Return to Transcripts main page
Big Brexit Issue: Rights Of E.U. Citizens; Brexit Talks Overshadowed By Turmoil In U.K.; Brexit Throws Millions Of E.U. Citizens Into Limbo; U.K. Labour Party Emboldened After Election Gains; DUP Rises From Minor Player To Kingmaker; Brexit Talks Scheduled to Start Next Week; May Pressured To Change Hardline Vision On Brexit; Labour Leader: Another Election Possible This Year; Hundreds Detained At Russia Protests; Protest Leader Navalny Detained By Russian Police; Russians Protest Corruption, Political Stagnation; Polls: Putin Approval Tops 80%; A Parthenon Of Banned Books Built In Germany; The Beginning Of The End For Berlin Wall. Aired 2:00-2:00 p.m. ET
Aired June 12, 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 AMANPOUR ANCHOR: -- the White House Press Briefing. And the U.S. Labor Secretary discussing the Trump
administration's policies going forward.
Tonight, a tale of two leaders: The British Prime Minister Theresa May wounded by a bruising election result, and the French President Emmanuel
Macron emboldened by historic gains in parliamentary election. What does this all mean for the continent's big Brexit issues? The rights of E.U.
citizens. We have a special report. And the opposition Foreign Secretary, Labour's Emily Thornberry joins the program live.
Also ahead, elections in Russia, hundreds are detained as the opposition leader counts on people power for the right to face President Putin in
Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London. Britain is one week away from Brexit divorce talks
with the E.U. just days after a failed election gamble cost the Prime Minister Theresa May her majority. Her Brexit Secretary, David Davis, now
says the status of 3 million E.U. citizens living here in the U.K., and more than 1 million British citizens in Europe, would be the very first
thing on the negotiating table. E.U. officials have long said that is their red line.
Indeed, in April, the President of the European Parliament told me a Brexit deal would be vetoed if the rights of E.U. nationals are not protected.
Brexit has thrown millions of lives into turmoil, and it's already having an impact on Britain's National Health Service. New figures just out show
that the number of desperately needed E.U. nurses registering to work here has fallen by 96 percent since last year's referendum.
It's also threatening to rip apart families all over the U.K. As CNN's Isa Soares found out when she traveled to the North of England. They're caught
up in what seems like an absurd and obscure piece of red tape.
ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Nina Hofmann feels like she's been bullied into leaving the U.K. A German national, she came here in
search of work as a foreign language tutor 11 years ago. And in the process, found love, got married to an Englishman and had two children,
Benjamin and Sophia. Her home is a testament to that love. Every portrait framed to the life she's built. A life now left in limbo following the
U.K.'s decision to leave the European Union.
NINA HOFMANN, GERMAN LANGUAGE TUTOR: Politically, I do very much feel like an outsider, because one has to follow the general discourse surrounding
immigration and the E.U. immigration, and the fact that, obviously, I don't know if I will be able to stay here.
SOARES: She was hoping to apply for permanent residency here but was told by a lawyer she wouldn't qualify. Complicated by a legal loophole.
HOFMANN: I found an immigration lawyer who was giving advice for an hour. So she took my timeline when I was working, when I was on maternity leave
and found a gap where I was neither working or on maternity leave, but just at home looking after my children, asked me if I had health -- private
health insurance. And I said, "No, I didn't know that was necessary."
SOARES: But it is. Not that Nina or anyone else has ever heard of it.
HOFMANN: My doctors or the dentists, nobody ever said anything to me.
SOARES: But the Home Office does require it. If you're a student or self- sufficient.
We reached out to the Home Office regarding this little known - well, also known as "comprehensive sickness insurance". And in a statement to CNN,
the Home Office says that this is a requirement set out in the Free Movement Directive, and applies to all Member States. It is not just in
U.K. law." But it seems the European Commission has a different take, telling CNN that this actually breaches E.U. law, and going as far as
saying that access to the U.K.'s National Health Service should count as sufficient. Easy then to see why so many Europeans feel like their
bargaining chip is these Brexit negotiations.
Adrian Berry in immigration is so embarrassed to tell me this insurance hurdle is causing plenty of uncertainty.
ADRIAN BERRY, GARDEN COURT CHAMBERS BARRISTER: Well, about 70 to 80 percent of the people I've seen since the referendum have had been a part
of comprehensive (INAUDIBLE) insurance question at the heart of their case and their need for parliament. They haven't had it; they're immensely
SOARES: Back in the North of England, Nina certainly feels like she's overstayed her welcome.
HOFMANN: That feels like being pushed out.
SOARES: Do you think she's got a right to live here?
HOFMANN: Absolutely. She's contributed to the economy, she has a job, we have two kids. She's got just the same right as everyone else who lives
[14:05:02] SOARES: A sentiment shared by many who feel their lives are coming crashing down. Isa Soares, CNN Huntersfield in the North of
AMANPOUR: So one family's very personal experience of a much bigger issue. So, let's bring in the Labour Party M.P., Emily Thornberry. She wrote the
opposition party wave on Thursday night and was re-elected with an even bigger majority of more than 20,000. She's also the Shadow Foreign
Secretary. Welcome to the program.
EMILY THORNBERRY, UNITED KINGDOM SHADOW FOREIGN SECRETARY: A pleasure.
AMANPOUR: First and foremost, do you agree with David Davis and everybody that this issue of citizens' rights is a redline, should be a red line, and
should be the first thing on the table?
THORNBERRY: We actually go further than that. We put a motion before the parliament last summer and we said that we should do it unilaterally, and
we put a motion down, and we said -actually give E.U. citizens the same rights as British citizens who are living in this country right now and we
do it as a gesture of goodwill in advance of the negotiations. And actually, nobody voted against it. That was what was interesting. No
Conservative M.P.s voted against it, so it was passed, but unfortunately, nothing has happened.
AMANPOUR: So, where do you think we are now? You're obviously the opposition party, you had amazing success, but still, you didn't win, you
got Prime Minister Theresa May trying to form a government. First and foremost, do you think that will happen? Will she get - you know, you're
so involved and you know the intricacies of (INAUDIBLE) will she get the DUP, that Irish Northern Island Party, to support her where she needs it?
THORNBERRY: There is a real problem. There are a number of problems. The DUP are a Unionist Party, they represent obviously, therefore, a certain
section of the Northern Irish people but not all of them; they're on the rise at the moment; they are essentially representing the sort of -
largely, the person population. And we shouldn't say largely representing the Catholic population. We are proceeding under the Good Friday Agreement
where it is incumbent on the government to be unbiased and to be scrupulous and to hold the ring. Now, how can we proceed with the Good Friday Peace
Agreement when the government is relying on the DUP to continue in government. And so, for example, at the moment, they're supposed to have
devolved power to Northern Ireland. We're currently in negotiations to try to give them back power to the Northern IrishParliament.
One of the sounding blocks, for example, is teaching Irish in schools. If the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland was there as an honest broker,
saying (INAUDIBLE) "Sorry, we've got to put this off for a couple of years." How would they trust the Secretary of State not to be actually
saying that as part of a deal? Do you follow?
AMANPOUR: I absolutely follow you but bringing it back to the Brexit issue, and obviously what everybody on the continent, first of all, do you
think these negotiations are going to start when they're meant to in about a week from now?
THORNBERRY: Well, so the difficulty is, is that if the - if they can't get an alliance which is stable, it's going to undermine the peace agreement.
We have the Marching Season in Northern Ireland happening in a month -
AMANPOUR: I meant the negotiations on the Brexit.
THORNBERRY: Yes. But I appreciate that. But if you can't - if she can't shore up with the DUP, then she's not even in government, you know? So,
that's the first hurdle which I don't think they've even got over yet. We have a queen speech, normally what you would do --
AMANPOUR: And that's when - just for our international viewers, when the government puts out its plans for legislation.
THORNBERRY: You have a manifesto, you stand on the manifesto, you win the election, you put the manifesto interactions through the queen, essentially
reading out a speech which boils down the manifesto. We're not going to get that. We don't know what's going to be in it because lots of Tory
M.P.s don't like the manifesto, the DUP don't like the manifesto so we have no idea -
AMANPOUR: Has it been delayed? It's meant to be on the 19th.
THORNBERRY: It's supposed to be on Monday but we're told that it's been delayed but we haven't officially been told but, yes. So, effectively, we
have no effective government in the U.K. at the moment.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, the next big question, obviously, along these lines is that it's been suggested that with this instability that you are mapping
out, the risk of Britain crashing out of the E.U. without a deal, according to the experts, has risen rather dramatically. Do you see that? Do you
agree with that analysis?
THORNBERRY: I think it's a real problem. And I think throughout the election, Theresa May said again and again and again how relaxed she was
about there being no deal. And that is very worrying, because that's not the way you begin negotiations. On top of that, she's standing on the
steps of 10 Downing Street having been to see the Queen, having dissolved parliament is standing on the steps (INAUDIBLE) stomping her feet and
making all sorts of wild allegations about how the Europeans were conspiring against Britain and trying to undermine the election and so on.
This kind of wild talk doesn't help with negotiations either.
AMANPOUR: So, it's -- you know, everybody likes to think that Jeremy Corbyn may be preferring a sort of a soft Brexit, which business wants,
which the DUP wants for all their other issues, which the Scottish want, which Ruth Davidson wants, or the Scottish Tory Party leader and just about
everybody except the Euro-skeptics. Would the Labour Party, to serve its own interest in Brexit, join a cross-party sort of negotiating? I mean,
would you -- can you see yourself getting together on this big issue and coming up with a national negotiating plan for a massive national issue?
[14:10:11] THORNBERRY: I mean, we would -- I don't have a problem with it in principle. We have said what our six tests are, what it is that we
want. We want what we would call a "jobs first" Brexit.
THORNBERRY: We want to have a Brexit which looks after the economy first and security. We are not so hung up on some of the other issues that they
AMANPOUR: But does that mean single market and customs unit? Because the business have come out and said that there's been two studies, Harvard and
the IOD, the Institute of Directives, which have said that this idea of a hard Brexit is really threatening and undermining - actually small
businesses don't want it anyway.
THORNBERRY: Yes. We need to have a - we need to have a continuing close relationship with the European Union. People get a little bit hung up on
whether we remain in a single market or not. We think probably, technically, we won't be in the single market.
AMANPOUR: Even now, you think that?
THORNBERRY: Yes. But we - but what we want is we want to be able to negotiate and we want to be able to access the single market, which is
tariff free and red tape free, and that is our priority because --
AMANPOUR: But how can you do that?
THORNBERRY: Well, this is subject to negotiations.
AMANPOUR: The reason I asked you is because for the last year, you've had a referendum in this country, which the Labour supported the outcome, and
actually, you know, the criticism is that the Party leader didn't do enough to push the remaining agenda which apparently you were committed to the
remaining agenda. But the reason I ask you is because there are no details. And people have said that, you know, the slogans Brexit means
Brexit or a bad deal is better than, you know, no deal or the opposite, or whatever. It means nothing. And nobody in this country actually knows
what their future is going to look like.
THORNBERRY: And I agree with you, but the difficulty is, the dynamic here is in opposition, you know, we campaigned as united party to remain in the
European Union. And the - and the narrative that somehow rather we're leaving the European Union and it's Labour's fault, it's just not true.
And so, that's number one.
Number two, we have been saying throughout, right, you're in government, you know, we're going into this Brexit thing, what is your plan? And I
asked them 170 questions with 170 days to go, and I said, "Come on, you know, answer a question a day. Give us an idea of where is it that you
want to go." We're happy to work with you, and we have certain principles, economy fist, and security, that's how you should measure a successful
Brexit. We need to have a Brexit which is about jobs. Now, you can't, because it's a negotiation, be putting, you know, a huge amount of details
and I understand that. But we have put forward six tests. We have said, you know, we want to continue to be internationalist, we want to have
exactly the same benefits mainly in the single market but we're open to whether we remain a single market or not.
But, you know, we will be leaving European Union so there has to be an understanding that we will, therefore, have some control over our borders
and therefore about immigration. You know, so it's -
AMANPOUR: Do you feel that both parties are still pandering to the very Euro-skeptic wing, and that in fact, you're not realizing that this
election result, in part, was not just about a change of direction domestically but also saying what they didn't want from Brexit, they don't
want to be a hard Brexit, they don't want to see their economy worse off than it was before. Why isn't this a moment for you all to push, as you
say, a "jobs first" Brexit?
THORNBERRY: But that is - but you - that is kind of what I'm saying. I mean, we have had voters -- the Labour voters who were in favor of leaving
and voters who are in favor of remaining, and we are the only party that's been trying to pull people together. And the way you pull people together
is saying, "Sure, we have to leave, but we remain as close as we can." You can caricature that as a soft Brexit if you want to. But I mean, I'm
hoping to fill in some of the backgrounds as to what it is that we're doing, and it is the economy first, and we have been absolutely consistent
about that. Whether you voted to leave or remain, you didn't vote to lose your job and you didn't vote to be poorer. That's what our guiding
principle should be.
AMANPOUR: And in 10 seconds, if you can, does the Labour Party actually want to go to another election sooner rather than later?
THORNBERRY: We're a party of power, we want to be in power. If the government collapses, we're ready to step up. If that doesn't work without
another election, it won't be popular but we may have to have another election.
AMANPOUR: Emily Thornberry, Shadow Foreign Secretary, thank you for being with us.
THORNBERRY: Not a problem.
AMANPOUR: Perhaps the most poetic victory of the British election came from the west midlands where Labour's Eleanor Smith became her
constituencies' first black M.P. in a seat that once belonged to the fiercely anti-immigration M.P. Enoch Powell, the politician who warned of a
race war in his infamous, "Rivers of Blood Speech" in April of 1968.
When we come back, a rare thing in Russia, political protest in the streets. Hundreds arrested, including the opposition leader, Alexei
Navalny. We'll tell you why. We'll be live from Moscow, next.
[14:16:24] AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program. Election fever is in the air in Russia, too. There were political demonstrations all across the
country today, with thousands turning out to protest corruption and political stagnation under President Vladimir Putin. Once again, the
protests were organized by the opposition leader, Alexei Navalny. After turning out nationwide crowds in March which were the largest in years.
The Kremlin tried to hide these scenes, relegating them to side streets and cutting off power to Navalny's YouTube channel. Around 900 protest were
arrested including Navalny himself before the March even started. His wife announced with a tweet, "Happy Russia Day".
Navalny faces a 30-day jail term. After recently being doused with a toxic green liquid, which damaged his eyesight and required special treatment in
Spain. So why is he doing it?
Arkady Ostrovsky is an award-winning author and the Russia and Eastern Europe editor for The Economist. And he joins me now from Moscow. Welcome
to the program. It's a long delay, so I'm going to power ahead. So, how does, first and foremost, the turnout today compared to what happened in
March? And what do you think the significance is today?
ARKADY OSTROVSKY, THE ECONOMIST RUSSIA AND EASTERN EUROPE EDITOR: Well, I think this is - probably, we've seen a bit lower turnout today than we saw
at the end of March. And in terms of significance, though, you said in the introduction, we are effectively, surprise, surprise, and certainly
surprising to the Kremlin, we're in the middle of an election period, we're in the middle of an election campaign. And the significance of this run
today as - significance of the - and today and of March, is that Kremlin is still making an impression that they control everything; they set the
rules; they set the boundaries. Politics is monopolized by Putin. They decide how it's going to develop.
Now, Navalny is basically completely ignoring this rule, saying, "You're fooling yourselves. The politics has already gone out of those boundaries
that you've set up. The politics is out in the street. And I can bring up a lot of people out, and you will have to register me as a candidate in the
Presidential Elections in 2018, despite Navalny's jail sentence, which is all fabricated given, but it's basically -- the Kremlin is saying, "No, we
control the rules." And Navalny is saying, "No, you don't any longer." And look at these people, look at the young people out in the streets, and
he's bringing out the street to back him for a chance in the election.
AMANPOUR: So, Mr. Ostrovsky, that is the tactic. How - I mean, you're a veteran observer of what's going on. We've got a year to go before the
election. How successful do you think Navalny will be? I mean, let's face it, this is a country where we've seen opposition leaders gunned down,
we've seen them jailed, or we've seen journalists and others basically, you know, threatened. How successful do you think Navalny will be? And is
this something that you would, I don't know, advise or think is a good strategy?
OSTROVSKY: Well, look, I think Navalny is a very able politician. Probably one of Russia's best politicians over the past - certainly over
the past quarter century. Very calculating, very observant, he's capitalizing on frustration which is building up. Look, the protest - the
first protests in Russia broke out nearly five years ago. Putin had to arrest those protests effectively by going to war in Ukraine, annexing
Crimea, giving people a sense of a narrative, giving people a sense of victory.
[14:20:09] Now, all that - all that euphoria is basically died down. And Russia is - Russia is in the economic crisis, it's in recession. There is
no light at the end of the tunnel. The people who came out today and people who came out a couple of months ago are coming out because they have
no sense of their future. This is 16, 17-year-old guys and young women who basically need to understand what prospects await them in their lives. And
this is a very serious thing, because this is a generational shift, and Russia, very often has moved in generational shifts. And Navalny is very
well-placed to exploit and use that. And they -- these young people have clearly placed their faith in him. He is a clear political leader. The
way that he wasn't five years ago. So this is very serious.
Now, as far as the Kremlin is concerned, they have to be careful, because he's probably the last person who can lead the crowd away from the Kremlin,
and they know that, which is why he's -- until now, he's been - basically, they've been playing cat and mouse with him. They put him in jail now,
they will probably let him out. But they need to deal with the underlying factors. And the underlying factors are not looking good to the Kremlin.
So, at the moment, I wouldn't put my (INAUDIBLE) the fact that they will not register him for the elections, because if they don't, actually, it
won't be much of an election.
AMANPOUR: Well, I'm certain - yes.
OSTROVSKY: And so, a sense of a battle is going on between the future and the present.
AMANPOUR: I was going to ask you that. You know, it's been suggested that actually, President Putin does need a, you know, some -- a legitimate
candidate to run against, otherwise it looks more of a sham than it is. But he also has, according to the stat, has an 80 percent approval rating,
that's President Putin. What inroads can somebody like Navalny make in a tightly-controlled society like that, particularly when he's not allowed on
OSTROVSKY: Well, look, in terms of the 80 percent support rating, it's a - it's a very peculiar figure. Because basically what it means, what it
tells you, the nine percent, but then frankly if you imagine the support rating for the Communist Party in, let's say, 1986, it probably would be
1980 -- 98 percent. The point is that the reason people say the support Putin is because there's no alternative. It's just - you know, he is
there. It basically means that people really don't care very much. He is just there, he's been there for 18 years, and there is a lot of inertia.
It's not active support. If something starts happening, this support can very, very quickly turn negative, and Putin knows that, which is why he
doesn't rely on the figures, he relies on the ability to provide a narrative. Be it a war in Ukraine, annexation of Crimea, Trump elections,
or Syria, he is now out of the narrative, he needs to come out with a new idea, with a new spectacle.
And today was quite a surreal day as you probably showed on your news is that the protest actually -- they clashed with Russians riot police right
in the middle of a scene, which was a historical reconstruction of Russian victories. It was like literally a fight, a battle between the past and
the future. You know, there were all these victories, people dressed in historical costumes, and in the middle of it, youngsters 16, 17-year-olds,
some scared, some looking for action saying, "No, we want a future. And corruption is much broader than just about finance. Corruption is about
the lack of values, corruption is about the moral vacuum, about a lot of things." And if you're young and if you are 17 and you don't have any
life, prospects in front of you, you want somebody who will come and tell you, "If you follow me, we will change this country. This country belongs
to you." And this is what's happening. So .
OSTROVSKY: -- putting Navalny in jail actually is not going to help Kremlin deal with that generational shift. So, I think it's incredibly
unstable situation and anything could change.
AMANPOUR: All right.
OSTROVSKY: Very quickly given that the - you know, the underlying basics of the economy is looking very poor.
AMANPOUR: And given the politics of the world as we've seen, doing surprising things in the last couple of years. Arkady Ostrovsky, thank you
so much for joining us from Moscow with that.
And when we come back, imagine 30 years since President Ronald Reagan helped bring down that Berlin Wall. But first, a look to what you can
build up with books. The building blocks of this Parthenon of books that have been banned throughout the world. And this beautiful structure stands
on the spot where the Nazis carried out book burnings in Germany. An answer to censorship, which is loud and clear.
[14:26:59] AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, it is exactly 30 years since President Ronald Reagan traveled to West Germany and received a rapturous
reception for his now-legendary speech calling for the fall of the Berlin Wall.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RONALD REAGAN, FORMER UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: If you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek
liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
AMANPOUR: Well, imagine a world where walls are all of a sudden all the rage again. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel marked the anniversary
with a well-timed visit to Mexico this weekend where she spoke out against America building that border wall, saying, we must understand why people
leave countries, "Putting up walls and cutting one's self off will not solve the problem."
That is it for our program tonight. Remember, you can always listen anytime to our Podcast, see us online at amanpour.com and follow me on
Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for watching and goodbye from London.