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European Commission Announces Brexit Breakthrough; Protests And Clashes After Trump Announcement; Britain And E.U. Clinch Brexit Breakthrough With Move To Trade Talks; Wildfires Raging Across Southern California; Family Drove Past Fires So Wife Could Give Birth At Hospital. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired December 8, 2017 - 02:00   ET




ANNOUNCER (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.

ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello, everyone. I'm Isha Sesay live in Los Angeles.

The breaking news, a breakthrough on Brexit. The European Commission says sufficient progress has been made and negotiations will enter the challenging second phase to discuss trade and security.

British Prime Minister Theresa May scrambled all week to get a deal done. This after an early agreement was derailed because of issues surrounding the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

CNN's Diana Magnay is in Belfast, Northern Ireland, but we begin with Erin McLaughlin, who joins us in London.

Ladies, great to have you with us.

Erin, to you first. We have a deal. Walk us through it, specifically this issue of the border. Theresa May very keen to stress there will be no hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which had been a key sticking point earlier in the week.

How did we get here to this point of finally a deal being done?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is seen as a historic moment in this Brexit process, the culmination really of months and months of negotiation and, at times, deadlock.

And yes, as you say, a key sticking point earlier in the week was the Northern Ireland issue. Theresa May had gone to Brussels on Monday to meet with the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.

There she had to leave empty handed, according to Irish and British media reports, during her working lunch on Monday, Arlene Foster, the head of the Democratic Unionist Party, the party that holds critical seats for Theresa May in British Parliament.

There was a phone call between the two. Arlene Foster was not happy with the agreement that had been made on the Northern Ireland issue, specifically in relation to the wording of that issue.

So Theresa May left Brussels on Monday empty-handed. Had to essentially go back to the negotiating table and what we've seen play out this week is highly dramatic negotiations between Ireland, Northern Ireland, London and the E.U.

And it seems that in the early hours of this morning, finally reaching the agreement that would satisfy all sides.

Now we're hearing from -- in this joint statement from the prime minister Theresa May and the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, outlining this deal, so to speak, or this report, outlining the key areas that really matter most to the E.U., which is the financial settlement, citizens' rights and the Northern Ireland issue to prepare this 15-page report so that the European Commission can now recommend to the European Council that sufficient progress has been made on these areas, that the talks can progress.

We won't get the official green light, however, until next week at the European Council meeting. All 27 E.U. members, heads of state and government will be meeting to vote on whether or not sufficient progress has been made to proceed to the transition agreement and future talks that are critical to the U.K.

SESAY: All right.

Let me go to really quickly to Diana Magnay in Belfast.

Diana, as we said, this was a deal that had floundered earlier in the week. We've got to this point now. Help our viewers understand why this border issue was so important and why we continue to hear from Theresa May --


SESAY: -- in that press conference over and over again, there will be no hard border. A decision has been made that will maintain the U.K.'s economic and territorial integrity. Give our viewers some insight into what all that means and why it's important.

DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland want to keep trading with one another. Northern Ireland is, of course, part of the United Kingdom and doesn't want that to change.

So it's all about continued market access and similar rules, which effectively is what the U.K. has to come to an arrangement with, with the E.U., in the next phase. That's why the Northern Ireland border issue was so bound up with the future trading agreement, because the Northern Ireland-Republic of Ireland border would effectively become an E.U. border, because Northern Ireland wants to stay part of the U.K. So what you have is this incredibly difficult circle to square, where

Theresa May had to placate Dublin, Brussels, the DUP and her own Tory Brexiteers.

You had to have some kind of regulatory alignment so Northern Ireland could continue to trade with the Republic of Ireland. They're very important trading partners. No regulatory divergence between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. The DUP didn't want to see anything that would compromise the integrity of the United Kingdom.

You had to keep Brussels on board with all of that and yet you had to tell people like Boris Johnson and Michael Gove and the Brexiteers that Britain was committed to staying outside the customs union and the single market.

Now how Theresa May has managed to get through that is an incredibly complicated thing to square and what she said is that she will guarantee no hard border but also the constitutional and economic integrity of the U.K.

And somehow in that special report, she's managed to stanch that issue and get onto the next phase of talks while keeping all of those various parties happy. And that is a very, very impressive achievement.

And it's clearly been done through incredibly hard negotiating work this week.

SESAY: Indeed. To bring Erin back in, Diana rightly said, this has incredibly taxing, incredibly challenging, not to mention the fact that she was up against that deadline. She needed an agreement done by Friday, ahead of the European summit next week.

Let me ask you this, we're saying she deserves credit.

Will she get it back home with her cabinet members and Brexiteers?

Because as you know, Erin, she's been under tremendous pressure and faced a lot of criticism for how she's handled these negotiations.

MCLAUGHLIN: That is the key question for Theresa May at this point, Isha. I think the fact that she has returned to Brussels, as she said she would at the beginning of the week, the fact that that looked to be very much in doubt, that people here in the United Kingdom, members of her party, are well aware of what she was up against.

The E.U. is well aware of what she was up against. One E.U. diplomat telling me during the course of the week it was like waiting for Godot. They were concerned that she might never return.

The fact that she's been able to bring all sides together in this respect, on the financial settlement previously we heard from the likes of Boris Johnson, saying that the E.U. could go whistle at the sums that the E.U. was asking for on the financial settlement, which is repeatedly amounting to tens of billions of euros. The fact that she was able to bring members of her party on board on

that issue. And then the European citizens' issue, also red lines there, as well. Around the role of the European court of justice. And then this other issue that the Northern Ireland issue, the fact that she was able to bring all sides, the Northern Ireland, the DUP, Dublin and the E.U. together to reach an agreement.

All of those were seen as key sticking points. The fact that she's been able to do this I think will be marked here in the United Kingdom as an achievement.

SESAY: Diana, back to you. Not to burst anyone's bubble, because we know that in getting this deal, when we saw the outline from earlier on in the week, in terms of this Irish border issue, we immediately started to hear mutterings from the likes of Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish leader and Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, saying if we are going to cut special deals across the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, then why can't we have something special for Scotland and the city of London that was to --


SESAY: -- remain -- voted and want to remain as part of the E.U.?

Does that argument die now with this deal that they've done?

MAGNAY: I would imagine we'll still be hearing those kinds of mutterings from Scotland, possibly Wales, possibly the city of London, again. What Theresa May has been saying is that Northern Ireland has very unique circumstances because of this land border with the Republic of Ireland and thus the E.U. post-Brexit.

Scotland and the city of London clearly don't have that, and she's been very careful to emphasize that what Northern Ireland has is very unique. But she didn't start talking in this press conference about a special situation for Northern Ireland.

You speak to people here, like Sinn Fein, many Remainers, who actually see the possibility of a special status for Northern Ireland as a kind of prelude to more of a united Ireland. That is something that the DUP objects to very strongly. That is the reason why Theresa May keeps mentioning maintaining that this agreement will not upset the constitutional and economic integrity of the U.K.

I mean it's very -- she has to be so careful with the wording on this precisely to avoid what you're talking out. She's done that by referring to the fact that Northern Ireland is unique because of this land border.

Whoever else wants to come and expect the special circumstances, they are unlikely to get very far, if you think how incredibly difficult this has been to achieve.

SESAY: Yes, very much so. Diana Magnay joining us from Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Erin McLaughlin joining us from London, my thanks to you both, ladies. Thank you for the great conversation. Let's turn now to Roland Vogt (ph), who joins us on the line now. He's an assistant professor of European studies at the University of Hong Kong.

Roland, thank you for being with us. Give us your perspective on this agreements. Just remind our viewers, on Monday, this hit a massive hurdle, crashed into a wall, if you will.

Didn't know whether Theresa May could get it to the deadline, which was Friday, of getting an agreement before the E.U. summit. She's done it. Your thoughts on the achievement and what it all means.

ROLAND VOGT (PH), UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG: I think it's a wonderful breakthrough that is actually in the interest of all. Even though it was always considered unlikely for her to deliver it with this kind of speed and consistency that we're seeing today.

But I think it's important to keep in mind that Brexit, from the point of view of the E.U. '27, has always been treated like a distraction, like an unnecessary distraction. They basically want to move forward and if now a window of opportunity has opened up I think they're latching onto it, despite that there are worries that the May government is weak and may not survive the next few months.

This has always been a concern over the last few months ever since the last general election. But I think the E.U. also has nothing to gain from being obstructionist with the U.K. I think this is slowly sinking in to Brussels.

So I think movement in a positive direction that may be the commitments, especially the financial commitments, that Ms. May has made, the movement or at least the written commitment that no hard border will be put up in Northern Ireland.

Maybe this is now considered to be enough and hopefully for the next few months in the trade negotiations, we will see some more clarity and detail on how this will be put into practice.

SESAY: Does Theresa May emerge from this stronger for the next phase of talks, which will be just as difficult, if not more complicated, the focus being trade and security?

VOGT: No, I don't think she emerges stronger. I think she still is a very structurally weak candidate. This has not only to do with her, that she needs to really on confidence votes in the House of Commons on the DUP.

But also because she's seen that if you push her, she will give in. And this negotiating strategy, of course, can also mean that the positions in Brussels will harden in the next few months, because it is seen to be viable that one could basically get a better deal out of a weak British government.

SESAY: Roland, for this phase of talks, the three big issues to be handled or resolved before they could progress, where of course the divorce bill, how much money the U.K. would give in terms of honoring its commitments, I guess alimony if you will, expat citizens' rights so the rights of E.U. citizens living in the U.K. and the rights of U.K. citizens living in Europe and the --


SESAY: -- Northern Ireland border. So those are the three big things they have to get done. They have done that. As we look ahead to the next phase for trade and security, what are the big issues there that they have to resolve?

VOGT: First of all, the British government has been under a lot of pressure recently over the last few weeks, particularly from the city of London, another very important contributor to the British economy, to really move forward in order to get a transitional agreement done.

This would require now some sort of negotiated compromise with the E.U. to move forward toward producing this transitional agreement.

Have we seen a breakdown now? And not the kind of success that we've seen today, then the business would have to have moved forward with a contingency planning about what to do if ultimately there would be no Brexit deal.

So we have to keep in mind that this is the kind of pressures that have also been bearing down on the May government, from important business sectors, pushing them into this transitional agreement. It is now likely that within the next few months we'll probably see some fleshing out of some details about how extensive this transitional agreement will be, i.e., how long it will last, whether -- to what extent the U.K. will have to contribute financially to the E.U. budget during this transitional agreement.

So those are things we're going to see. But I think it will have the effect of a little bit of pacifying and assuaging the fears, the worst fears of British business.

SESAY: The U.K. has a deadline of March 2019 for its final departure from the European Union. So that's a lot to get done in a very short space of time. Judging by how these first stages of talks have gone, can Theresa May or whoever is leader of the U.K. at that point, considering all the internal squabblings, but can Theresa May get it done by that deadline in your view?

VOGT: I think it is possible. I think the fear of not having a deal is actually for everybody a worse outcome. Basically, even though many European leaders dislike the fact the way the Brexit negotiations have been going so far, they dislike the fact that the U.K. has voted to leave.

But they still have nothing to gain from not having a deal with Britain. Britain will continue to be an important business partner and an important security partner in Europe.

And people wanted to move on to the next stage swiftly and with the best deal possible. So I think we're going to see some more openness. But on the other hand, also a little bit of a toughening of the spine in Europe to basically say there are some very core principles that the E.U. does not want to have any compromise on.

And it will mean that the British government will have to address that and it will still mean a few more painful realities that the British public will have to wake up to.

SESAY: Yes. Certainly the pain of negotiations is --

VOGT: On security, the issue is also slightly different. I think on security there has been -- that Britain plays a very important role in Europe and I think there is a general understanding that people would want to welcome substantial British involvement in any future security arrangements in the future.

SESAY: Lots to work out in the days ahead. The pain of negotiation is not over yet. But Theresa May, though she may be breathing a sigh of relief at this point in time. Roland Vogt, thank you so much for joining us, some great analysis there, from the University of Hong Kong. Thank you so much.

VOGT: My pleasure.

We're going to take a very quick break. A day of violent protests in the West Bank and Gaza after U.S. President Donald Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Just ahead, why analysts say the worst may be yet to come. Stay with us.





SESAY: Welcome back, everyone.

Throughout the Middle East the reaction to Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has been angry and violent. Dozens were injured in the West Bank Thursday as Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli security forces.

Rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons used to quell the demonstrators, Israeli police said the protests were actually rather small. The leader of Hamas called for a new intifada, saying the peace process was, quote, "buried forever."

CNN's Nic Robertson joins us from outside the Damascus gate entrance to Jerusalem's Old City.

Nic, it's just past 9:00 am where you are.

What is happening?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: The police say they do have additional security around the Old City. They are not putting restrictions on people attending prayers in the mosque in the Old City here.

They indicate that they're ready to handle any incidents that may occur. But when you look around here, a relatively low police presence; tourists are walking through the Old City gates here. And I've taken a walk around inside the narrow streets in the Old City.

And the stores that were closed yesterday because of concerns about violence are opening up again today. The feeling here at the moment is that despite the calls by groups like Hamas for another intifada, the sense here is that the Israeli authorities are not trying to do something that could aggravate a situation by putting restrictions in place.

The prayers may pass off -- may -- and I say may because it's still early in the day yet -- may pass off without having recourse for some sort of spark of incident.

However, there will be other places and points of tension, undoubtedly in the West Bank, and there will be concerns going forward about other demonstrations; other Palestinian organizations within Israel are also calling for demonstrations after prayers for students at the university in Tel Aviv on Saturday to hold a protest as well.

So the possibility of incidents to come still remain there, concerns still remain high. But right now, right here today at this moment, it does seem calm.

SESAY: OK. That is good to take note of.

But what about on the political front, what are we hearing from the Palestinian Authority?

What are we hearing from Mahmoud Abbas?

What is the next step he will take politically in response to this decision by the U.S.?

ROBERTSON: He did go to Jordan yesterday to meet with King Abdullah there. He has been criticized by many Palestinians we've spoken to for being weak. His statement following President Trump's announcement was relatively weak if you compare it to perhaps Saeb Erekat, one of his chief negotiators.

He -- Saeb Erekat said that this was the worst decision ever that President Trump had made in his life and that this killed off the possibility of peace talks leading to a two-state solution.

So where does it leave the Palestinian political leadership?

To a degree, it's going to be dictated by what happens on the Palestinian street, if you will, that if there is such a mood and such an anger and such a resentment carried on the streets here, then when you have protests that calls for Mahmoud Abbas and say that he's not taking a strong enough line, then that is going to potentially force his hand. But we've yet to see that manifest itself in a big way. So, in a way,

I think, at the moment, we're going to -- the expectation is to see what happens today and the next couple of days. And then you can perhaps begin to see some political movement or not as the case may be --


ROBERTSON: -- as politicians respond to what they see on the streets.

SESAY: Indeed or not. Nic Robertson, joining us from Jerusalem. Always appreciate it, Nic. Thank you so much.

Joining me now from San Francisco, Dr. Arash Aramesh, a national security and foreign policy analyst.

Arash, thank you for being with us. Right in Jerusalem just speaking to Nic, it is 9:25 in the morning there. It seems calm at the moment, according to Nic. There's a security presence in and around the Old City but, right now, no issues.

But of course it's the Middle East and things change in a heartbeat around there. But on Thursday, even the people who took to the streets, they were a relatively small number compared to what we've seen in the past at other moments of heightened tension.

What do you make of that?

What does that say about this moment?

ARASH ARAMESH, NATIONAL SECURITY AND FOREIGN POLICY ANALYST: I wouldn't be surprised if things went from very slow to explosive in the Middle East. Having said that, I'm still at awe at what President Trump was after by declaring Jerusalem in that public sort of press conference.

Ever since 1995, we have recognized Jerusalem as the (INAUDIBLE) capital of the great state of Israel. Now by making this declaration -- and, again, there are reports today that the president did not have a full understanding of what was going on.

But, again, I'm worried about a couple of things first and foremost. I'm worried about demonstrations of violence in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem and I'm also -- secondly I'm worried about violence potentially against American embassies abroad, potentially against places anywhere from Indonesia out east, all the way out west to Morocco and North Africa.

SESAY: Yes, you make a very important point because we did hear from the prominent and influential Iraqi cleric, Muqtada al Sadr, after this decision was made, calling for a unified Arab spring.

How seriously should we take such statements from the likes of Muqtada al Sadr and other influences if you will, in the Muslim world, who basically is saying it is time to rise up and basically protest and take to the streets? ARAMESH: Well, Muqtada al Sadr is no friend of the United States. Now, having said that, I'm much more concerned with the reaction on the streets of Arab countries that happen to be American allies.

I'm much more concerned about Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, even Palestine for that matter. Muqtada al Sadr and his many strange bedfellows, from the Iranians on one side all the way out to anti- Iranian, sort of Arab side in Iraq.

But what I'm worried about here are the Jordanians. They happen to be very good American allies for our war against terror. The Saudis, the Egyptians and so on and so forth.

So aside from that, that happens to be a case to be made for potential violence on the streets of the Islamic world. We haven't seen much yet. And I hope we don't see much. But I think we will in places like Pakistan and Indonesia, and so on and so forth.

So that's on the streets. But again, U.S. embassies across the globe have been placed on high alert. And that is definitely a risk to watch out for.

SESAY: Yes. We're talking about the risk of violence there in Palestinian territories or in Israel and across the Middle East.

But just very quickly, on the political front, there's the political fallout from this. There will be a U.N. Security Council meeting called by eight countries, amongst them the U.K. and France, what is your thinking in terms of what the U.S. is looking at going forward, when we talk about isolation and what that could mean for other interests the U.S. has, that they needed a coalition for?

ARAMESH: Unfortunately, this administration is not very interested in coalition building. Most -- not most but all our allies have been against this move. The president has not had a good grasp on things in terms of making a declaration in terms of Jerusalem.

Again, when it comes down to our values and to our actual policy, we have recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. There was no need to push this forward and to antagonize and aggravate other parties.

So when it comes down to the British, the French, the Germans and other allies on the Security Council, except Germany, they're not with him. I don't think that (INAUDIBLE) is going to be with us.


Having said that, the president needs to think about a couple of things. A, the biggest issue in the Middle East right now is the proxy war between the Iranians and the Saudis. Does this actually matter so far that alienate some of the allies the fight against Irani expansionism? Secondly, on the whole issue of the global war against terror is this issue again having recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the great state of Israel, does this issue today in the -- in the year 2017 matter so much for us to alienate allies on the war on terror? And even if their leaders are on the same page with us, the very streets are going to face some trouble. And I don't think -- I don't think the president has thought this through. Having said that we have to see what's going to unfold and unfortunately I don't think from Indonesia or again all the way to Morocco we're going to see any friendly news in the next days to come.

ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Yes. That is indeed the concern. Actually, Aramesh, thank you so much for the newest insight and the great analysis, I really appreciate it. Thank you. We`re going to take a quick break. Coming up. Europe and the art of the deal, a major breakthrough on Brexit.


SESAY: Hello everyone. You`re watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay. Our top story this hour. Brexit talks are moving forward off to a week of intense negotiation. The European Commission said sufficient progress has been made and negotiations can now enter the next Phase 2. And Ireland is happy with the compromise, the prime minister tweeted this deal concern. Ireland supports Brexit negotiations moving to phase two that we have secured assurances for all on the island of Ireland fully protecting agreement peace process, that's a Good Friday Agreement peace process, all-Island economy and suring -- ensuring rather that there can be no hard border on the Island of Ireland post-Brexit. Joining me now is Political Senior E.U. Correspondent, Ryan Heath. Ryan, apologies?


SESAY: We're going to go Brussels. Forgive us because Donald Tusk just started speaking. So we want to hear from the E.U. president there. So we'll just going to go over there and we'll come back.


DONALD TUSK, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN UNION: As you know the U.K. has asked for a transition of about two years while remaining part of the single market and customs union. And we'll be ready to discuss this.

[02:35:01] But naturally we have our conditions. I propose that during this period the U.K. will respect the whole of E.U. law including new laws. It will respect budgetary commitment, it will respect judicial oversight and of course all related obligations. Clearly, within the transition period following the U.K. (INAUDIBLE) E.U. decision making will continue among the 27 member states without the U.K. All of what I have said seems to be the only reasonable solution and it is in the interest of all our citizens that it is agreed as soon as possible.

This is why I left the E.U. leaders to mandate our negotiator to stop these talks immediately. Second, we want to begin discussions with the U.K. in order to explore the British vision of its future relationship with the E.U. So far we have heard a number of various ideas. We need some more clarity on how the U.K. sees our future relations after it has left the single market and customs union. I either would propose to mandate our negotiator to stop exploratory talks with our British friends about this program. On our side, we are ready to start preparing the close E.U.-U.K. partnership in trade but also in the fight against terrorism and international crime as well as security defense and foreign policy.

For this to happen, the European Council will have to adopt additional guidelines next year. While being satisfied with today's agreement which is obviously the personal success of Prime Minister Theresa May, let us remember that the most difficult challenge is still ahead. We all know that breaking gap is hard but breaking gap and building a new relation is much harder. Since the Brexit referendum, a year and a half has passed. So much time has been devoted to the easier part of the task. And now to negotiate a transition arrangement and the framework for our future relationship we have the fact that (INAUDIBLE) than they are. Thank you very much.


SESAY: All right. Well, that was a brief shall we say. The European Council President Donald Tusk speaking in Brussels a short time off that we had from Theresa May and The European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker announcing that they had reached an agreement which had set the stage for a transition to the next phase of Brexit talks. What essentially happened is when Theresa May and the E.U Commission President reached that a report was produced that was sent off to The European Council. The European Council will be the ones that give the green light if you will to move onto the next phase of Brexit talks. Judging apart -- judging from what we heard from Donald Tusk that that is what happening next. The U.K. will move on to discussing trade and security with the E.U. as it negotiates the Brexit. We're going to take a very quick break. You stay with us, we're going to get you lot more analysis of everything that's happening in Jerusalem, Brussels and the wildfire in California. There's a lot going on, stay with us.


[02:41:25] SESAY: Hello everyone. The U.K.'s Prime Minister, Theresa May has managed to secure a deal with her E.U. counterparts and the agreement is set which clears the path for the next phase of Brexit talks with three big sticking points that had to be overcome before they could move on and discuss trade and security and that was how much the U.K. would pay instead of honoring its commitments to the E.U., E.U. Citizen's Rights and the issues on the Northern Ireland border which is you may remember scuttle talk earlier on this week. That has all been resolved, the stage is set, they moved on to the next phase of talks. Let's bring in Political Senior E.U. Correspondent, Ryan Heath. He joins us now as he give us his take on all that is going down. Ryan, it was remarkable considering these talks have floundered earlier in the week that Theresa May was able to get here by Friday and get everyone on board in the Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland and get an agreement. Are we very clear on what the compromise was to get her here?

HEATH: Well, it was somewhat clear. I think there's still a bit of diplomatic frauds that have been based into this recipe I'm afraid. So clearly Theresa May have had to give in almost entirely on the Brexit side of things. The E.U. has got the commitment for the U.K. to pay and to everything they wanted the U.K. to pay. Theresa May was always the most generous onto (INAUDIBLE) that was the word, the easiest of the three issues. So it's not a surprise but I got to an agreement there. And there are many family members that the E.U. would have like to be allowed into the U.K. But everyone is happy without arrangement there, you can have presidency as long as your English U.K. or your U.K. should have been in the rest of the year on that day. And Ireland is a bit of the sticking point because what we were in place of what 24 hours as a series of safety net it's not exactly clear how old the safety nets will work, that's the fudge I'm talking about. So we've got a commitment in no hard border, but if there isn't a great deal on the future relationship on this new round of the talks that is opening up there is essentially a commitment to that regulatory alignment so that the U.K. will not diverge on the E.U. How that goes down in practice we don't save the detail in that joint report yet. So there's a lot of warm feelings this morning, there was a lot of smiles, it wasn't a fake news. But there wasn't a lot of detail in that joint report.

SESAY: Yes. It must be said that The European Council President Donald Tusk was a lot more should we say circumspect compared to Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker and he made the point that, you know, a lot of time has been spent on what has been the easy apart of talks that effectively what comes next, there's going to be a whole lot harder. Talks about what is coming down the pike and what are the issues here as they move on to discuss trade and security.

HEATH: Well, it's going to be harder for both sides. And that's important for your viewers to understand. The E.U. has been able to stay united so far because it haven't had to be re-confront the loss of money that's going to come when breaking this the European Union. So when Holland and Hungary realized exactly how many Euros they weren't be getting from the E.U. once the U.K. has gone, you're going to say that it would be a little bit more divided. Now, of course, the U.K. is pinning hopes on people like the German car industry. They've been very excited and intensely supportive of keeping it a tower free arrangement between the U.K. and the rest of the E.U.

[02:45:00] But as we know the E.U. politics and believing in that core system of the single market. Often Trumps, the immediate rational economics. So, we're not going to necessarily have a rational discussion over the next six months, 12 months. We're going to see a lot of politics thrown into the mix.

Then, the U.K will triumphs that use leaders like their strong military, their nuclear arsenal and say that the rest of the E.U. needs protecting. So, we're going to help you on security, you better help us on the economics. And then, we're going to say which of those two arguments are stronger.

ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: Ryan, up until this point, the negotiation have been very much led by Theresa May. She's faced criticism back home in the U.K. So, that as you well know that (INAUDIBLE) she's dominated the process. And not, you know, basically, there's not been enough consensus. She hasn't brought enough of her colleagues to the table. Do you see that changing in this next phase of talks? HEATH: No, I don't. Theresa May will brand this at the person who succeed but you made it were very keen to emphasized that they trust her. At this should be thing that a success for her. But that's doesn't unite (INAUDIBLE). And in fact, the E.U. being on your side might hurt and back home in London.

So, Theresa May will have a nice 24 hour but the fighting is going to continue as soon as she gets back to London. But the U.K. have -- but -- in say, never be in a particularly constructive force on a lot of these issues. So we don't know exactly how they are going to get instructed all of the sudden.

There are occurrence in the Cabinet that will not be happy with this deal. And as soon as you start to see some of the details, we'll start to see some of the fragmentation. So, the E.U. is hoping that Theresa May will be strong enough to survive and deliver this deal, but at the end of the day, she doesn't have a very united government. She doesn't have a very last majority in Parliament and there's still a lot of uncertainty.

SESAY: I want to look it forward to next week in the E.U. Summit. This still had to be done, this agreement between the U.K. and E.U. This phase, have to be tied up by Friday ahead of the summit next week. What's on the agenda for next week? What happens there? What are the expectations?

HEATH: Well, there are actually four elements to the summit next week, and two critical ones worth discussing now. There is getting the leaders to sign off on this draft deal that the E.U. institutions in the U.K. have signed off on. And so, I think why Donald Tusk was being circumspect is that never pays to get too excited in this E.U. discussions. You got away until path (INAUDIBLE), and you've really got the 27 on board,

So, that's why you'd rather be less optimistic now and be smiling in a week's time. But the E.U. is also very keen to get its own House in order, about how we arranges itself.

And so, next week, was supposed to be a summit about the Eurozone. How are they going to create a Euro Finance Ministry? How they going to create the European Monetary Policy? What else do they have to do as to make that single counts simple.

Work, it was never supposed to be about (INAUDIBLE). So, you'll see the other 27 countries try to focus as much as they can on the internal housekeeping, try and push the Brexit discussion to the side, and hopefully signed it off. But the E.U. is not going to make a big song and dance about this mix up that will be a U.K. driven publicity persist. So, the E.U. will try and show how organize it is and how basically it's trembling our bone, down the political world without hanging mortgage too much about this, we'll listen Brexit in inside.

SESAY: All the singing and dancing will be in the U.K, it is be noted. Ryan Heath, is joining us from brother appreciate it, Ryan Heath. Political Senior E.U. correspondent, very much appreciate it, thank you. Next here on NEWSROOM L.A, firefighters here in California working around the clock to contained destructive wildfires. We show you why dry conditions and fairs winds are creating such very dangerous conditions.


JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back everybody, we'll showing the breaking news out of here in Southern California were six major wildfires continue to burn. All out flames have now swept across almost 60,000 hectares, destroying an estimated 500 structures including homes and businesses. Thousands of firefighters are locating the upper hand on the creek fire around the city of Silma. And (INAUDIBLE) fire in L.A.'s exclusive Bel-Air neighborhood.

Mandatory evacuation orders to both of those fires have been lifted but those orders remain in place for more than 100,000 people. Bone dry conditions and strong gusty winds may (INAUDIBLE) among the worst fires the region has ever seen. The largest fire is right here where I am in Ventura County, growing to more than twice the size of Washington D.C. CNN's Paul Vercammen is not far from here in the town of La Conchita, he was the late details.

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Night after long night, after long night in Ventura County, that's where the Thomas fire started. It is a monster 115,000 acres burned, that's equivalent to the size of Orlando and Seattle combined. And they revealed the devastating numbers, about 439 houses destroyed, another 85 damaged. There are some 2500 firefighters on the lines here, and they come from as far away as Oregon. As you can see, the crews behind me. They have been able to hold -- I'm in lock in (INAUDIBLE) right now.

The line on the northwest flank of this fire, we saw them using hand crews, bulldozers and some very, very skillfully set backfires to make a pretty big brake which mean, basically, the Ventura County line and the Santa Barbara County line near the city of Carpinteria. They are all just crossing their fingers tonight because, with so many nights this week, the firefighters and others would think that perhaps those devil winds, those Santa Ana's that died down. But then, they would whip up again and calls all sorts of other misery. Reporting from La Conchita, I'm Paul Vercammen, now back to you

VAUSE: Tens of thousands of residents as we been saying, forced to flee this one county alone. Among them, Eric Rosenberg, he packed up his family, left to much everything behind because the flames are just getting too close to the House. Eric joins us now on the line, he's in that, (INAUDIBLE) area which Paul was talking about. So, Eric, first up we glad that you -- your wife jenny, the rest of the family their safe. But this was not your garden variety evacuation that your wife, 39 weeks pregnant as u headed out and droves through the flames. So, take the story from there.

ERIC ROSENBERG, WIFE GAVE BIRTH AFTER DRIVING PAST FIRES (via telephone): Yes, so, the -- a neighbor actually knocked on our door at about 12:30 a.m. and woke us up. But before that, we didn't know there were the fire, firehouse. So, it was about 4:30 a.m. we jumped in the car and drove to my in-law in Tolleson, Carpinteria, were I am now. And we spent most of the day in Carpinteria, we went out for breakfast. The power went out a couple of times but otherwise, it was the mostly uneventful day until the evening.

Around 8:00 p.m., my wife went into labor. So, we called up the doctor and being that there was a fire along 101, as we just heard to get back to Ventura, that the scheduled of the hospital. We were got to have to drive to blew the fire zone or we could go up to Santa Barbara. Of the other direction, our doctor said, "No, please come back to Ventura if the highway is open. So, we hopped in the car and spend along 101 going towards Ventura and who the -- I just feel the bit of a scary drive. My wife is in labor in the car with me. There were flames on both sides of the highway.


ROSENBERG: And we made it through and of the next morning at 6:36 a.m., our little -- our little fire baby was born.

VAUSE: Little be all right?

ROSENBERG: Yes, Mila. And we are -- she was healthy and great but although there was smoke in the hallways of the hospital, that actually yesterday, went around and dock tape all of the windows to keep the smoke out with the -- you know, sick people and baby was obviously a problem to have a smoky room, but, you know, we were just so happy that all be safe and together.

VAUSE: OK. So, you know you have a situation where you're in Carpinteria, and that is a small town right there on the beach. But that's also at least parts of it, there's mandatory evacuations underway and there's also this concern that, you know, maybe, you worried that there be further evacuations ordered and you may have some packed up the family and head off someplace else?

[02:55:13] ROSENBERG: Are definitely. When our cars are still packed with everything and we left our neighborhood of the fires were probably two or three blocks away. And I did get back my neighborhood, six homes burned within a block of me. So, it was good that we packed up and took all of our stuff left because we were very close to being affected and we were so (INAUDIBLE) sitting in the driveways until ready to go. The (INAUDIBLE) fire is probably four or five miles from where I am right now. So, we're definitely monitoring that because if it comes, then, we got to go again.

VAUSE: That's just getting way too close. Can you describe just a little bit more what it was like, your wife is in labor, you're in the car, you're trying to get to that hospital and there are flames surrounding the vehicle on either side? It must have been terrifying in all -- in all sorts of reasons.

ROSENBERG: Oh, yes. My heart was thumping. My wife kept yelling at me the spot looking at the fire and to keep looking at the road which I just put a little bit of a lightness in it because you know what it's like being tick tone by your wife. But she actually took a video of it. It was so intense, there was a point we drove through right in between (INAUDIBLE) and Ventura, where the flames were so intense that even on the other side of the highway, we felt the heat through the windows. It felt like my face was right up next to a campfire and we were probably 50 or so feet away from the closest flames. So, it was -- it was a very intense, very hot fire and it was -- it was everywhere.

VAUSE: Wow! OK. Well, we're happy to say that Jennifer you wife, new baby, Mila and you have a two-year-old, his name, I'm sorry I forgotten but you're all doing well. Congratulations and (INAUDIBLE) and we just hope that this is it for you guys and you can get back to the house, which is still standing, which is fantastic news and --

ROSENBERG: Still on a mandatory evacuation from our house in Ventura but were hoping to get back tomorrow. So, I wish us our luck with this fire.

VAUSE: Thank you. Absolute, thank you so much. Isha, amazing story, Eric, so, thank you.

And thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM, I'm John Vause live in Ventura County.

SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay, the news continues on CNN, right after this.