that is an outside chance, but it might transform Brexit strategy.
With me to discuss this is Norbert Roettgen. He's the Chairman of the German parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee and he joins me from Bonn,
Germany. Mr. Roettgen, welcome back to the program.
Yesterday, we talked about the consequences of the Turkish referendum and now we're talking about what might happen vis-a-vis British negotiations
with the EU after the results of a snap election.
What do you think the results will do to the negotiation posture of both sides?
NORBERT ROETTGEN, CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS, GERMANY: All day in these times, we have sweeping news. So, now a new topic today.
I think, on the one side, Theresa May sees the opportunity because the prospect seem very favorable for her. On the other side, I think there is
a growing awareness in Number 10 Downing Street and in Westminster and Whitehall that the negotiation process will become very complicated,
unpredictable, how it will evolve, how it will end, and I think Theresa May has chosen not to present an unpredictable result, but to seek a mandate
for negotiation. This seems to be much more easier.
On the other side, it will certainly create for the polarization. Election campaign does not provide for moderation. There is no space for explaining
the need of compromise, but this is just what we need. Compromise and results.
So, I'm a little bit afraid that it will lead to increased polarization and partisan stance in this negotiation, which is already very, very
AMANPOUR: Do you mean polarization between Britain and EU partners or because of the polarization that it will create again here in Britain
around the election campaign?
ROETTGEN: Yes. I'm afraid that the one polarization on the domestic scene will reverberate within Europe and that the polarization will spill over
into the negotiation scenery because a prime minister now having made the Tory Party, her party, to the pro-Brexit party.
This is different to the decades - to the previous decades dictate. Will have to deliver on her rhetoric, on her premises, on her clarity and purity
she has promised, and this has to be reflected in the negotiation itself.
So, I think it will reverberate.
AMANPOUR: So, then, let's say we are - the day after June 8, we see what the result is, most people expect Theresa May not just to win, but to get a
bigger majority in parliament that she does have right now.
So, what does that mean? Are the EU's red line still in place? Do you believe that she may go - I know you've talked about polarization. But are
the issues changed at all? Like, what the EU will start negotiating about?
ROETTGEN: Yes. So, one could say, firstly, nothing will have changed apart from the fact that a few months have been lost in a already very,
very little limited time span for negotiation. And then, one will come to the topics.
So far and up to now, there is no agreement on how to proceed. The Europeans say you have to pay the bill first and the Brits say, no, there
is nothing to pay at all.
The Europeans say, secondly, we want to talk about only the divorce and the Brits say, no, we want to have simultaneous negotiation about divorce and
the future relationship.
So, it will get very, very hard and tough to debate. To be also a little bit positive, if Theresa May scores a huge majority, of course, her
authority will increase and at the end she will probably have more flexibility within and against and towards the opposition from her own
party and she can afford some defectors and opposition.
So, at the end of the day, one will see how it will play out. But, firstly and for some time, I think it will harden the British position and this
will not have a moderating influence on the European style of behavior.
[14:15:07] AMANPOUR: Mr. Roettgen, what about the other side of this coin. Obviously, there are many in Europe - most of Europe doesn't like
the Brexit. Everybody says they're sad. People say it's going to create a lot of upheaval.
And you know that the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has raised the idea of British people wanting, deserving another vote after the
negotiations and people see the deal that the Prime Minister brings back.
Do you see this as an opportunity, perhaps for the opposition here, to try to create that kind of reality? Or is that something that is not in your
equations, not in your political thinking anymore?
ROETTGEN: First of all, my personal confession here is, I have always considered Brexit to be a disaster for all of us, for Britain and for
Europe. And I always hope that there might remain a 10 percent or 15 percent opportunity during the course of the negotiation.
And when Brits see it will not pay off and it will create damage for both of us, then perhaps there would be a chance. Now, I think this 10 percent,
15 percent chance is reduced to zero, more or less to zero, because now we will an election campaign mainly only about Brexit, pro-Brexit without
compromise, no exit from it.
This will be the promise Theresa May will make. She will win this election and she will promise that there is no exception, but she will promise to
deliver on Brexit, there will be a Brexit. So, I think the opportunity, the hope to have perhaps a re-appraisal of this former referendum, I think,
has significantly shrank closely to zero.
AMANPOUR: And just finally, we're talking about Brexit, but, as you know, in a few days, the first round of the French election. Everybody, clearly
in Europe as well, is watching that in case it triggers more and more severe crisis in the EU.
What are your feelings right now?
ROETTGEN: We are in Europe in the deepest crisis, in a moment when Europe should be unified because we are facing such troubles from abroad, threats
from abroad, insecurity that we should stand together in a unified way in order to assert our European way of life, our values and our interests.
And now, instead of that, we have a movement of nationalism or at least state egotism within Europe and we have to fight against that because it is
the very question of relevance or irrelevance of Europe, European values.
If you are not going to stay together and fall apart, then we will contribute to our own irrelevance. I think there is a growing sense to
We have, I would say, a - now the nationalist movement has to face an opponent and this is the traditional European position. This is going to
be stronger and people are more and more aware that the stakes are very high, that Europe and the West can fail for first time after World War II.
And I think we are determined to fight this fight, but it's necessary to be clear about the necessity of fight for Europe and Western unity and values.
AMANPOUR: Sobering thoughts indeed. Norbert Roettgen, thank you very much indeed. Chair of the German parliament Foreign Affairs Committee.
And coming up, as we said, across the channel, France's presidential election has its first round this weekend. We find out who's in the lead
[14:20:] AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program. As Parliament behind me gets ready to vote on and likely approve the prime minister's call for a
snap election in June, we want to hear from Theresa May's Home Secretary Amber Rudd.
She, in fact, voted and led the remain campaign in last year's referendum. But she is, of course, now one of the key cabinet members and is behind the
prime minister's Brexit strategy. She joins me now.
Amber Rudd, welcome to the program.
AMBER RUDD, BRITISH HOME SECRETARY: Hello, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: We have a bit of a long delay. So, I'm going to roll on. OK, so the prime minister has said over and over again that, no, no, no, she's
not going to do this. Were you surprised?
RUDD: I have to say I was surprised, yes. The fact is that she has taken that position before. But I listened carefully to the way she set out her
arguments. She set them out for us at cabinet and she set them out publicly immediately afterwards that she's come to this decision
And the reason is, she wants to give the government and herself a strong negotiating hand when going into the European Union to have those
negotiations. Getting a good majority, having a proper mandate is the way to be able to have that for the prime minister.
AMANPOUR: You say reluctantly. Obviously, you're saying she said reluctantly. We heard her say that over and again. But, really, isn't
this the chance for her to solidify her leadership to, as many have said, crush the opposition, given that she's got a 21 percent lead over her
nearest rival right now?
RUDD: But if she had wanted to do that, she could have done that earlier. But she's been very explicit on why she thinks that it's the right thing to
do. And she took that head-on in her speech in terms of making the point that the reason she's doing this is because it is the national interest.
And from David Davies point of view, who is leading with the prime minister on these negotiations with the EU, it is important to be able to show your
EU partners, the countries and the EU itself, that you have the complete support of the country behind you.
And when I go around talking in my constituency or nationally to people, even people like me who voted remain, accept the fact that there was a
referendum last year, the decision was that we should leave the European Union.
Now, we should get on with it. Now, we want to get the best deal we can from the European Union. Theresa May is the one to do it. Let's give her
a mandate to get on with it.
AMANPOUR: So, what exactly does get on with it mean because already the European leaders are saying, well, it won't make that much difference, this
mandate that she comes out of this election with, because we know the parameters.
On the other hand, I've just been speaking - you may have heard the chair of Germany's Foreign Affairs Committee, who's very, very concerned that yet
another potentially polarizing election campaign, short though it may be, can really put people on the extremes again and really make it much, much
more difficult to strike compromise. And compromise is going to be what's necessary.
RUDD: But it's exactly because the Prime Minister wants to have the mandate to make those deals and to have the flexibility to engage with
them, with the EU, that she's chosen to go to the public to have this general election.
And I would reassure people, like the German gentleman you were just speaking to, that this is a relatively short campaign. It's only going to
be, if it goes through tomorrow, 50 days. And I hope it will allow us to have more stability afterwards in terms of making sure the country is
united behind the prime minister, so those negotiations and potentially, of course, compromises can be agreed at and we can have a final agreement
that's not only in the UK's interest, but is in the EU's interest. That's what we want. We want it to work for both of us.
[14:25:15] AMANPOUR: Before I get to some of the down-the-road, I just want to ask you, do you think an extra mandate for the prime minister will
mean a harder Brexit or a softer Brexit.
RUDD: I think it will mean a Brexit that will potentially be able to deliver in the UK's national interest because it won't be mandated by one
particular group or another. So, I can't really fall into that trap of saying hard or soft Brexit. What it will be is a more sensible Brexit
because it will allow her to arrive at, I believe, those compromises that you rightly suggest that we'll need.
AMANPOUR: What about the fact that she's already said - or Downing Street - that she will not participate in any TV debates. I understand that she
said, everybody knows my position and those who in the lead maybe think that debates only favor the underdogs.
But is that ceding the ground? She's got some very strong opposition who perhaps might get together and say, hang on, vote for us and we can have a
much smoother, much more different Brexit than the one that Tory right wing are talking about right now?
RUDD: Well, everybody is going to make their case over the next 50 days. And the prime minister has set out her case. It will be interesting to
hear what Labour say, what the Lib Dems say. And there will be plenty of opportunity, I expect, from various wings of the media for everybody to be
followed and for there to be plenty of airing of these different views.
It's her choice whether to have a TV debate or not. They do sometimes suck the life blood out of a campaign. So, I don't feel that they will be
missed by many people, except perhaps some of the commentators.
AMANPOUR: And what about Scotland and Northern Ireland, not just the perennial question, will there be another independence referendum, but
there seems to be a growing risk that Brexit might lead to the breakup of the union, not just Britain out of the EU?
Do you think that this move gives more engine power to that?
RUDD: Well, I hope that we'll be able to make the case very clearly that the United Kingdom, the union that we are here in this country, is so
essential to the economy and to the people within it.
So, I think this is also an opportunity, over the next 50 days, for the conservatives to be able to go out and show the huge value that we put in
the union, why it's so important and why we think we're all better holding together in that way.
So, I think it's incredibly important that we continue to make a strong case for the union and I'll be making sure with the prime minister that we
do that during the next few weeks.
AMANPOUR: Amber Rudd, home secretary, thank you for joining us.
Now, stay with the program. From the home secretary to her counterpart, the shadow home secretary. Diane Abbott puts forward the opposition's case
ahead of the vote. That's next.
[14:30:15] CHISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to the program, live from Westminster on a day when the British Prime Minister Theresa May
has called a snap election, saying that her decision is a response to the opposition's threat to hinder Brexit negotiations.
Opposition Party said they wouldn't block the move for the election. With the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn saying, he welcomes the prime
ministers decision to give the British people the chance to vote for a government that will put the interest of the majority first.
But later Labour is fragile (ph) should over a Corbyn's leadership and opinion for show support for the party is at record low levels. So joining
me to discuss all of this is a Labour MP and Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott. Welcome.
In a way, do you not think it's your party's misfortunes that is embolden the prime minister to lift on this and as many as them trying to crash the
opposition once and for all?
SEC. DIANE ABBOTT, LABOUR MP: Well, this is a huge litter (ph) and she must have said 11 times and more that she wouldn't call this election, but
it's a cost to run election, it's not about us and more about the tourist. She's a majority of 12, and she knows and she goes forward this Brexit a
party will split and fracture and she can't hold it together without (inaudible).
AMANPOUR: Do you think this election is about Brexit? Do you think is your party will consider that I know he's the Jeremy Corbyn your leader?
Didn't mention Brexit in the statements that you talked about other issues facing the country?
ABBOTT: See once is a feel about Brexit. Theresa May wants to run a top fit contain around immigration and Brexit, and she's thought in at toxic
operates and certain place it cause me to drive, well I think would be and I doesn't compare. But we works to be about, first of all we won the
Brexit that actually protects jobs and million stocks in which she where she puts immigration above wealth.
But we wanted to be about this is our concern the British people, we want to be about valued. This is when off tool, it was actually hand in hand
with Donald Trump who spend the weekend tweeting about North Korea. I mean why would the British people vote for Donald Trump's handmaiden (ph).
We think we have an argument to make about policies and values, and I think the more people focus on Theresa May and what she's really fame the less I
AMANPOUR: Well they were throwing those as her, and she actually in her statements for a few bobs at you, your party. Saying that opposition was
forcing her into this and the opposition was totally disunited while the people were getting together around Brexit and that your -- your threats
and your warnings where compromising her ability for a successful Brexit. I mean what do you take from recent quite personal political attacks?
ABBOTT: So ridiculous attack. First we were not being threatening, we simply as any good opposition would do won't think will want him to hold to
account and Brexit happen she think. But she can spend two years negotiating.
I know any questions for British Parliament. So we've not force into anything as I say, her own weakness of her own party has made her cop (ph)
and run with this struggling election.
AMANPOUR: No, your obviously going to be facing a drama in this election, because it does come as your 21 percentage points below, I mean your 21
percentage points lower than the tourist. And there are people who would say that this could be once and for all, you know, the tripling of the
Labour Party and for sure the changing of the Labour leader. How are you all going to face it? How you're going to run forward to this election
under these difficult circumstances for your party?
ABBOTT: I was in the Shadow Cabinet missing this morning. And there are many strands (ph) that within that Shadow Cabinet, but we all agree the
important of unifying under debate with led by to Muslims anti-leader.
So, the party understand that it has to unify the -- behind the leader and behind the policies which we believed can win this general election, but I
mean Theresa May had notice about how we -- but we've enforcing to anything. She's covering her back.
AMANPOUR: Diane Abbott, thank you very much for joining us tonight.
And as the British Prime Minister calls that snap election here in the U.K., across the channel French voters are just days away from heading to
the polls themselves. On Sunday they're calls their ballots in the first round of the presidential vote. And the candidates are now racing to the
finishing line, the Independent Emmanuel Macron is trying to woo undecided voters. He said that he and his supporters will give franc back its
A much tougher message from Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right party national front told and enthusiastic crowd that she's going to
suspend all legal immigration to France. Is it that kind of language that seem Le Pen make a strong showing in the polls?
[14:35:02] CNN's Jim Bitterman, headed to rural France to find out why voters have been so drawn to her message.
JIM BITTERMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is the French rustbelt, the area of played out coal mines in abandoned steel plants in
the northeast corner of the country just a few miles from Germany and Luxembourg.
Tens of thousands used to work in this mills that once make the Lorraine region rich and desirable. Now, they stand black inside and out. Symbols
to the forces of globalization which sent the jobs elsewhere.
Perhaps it's not surprising if those left behind is scrape together at living are not easy on their political years.
Around here, French presidents from both sides of the political spectrum are regarded as and sometimes even called traitors. And that's because for
decades in this part of France, people haven't promise that they will be protected from the kind of globalize trade that would eliminate their jobs
and send them overseas, it didn't happen.
After decades of voting communist after World War II, the town of Amneville began voting to the right in the mid-1960s as the local mills began to
climb. And gradually the voters has become more extreme. In the past four presidential elections the extreme right national front came in first in
the first voting round.
It's not hard to find locals who just like the national front playing their economic problems and job losses on politics. The European Union and
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): I love Le Pen because she kicked out all the Arabs. They get so much immigrants that we don't get
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): They promise money for the steel works, in the end it never came true, never did anything even this jakuzi
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): I vote Le Pen. I have no interest in other candidates.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): We're going to change just like the Americans.
BITTERMAN: At the (inaudible) a music hall as senior citizens gather for a snack in a concert. The conversation this month is dominated by the
upcoming elections. This is group that have used to work in a steel mills is further ground for the extreme right. Something even those working for
one of the mainstream parties have to acknowledge.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): Indeed, I hear people say I'm going to vote national front, but I think that taking shelter behind
political radicals is a catastrophe and it's not a solution.
BITTERMAN: It's not like mainstream politicians haven't tried to find solutions to the economic problems here. One Amneville mayor partly
insulated a town for the region there's job losses like building a sports and entertainment complex that includes the worlds longest ski ride.
As the current mayor understands why he's fellow citizens still like going to believe that the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): Everywhere is the same, when people are in extreme difficulties and have the impression traditional
politics and not responding to their needs, they're always tempted by extreme solutions.
BITTERMAN: The similarities between this part of France and the rustbelt of the United States are undeniable, unemployment is high, immigration is
frequently blamed, people feel abandoned and betrayed by the mainstream politicians and are tempted to register a protest vote.
In a few days, we'll know whether French voters will follow a similar path to that that the Americans will they elect their next president.
Jim Bitterman, CNN in the French Lorraine region.
AMANPOUR: Now, Natalie Nougayrede is a columnist and foreign affairs commentator for "The Guardian" newspaper here, but she was previously
executive editor in managing editor of Le Monde newspaper in Paris, and she joins us live from there.
Natalie, welcome to the program. You heard the report from Le Pen voters, and now we see on the very, very far left and equally nationalist,
populist. Melenchon is making a surprise surging the polls. What is going on? And what are his chances?
NATALIE NOUGAYREDE, THE GUARDIAN COMMENTATOR: Well, Christiane it's -- this is going to be a very, very tight race. And, you can see that with
the strength of the Le Pen votes, according to polls, and with the rise of far-left Jean-Luc Melenchon that people are trying to express some form of
anger and deep frustration with the state of the economy and with the fact that they see most of the political class as not responding to their
demands and as corrupt.
One strikining thing in this campaign is that -- is has been completely up ended by series of financial scandals which have really task to dark shadow
over the whole political class. And you have to keep in mind that France is a country that has now lived for several decades with almost structural
high unemployment. The unemployment rate is 10 percent nationwide right now. And it's around 24 percent among the young people.
So this is actually a country its rather exhausted and wants change. And lot of that demand is channels towards radical candidates.
[14:40:11] AMANPOUR: Well, Natalie exactly but all the economist who poured into their programs whether it's on the left from extreme right have
said that actually that will not help revive the economy, that potentially the centrist Macron would do a better job. What do you think his chances
are and where is the -- what are the poll saying right now on who's leading?
NOUGAYREDE: Everybody is watching polls literary from, you know, one day to the next and right now there is a fairly regular trend which is that the
two leading candidates are the far-right Marine Le Pen, and indeed the centrist reformer and pro-European Emmanuel Macron.
If both of these candidates get into the run-off because this is a two- round election, if they get into this -- the second round every single poll has showed that Emmanuel Macron would get elected.
Now that's reassuring for Democrats and is certainly reassuring for -- people who care about the European project because this election is very
much about whether France will remain a reliable and stable member of the European projects. You have Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Melenchon both
calling for, you know, either pulling out of E.U. treaties or, you know, completely closing borders and unraveling the project. So this is going to
be a make or break moment for the European projects this election.
AMANPOUR: It's really apparently also depends on turnout is extraordinary that some 40 percent of young people supporting Le Pen apparently between
the ages of 18 and 24. And it will depend they say on turnout whether Macron is successful. This is what he is been saying about what his
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, FRANCE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (through translation): My conviction and certainly is that this election, next Sunday opens up a
great fight of will against giving up of optimism against deceptive nostalgia, a deep transformation against mobilism (ph) or restoration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So what the poll say about turnout and certainly there's a huge undecided vote right now. Does France expect a big turnout for this
NOUGAYREDE: Well, so far polls are saying that turnout is going to be uniquely low, but just recent polls have said that people -- more people
are saying they're going to vote. So that is indeed a big, big question. And especially if we have a run-off with, you know, Marine Le Pen face with
Fillon meaning two right-wing candidates. It's possible that left-wing voters would not go to the polls and that makes it highly dangerous with
bigger chances from Marine Le Pen.
If it's Marine Le Pen versus Macron, the run-off then, you know, I think most voters would still, you know, stick with this left to right divide and
I think Macron would capture, wouldn't be able to rally centrist votes and fight of their chunk of the left-wing vote.
But indeed, a lot of voters were confused. There's no obvious message that has, you know, been able to unify the electorate around one of the key
figures. This is a very fragmented election and a very fragmented country where there is also -- there are many traumas in France and one of them has
to do with the fallout of all this, you know, dramatic terrorist attacks that we've had in this country over the last couple of years.
AMANPOUR: Natalie Nougayrede, thank you so much for joining from Paris tonight.
And coming up on the program, another round of savor raffling between Washington and Pyongyang, is this an international game of chicken or the
brink of nuclear war. We'll have the exclusive comments from the U.S. Vice President.
[14:46:27] AMANPOUR: A new warning from North Korea and its unpredictable leader today. The U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has been in Japan fresh
from visiting South Korea. It's all part of his 10-day trip to the region. Mr. Pence is reassuring allies and stressing the long-held policy under the
Obama administration of strategic patience is now over.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As the President says it's time for them to behave, to listen to the world community and to set
aside their nuclear ambitions, their ballistic missile ambitions, and be willing to join the family of nations. And for my part, in some odd way,
it's encouraging that they're getting the message.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Pyongyang may be sending a different message all together. North Korea's ambassador to the U.N. warn yesterday that thermal (ph)
nuclear war may break out at any moment if the United States continued what they call its aggressive moves.
I want to welcome my next guest to the program, Shinichi Iida, is the Minister for Public Diplomacy and Media of the Japanese Embassy here in
London. Welcome to the program. The U.S. Vice President met with your prime minister. And obviously there are huge concerns about the way
forward over North Korea. What do you think came out of those meetings? Is Japan reassured?
SHINICHI IIDA, THE MINISTER FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY AND MEDIA: First of all, thank you for having me. We wholeheartedly welcome at the -- such a high
ranking official like Vice President Pence has come to Japan. It's such a critical juncture.
As you mentioned the North Korea has developed the nuclear weapons and the ballistic missiles is causing (ph) of very, very Syria threat not only to
the region and also but to the world. I think it is quite pertinent that Prime Minister Abe and Vice President Pence after a pretty extensive
discussions in the meeting that they agreed that the closest ever cooperation and communication between Japan and the U.S. and also South
Korea is critically important. And also I have to add, they also agreed that the China should play a larger roles because after all the 90 percent
of North Korea's trade is with China.
AMANPOUR: So tell me about China, because the U.S. administration others are saying they feel that China is now making different and extra strip
(ph) in that direction and perhaps they did in the past. How does your government read China's movements towards trying to reign in North Korea
IIDA: China has been quite clear on the North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missiles program into the affect that it would never accept -- it
was never accept North Korea's -- North Korea becoming a nuclear power. And also China is the permanent member of the Security Council and the
Security Council has been passing a very strong resolutions again and again that North Korea should abandon, its nuclear program and mis -- and
abolish. It's the ballistic missiles.
I'm sure China is in a very good position as a permanent member of the Security Council and also the greatest trading partner of North Korea to
exert its influence over North Korea to convince of North Korea of the need that it should abandon its nuclear and the missile programs immediately.
[14:50:02] AMANPOUR: Now, when we hear North Korean envoy's whether the United Nations or officials in Pyongyang make all sorts of threat and use
the kind of language that we can say the unimaginable like, you know, this bring some on nuclear war even closer which is what the Deputy U.N.
ambassador said at the U.N. yesterday, and such things like threat to retaliate within nuclear weapon if there's any military move against
Pyongyang. How do you read those? Do you consider it sort of difficult? The rhetoric from North Korea or do you get worried? And how do you read
the level of rhetoric coming from them right now?
IIDA: You know, North Korea is very notorious for its flamboyant rhetorics if you will. So, we should really refrain from read -- I think to North
Korean's occurrences too deep. Their rhetoric is (inaudible).
IIDA: But their actual intention is quite another, but I don't want to elaborate too much on the North Korean's intentions.
AMANPOUR: Right. And obviously there is concerned. There are many officials who dealt with this, certainly in United States for a long time,
are worried about blundering into some kind of military conflict. That the North Koreans might miscalculate. But I want to ask you this. Is your
Prime Minister telling the U.S. side that negotiations and diplomacy are good idea that it's not a sign of weakness that actually something may be
achieved by negotiations and not just military moves or military threats?
IIDA: Of course our first and foremost priority is to resolve the issue through diplomatic efforts. There's no question about it. And that is
also at a position that taken by Prime Minister Abe. But at the same time, Prime Minister Abe has been also very clear that the government of Japan
supports the U.S. Trump administration's position that all options are on the table, either not to take the strategic patience anymore. That is
something we can certainly welcome. Deterrence (ph) is also a key word.
AMANPOUR: All right. So, thank you so much indeed for joining us from London. Thank you very much --
IIDA: My pleasure.
AMANPOUR: -- indeed, from the Japanese Embassy.
And now from here, outside the Houses of Parliament, we turn to Buckingham Palace. Where we imagined the Royals making us all (ph) open up. A day
off to Prince Harry spoke about counseling he got about the grief over his mother's death. We now hear from Prince William, who, with Lady Gaga has
joined the fight for mental health, next.
AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, we're just getting word that Theresa May, the British Prime Minister has spoken to the U.S. President Donald Trump,
the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and of course E.U. leaders about her decision to call the snap election.
Now, as another consequential vote descends on the U.K., it will be the fourth in four years stress levels that note out rising across the British
Isles. But tonight, we imagine dealing with far greatest rest in pain and bearing it deep inside.
[14:55:12] Yesterday, we told you about Prince Harry speaking up about his grief and the counseling he got after losing his mother Princess Diana.
Parts of the "Heads Together" campaign to bring unresolved mental issues to the serve as well. Imagine today, Prince William, his brother, continuing
to push for openness with the help of a lady, Lady Gaga, that is today, they release this video where they spoke about her struggles with mental
health and the importance of talking about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LADY GAGA, SINGER: There's a lot of shame attached to mental illness, you feel like something is wrong with you. And in my life I go "Oh my
goodness, look at all these beautiful and wonderful things that I have, and I should be so happy." But you can't help it if in the morning when you
wake up, you are so tired, you are so sad, you are so full of anxiety and the shakes that you can barely think but it was like saying, this is a part
of me and that's OK.
PRINCE WILLIAM, DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE: It's interesting to see and hear from you how much having that conversation or having that ability to speak
someone really made a difference to you. I think for me, the little bits that I've learned so far about mental health is very much the case, you
know, it's OK to have these conversations. It's really important to have this conversation and that you, you know, you won't be judged is so
important to break open that fear and that taboo which is going to lead to more problems down the line.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Lady Gaga and Prince William Skyping about this vital issue. And Prince William also said, no matter how stiff upper lip you have, it
should not come with the expense of your health.
That's it for our program tonight. Remember, you can listen to our podcast anytime, see us online @amanpour.com and follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
Thanks for watching, and goodbye from Parliament here in London.