Return to Transcripts main page


UK Government Asking Queen to Suspend Parliament; Prime Minister Johnson Denies Move is Designed to Stifle Debate on Brexit; Parliament Will Resume Business on October 14; House Speaker Shutting Down Parliament "Offense" Against Democracy; Bill Cash: Brexit Opponents Are Defying the Will of the People. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired August 28, 2019 - 06:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN's Breaking News.

MAX FOSTER, ANCHOR, CNN INTERNATIONAL: Thanks for joining us I'm Max Foster in London, Breaking News coming into CNN. The UK government is asking the Queen to suspend parliament next month just a few days after MPs return from summer break. That would be a matter of weeks before the Brexit deadline and Mr. Johnson is releasing a prepared statement. We can listen to it. It came in a few minutes ago.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: If you look at what we're doing, we're bringing forward a new list of program on crime on hospitals and making sure that we have the education funding that we need. And there will be ample time on both sides of that crucial October 17th Summit ample time in parliament for MPs to debate the EU to make Brexit and all the other issues ample time.

REPORTER: Prime Minister you seem to have an ambitious domestic agenda. Your government does not have a majority. Even if the with the DUP it only barely has a majority, should we take form this that you're planning a general election before the end of this year?

JOHNSON: No what would you take from this is we're doing exactly what I said on the steps of Downing Street which is that we must get on with our legislative domestic agenda. People will expect that. We need to get on with the stuff that parliament needs to approve on tackling crime. On building the infrastructure we need, on technology, on leveling up our education and reducing the cost of living. That is why we need a Queen speech and we're going to get on with it.

REPORTER: And you know by the 14th October whether you're going to get a deal and the outlook could be quite different whether you do or whether you don't? So what have you got to say to the public or may be concert about the economic outcomes?

JOHNSON: We need to get on with our domestic agenda. That's why we're announcing a Queen speech for October 14th. Again, thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP) FOSTER: Clarity, Nic Robertson. He makes it sound very clear in all ideas, but it's not, it's much more complex than that. He's positioning himself for the end of October. Where does this leave him?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It leaves him over the strength in hand and negotiating with the European Union, because his only plank there is to say that I will have a no deal Brexit and that will be more painful for you than it will be for me. Therefore, do a deal and the European Union's answer so far has been to say we're not prepared to do it on your terms; you've got to come up with new ideas that he has to come up with.

So it strengthens his hand or appears to negotiating with them because the European Union recognizes there's been a move afoot in parliament to block Boris Johnson either through a vote of no confidence bringing down his government or by a legal mechanism to block him and not allow him to have a no deal.

We've just heard from the outgoing Chancellor of the Exchequer who was fired by Boris Johnson, resigned actually when Boris Johnson came into office a month ago, Phillip Hammond said it would be a constitutional outrage if parliament were prevented from holding the government to account at a time of national crisis profoundly undemocratic.

We've heard from Senior Labor MP describing this as deeply dangerous and irresponsible. That was Yvette Cooper. The pushback from senior parliamentarians, within his party and outside of his party is very strong and very clear. There is a deep unhappiness with the maneuvering that Boris Johnson is doing here which is to essentially cut off his critics in parliament, and not give them the time to debate and potentially do what parliament normally does.

Which is reach a consensus and that consensus might be -- that what Boris Johnson plans in a no-deal Brexit, do or die Brexit leave the EU without a deal would be deeply damaging for the country. This is, this is -- you have to look at this and say -- this is going to deepen the trenches into the warfare between the two sides on this.

FOSTER: But at the same time he's able to go to Europe and say, I now control the agenda in parliament. So you have to deal with me. That's the alternative way of looking at this.

ROBERTSON: It is. And it's certainly Brussels are looking, looking at Theresa May when she was negotiating, always understood that there was enough, enough support in parliament for, to block a no deal to block without leaving -- leaving without a deal.

So what this -- what Boris Johnson here is doing is concentrating the power more strongly in his hands and sending an even stronger message to Brussels essentially saying maybe there are those in parliament who want to block a no-deal Brexit.

However, they are not going to have time to maneuver to do that. So you have to deal with me on my terms. What I'm saying is the only reality, and therefore, opens up the withdrawal agreement even though you say you don't want to. Get rid of the backstop the new relationship between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland between Mainland Britain or the whole of the United Kingdom rather and the European Union along this new land border between the UK and the EU.


ROBERTSON: Get rid of that and change it for something that, that I can sell to my party and to the country. This is -- this obviously is going to cause concern in Brussels. But they will their line has remained the same. You have a deal, the withdrawal agreement. It's not up for opening in the substantial way that you want to open it and change it the way you want to open it. You will have to accept it.

So the reality is Brussels will also recognize that the no-deal reality becomes closer. Now in a negotiation it goes down to the wire. And who is going to blink? And Boris Johnson clearly feels that he needs to take all this control to force the EU to blink. So far the EU hasn't given any indication they will.

FOSTER: Very disorganized group of MPs seems on the Romanian side trying to block this no deal Brexit?

ROBERTSON: And one of those reasons is that the conservatives within his own party might want to block him have sort of heard some of the little positive feedback coming back from the G7 Summit this weekend where Boris Johnson was recognized by these EU, by other European leaders as having a credible grip of and be seized fully of the situation and the interests of the situation and was proposing possibly some ways around the border situation in terms of movement of cattle of farm and livestock which is critical.

So there were chinks opening up. For those in his own party who would feel they don't want a no-deal. But should they give their Prime Minister a little more time before torpedoing his plans. There was that and of course as you say on the opposition side particularly on the Jeremy Corbyn at Labor, there's been disunity within its own party and disorganization more broadly.

But that disorganization yesterday had come to some clarity that perhaps not a vote of no confidence, but working towards a legal mechanism to block Boris Johnson. Today the Prime Minister has shot down that path.

FOSTER: The government asking the Queen to suspend parliament. Interestingly we haven't been able to get confirmation from anyone that the Queen has approved it. We're assuming that she has which is why the Prime Minister out saying that there will be a Queen's speech and less time in the next parliamentary session to discuss Brexit ahead of the deadline. So it does at the moment seem like he's getting control upon that. We'll have more after the break.


FOREST: Boris Johnson asking the Queen of the UK to suspend parliament as the Brexit Day looms at the end of October. Now a lot of discussion has been about what actually it means to probe parliament which is effectively what's happened here? While it's the UK government process that takes place every year usually in April or May.


FOSTER: The procedure is for the Queen to probe parliament at the request of the Prime Minister is normally a formality. It's automatically granted MPs administers keep at jobs but no debates or votes taken around it.

Mr. Johnson has asked the Queen to take this course of action at a time when parliament would normally be in session. That's because he's the new Prime Minister and his cabinet is probably arguing that he needs to set out his new agenda.

While his parliament is closed, the influence of MPs will be greatly reduced. Of course a no deal Brexit would be much more likely to proceed and with parliament unable to pass new legislation the effects of Brexit could be harsher in the short-term according to some.

Joining me now on this is George Pascoe-Watson. You advised companies, he previously worked in politics yourself as a Correspondent. And your clients presumably a very concerned and would speak to the short-term damage to be caused by a hard Brexit?

GEORGE PASCOE-WATSON, SENIOR PARTNER AND CHIEF ADVISOR, PORTLAND PR: Well the business world is clear about one thing -- they want clarity. They can plan around all eventualities, what they don't like is uncertainty. And I think what Boris Johnson is trying to do is to give them certainty -

FOSTER: Is it helpful?

PASCOE-WATSON: -- so we are definitely leaving on the 31st of October, with a deal or without a deal and that matters.

FOSTER: Just explain your thinking around this. There's been a lot of coverage in this country since the announcement was made about Romainers and back benchers being concerned about the techniques being used by Downing Street here but you think this is more targeted probably at Brussels the European Capital?

PASCOE-WATSON: Boris Johnson's chance of getting a deal relies very heavily on his ability to go to the European Union 27 leaders mid- October and say I need a deal and I've got a weaponized situation here, my weapon and my armory is we will leave without deal whether you like it or not.

Theresa May, the previous Prime Minister was unable and I don't think even made that threat to them. If you're going to make a threat it has to be a substantial threat and you're prepared to carry it out. If the Romaine MPs in parliament prevented him from going to that European Union meeting, by creating some parliamentary mechanism over the next two weeks, which meant he couldn't leave without a deal, then he's got no negotiating position.

He has got no weapon in his armory. The European 27 would just look at him and say what are you going to do if we don't give awe deal? He's got nowhere to go. This is about him going there with credibility to say I will leave and parliament can't stop me.

FOSTER: What can parliament do?

PASCOE-WATSON: Parliament can try and create a situation where the will of parliament prevents a no deal which means that the Prime Minister would be forced to ask for an extension of membership of the EU until such a time although he could get a deal through.

FOSTER: They have to do that next week now because of what he's done.

PASCOE-WATSON: Right. Exactly and parliament could also get together, organize itself to have a vote of confidence in the government and pull down the government to stop Boris Johnson leaving Britain with no deal on the 31st.

But again the Prime Minister's move means that that's unlikely to happen. What is much more likely I think is the Prime Minister is rather itching to have a go at the general election, because it would solve things once and for all he thinks.

If he wins a general election then Brexit happens he has a bigger majority. He can do things he can attack the problems that Britain is facing. Problems with public spending and crime and law and order and the health system and all the other issues that he wants to get tackling. But he can't do that right now as we are stuck, paralyzed in this game of Brexit.

FOSTER: When we say it makes a no-deal Brexit much more likely, it does, doesn't it? Because there's less opportunity for those campaigning against that to have their say and ultimately Europe might call Boris Johnson's bluff and say you're not getting a new deal.

PASCOE-WATSON: Very much so. And let's not forget the law as it currently stands means that Britain definitely leaves on October the 31st whatever happens. It's only parliamentarians force the government to delay or bring down that government or the EU say okay, here's a deal. And that deal is then voted through parliament that we leave with a deal.

FOSTER: Theresa May famously sounded committed to these deadlines as well. She never stuck to them. How do we know that Boris will?

PASCOE-WATSON: It's pretty clear that Theresa May never looked at the whites of the eyes of the EU 27 and said I will leave without a deal. She didn't want no-deal. Therefore she did everything she could to avoid it.

The big difference here is Boris Johnson is prepared to say we will leave without deal and nothing can stop me. It's the nothing that can stop me bit that we're arguing about today.


PASCOE-WATSON: By calling for this prorogation of parliament and the Queen's speech when he has done, it prevents Romaine MPs from stopping him have that no-deal option. It's the no-deal option that gives him the power to look people in the eye and say we're off.

FOSTER: Can they organize, the Romainers, because they're a cross- party group of very different individuals who basically need to come together with one clear strategy?

PASCOE-WATSON: It's hard to see how the no deal, the anti-no deal group can successfully come together. They've all got different ambitions and different intentions, they come from different parties. They want slightly different things. Some want a second referendum. Some want never to leave. Some want to leave with a deal and they've all got different ambitions in this area.

It's hard for them in very, very short order to come together to coalesce around one individual who would lead them. That's what's partly in Boris Johnson's intentions here. He knows that it's very difficult for them to get their act together. That's why he's driving forward, very quickly without any warning, catch people at the hop while they're still sleeping at the end of the summer holidays and to come straight through the middle with a battering ram we've never seen before.

FOSTER: Yeah. It's an interesting political game that him playing haven't they or movements. George, thank you very much indeed. We'll try to see what sort of reaction we get from Romainers through the day. They have to come out with their strategy but Boris Johnson being very clear today on what his is. We'll be back in just a moment.


FOSTER: The British Prime Minister has asked the Queen to suspend the UK parliament in mid September which basically gives parliament less time to prepare a protest against a no-deal Brexit which is currently what we're heading towards. This is how Boris Johnson made the announcement today.


JOHNSON: There will be ample time on both sides of that crucial October the 17th summit ample time in parliament for MPs to debate the EU to debate, Brexit and all the other issues, ample time. We're not going to wait until October the 31st before getting on with our plans to take this country forward. That's why we're going to have a Queen's speech and we're going to do it on October 14th. We've got to move ahead now with a new legislative program.


FOSTER: Joining me with this breaking news is quite complex, Quentin Peel, he is an associate fellow with the Europe Programme at Chatham House. This letter, Quentin has gone out to British MPs from Downing Street. One response we've had from John McDonald, from labor, is calling it a coup. What do you think it is?

QUENTIN PEEL, EUROPE PROGRAMME, CHATHAM HOUSE: Well, it's absolutely extraordinary move and I think a very high-risk strategy for Boris Johnson. [06:20:00]

PEEL: It fits entirely, I think, with the strategy we've suspected he's pursuing of falling back on a no-deal Brexit crashing out on October 31st and then holding an almost instant election. Because given the time scale he's got, I simply don't see how they have time on either side of these negotiations, to come up with a new deal in time or indeed to get the legislation through parliament.

He's really foreshortened things. But the risk is that he may so infuriate the pro EU members of his own party that they will drop all their hesitation and actually vote his government down. That I think is a real risk.

FOSTER: It is a risk. But what he's done is really force their hand saying this is your do-or-die moment. You basically need to organize yourselves next week and it's a rag tag group of politicians doesn't it? Really on the Romaine's side, they don't have much in common apart from this.

PEEL: Yes, absolutely. And as long as he could present the possibility there was a moment last week that looked like this, there might be a deal. Then I think those soft toys if you like who want a deal, might have hesitated to vote for a no deal promotion.

But if they actually think he's now calling their bluff and saying we're held-bent on no deal -- I simply don't accept his words about ample time for debate and so on and indeed ample time for negotiation. It doesn't look like that.

So now they're really facing a choice. Do they actually allow him to crash the UK out of the EU without any agreement? Which almost all of them I think the leave would be a disaster? Or do they actually vote for a no-confidence motion and actually vote their own government eventually out of office?

FOSTER: Well we're hearing from one conservative rebel, Dominic Grieve, who was very senior in the previous administration of Theresa May. He says if the Prime Minister persists with this, the chances are that his administration will collapse. So he probably is looking towards this no confidence vote but actually that might only lead to another election which Boris Johnson could well win. That's the argument on his side.

PEEL: Absolutely. I think that Boris Johnson does believe in his capacity to win an election. But he needs to show that he's absolutely hard line on Brexit and prepared to go for a no deal in order to bring back the votes from the Brexit party. That's his real challenge.

And at the end of the day, I think that his problem is can he get to that point? Or will he be forced out of that office before the deadline? Everything is to play for but there's incredibly short time. And as you say, the forces against him are pretty disunited.

They're torn between a labor party going one day, Lib-Dems and the Scottish Nationalists, a much harder line -- they want no Brexit. So they've got to get their act together very quickly. But the risk for Johnson I think is that now he's actually forcing them to make that choice and he may have forced them the wrong way.

FOSTER: Let's look at the betting. We've just heard from one betting company, Ladbroke, they're saying a November General Election looking much more likely now 2-1 for an election this year. But as you say everything you know, the Boris Johnson camp seem to have just spent the whole summer working and strategizing around this.

That actually isn't a worse-case scenario for them considering the unpopularity of the main opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn. So it might all work in hindsight if there is a hard Brexit for him, do you think?

PEEL: Well I think that he has a real chance precisely because of the weakness of the opposition. On the other hand if that election becomes literally, a Romaine versus Leave election, as we know that's a very finely balanced judgment at the end of the day.

What he's not done, there's the other side that the conservatives are in danger of losing votes is to the Liberal Democrats, who are hard- line against Brexit. And he seems to be only intent on getting the pro-Brexit votes back to his party. He certainly won't get anti-Brexit votes back.

So it could end up with yet another hung parliament and yet another endless parliamentary nightmare. But his gamble is, if he can cause the deadline of October 31t, if he can get that passed and we're out -- deal or no deal as he says.


PEEL: Then he perhaps has that chance of winning on a very hard-line nationalist platform.

FOSTER: Just looking at some of the comments from conservative commentators here. They're urging people to calm down. Suggesting that you know, if he really wanted to undermine parliament he would have suspended parliament until November and allowed Brexit to take place without any parliamentary involvement or debate whatsoever. So he has got something to his argument. Hasn't he, when he says there's ample time for parliament to discuss this?

PEEL: I don't think so. I think the word "ample" appears to mean something different. He's talking about three days before the European Council, and you know, a week and a day after the European Council. That's an incredibly short period of time to debate a huge legislative area.

So I think that's a very cynical statement. And actually, I think we are clearly on the same scenario, which is I think the scenario of Boris Johnson and of his key aide, Dominic Cumming, which is we will crash out and immediately hold an election before the negative side of crashing out becomes too apparent. So even November the 1st or the November 7th election something like that where the chaos that could follow a no deal exit won't be so apparent. FOSTER: Okay. Quentin Peel, appreciate your time. Thank you very much. We are continuing to follow the reaction to this, outrage and shock actually amongst many opposition MPs today to the Prime Minister's call for a suspension of parliament when MPs return next month.


FOSTER: Breaking News into CNN, the UK government asking the Queen to suspend parliament next month just a few days after MPs return from the summer break. That would be a matter of weeks before the Brexit deadline Mr. Johnson releasing a prepared statement. Let's listen in to part of that.


JOHNSON: If you look at what we're doing, we're bringing forward a new list of program on crime on hospitals and making sure that we have the education funding that we need. And there will be ample time on both sides of that crucial October 17th Summit ample time in parliament for MPs to debate the EU to make Brexit and all the other issues ample time.

REPORTER: Prime Minister you seem to have an ambitious domestic agenda. Your government does not have a majority.


REPORTER: Even if the with the DUP it only barely has a majority, should we take form this that you're planning a general election before the end of this year?

JOHNSON: No what would you take from this is we're doing exactly what I said on the steps of Downing Street which is that we must get on with our legislative domestic agenda. People will expect that. We need to get on with the stuff that parliament needs to approve on tackling crime. On building the infrastructure we need, on technology, on leveling up our education and reducing the cost of living. That is why we need a Queen speech and we're going to get on with it.

REPORTER: And you know by the 14th October whether you're going to get a deal and the outlook could be quite different whether you do or whether you don't? So what have you got to say to the public or may be concert about the economic outcomes?

JOHNSON: We need to get on with our domestic agenda. That's why we're announcing a Queen speech for October 14th. Again, thank you.


FOSTER: And he's done with that interview, isn't he?

ROBERTSON: He didn't want any more questions. And even though I think the second question was a little bit irksome to him.

FOSTER: Because it creates so many additional questions about what happens next. ROBERTSON: Everyone has a lot of questions, he doesn't want to answer. The critics are piling up.

FOSTER: What's your number one question?

ROBERTSON: My number one question is I think fundamentally you want to understand from Boris Johnson how much of this is maintaining the bluff and bluster that you're prepared to crash out. We've all bought into it. We all believe him and it's necessary for him to maintain that in order to try to get something of a better wheel out.

FOSTER: Because that's the strategy.

ROBERTSON: But he has said all along that he will crash out and there are those hard liners in his party that will try to block him if he tries to deviate from that. As clearly as we've heard from some commentators today worried about the Brexit Party and where they stand.

So he's got to stay strong on that. But I guess fundamentally I would want to know is how much of this no-deal crashing out is tactics? Because the tactic looks like potentially from the European Union perspective that it, that it's not going to work as a tactic that we will go out without a no deal.

It's that oppressiveness that he's fully intended. He's certainly created the impression that it is. And he's not given the country and the parliamentarians enough time to debate it.

FOSTER: He's on the front foot. It's clear that lot of MPs who are on their summer breaks, have been caught out. I'm shocked by today's announcement.

ROBERTSON: He's on a war footing. He has been since he stepped in I mean he refers to his speech on the steps of Downing Street. And we all saw that as really there was a huge amount of detail. It was a lot that sounded like -- he was running in an election campaign.

So he's been on a war footing since he got in and certainly with your some of your commentators today. Have talked about Dominick Cummings as well, his Chief of Staff behind the scenes, helping set the agenda, set the media tone if you will. Set the messaging, he was an incredibly powerful and manipulative voice in many people's minds, behind the whole Brexit.

The Brexit campaign, helped successful in helping swing that vote to the Leave vote. So this is a very calculated and careful Downing Street that is, that is, that is on a war footing as you would say. The trenches I think on both sides are deepening. The danger and the anger are escalating.

FOSTER: Okay. Nic, thank you. Joining me now a Member of Parliament a Conservative Member of Parliament Dominic Grieve also a fierce Romainer, Mr. Grebe, I think I can describe you as that. Your response to today's announcements? DOMINIC GRIEVE, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: The Prime Minister's decision is a constitutional outrage. Normally, prorogation with the house sitting -- one session plus another typically no more than a week. So to do this, is the middle of a national crisis, it's unprecedented. It's undemocratic, and I think the Prime Minister will come to regret it.

FOSTER: How are you going to move forward? You've obviously had conversations with those opposing a no-deal Brexit not just within your own party, but across the parties and you've had discussions about how you may counter this. What's your plan now?

GRIEVE: Well I'm not going go into the details of our plan, I don't wish to give the Prime Minister Ammunition and information and intelligence. For those reasons, we will discuss amongst ourselves. I remain confident that the House of Parliament can stop the no-deal Brexit, and that the Prime Minister's increasingly desperate attempts to circumvent parliament will not succeed.


FOSTER: Do you think a vote of confidence in the government is likely next week?

GRIEVE: All sorts of things are possible. It's one of the things that is potentially possible. But there are other things that may be might be able to do as well. So it's always good when you're going into a battle of this sort, to have different ranges of weapons at one's disposal.

FOSTER: We haven't actually had confirmation that the Queen has agreed to this suspension, because she has agreed to it but is there any way of you appealing the suspension in itself?

GRIEVE: I think it's possible for the House of Commons to make its unhappiness about making probes. It has to be realistic about prorogation. It lies within the royal prerogative on the advice of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister's is behaving badly. The Queen has really no option but to do it. It's possible it might be challenged in the courts, but I wouldn't want to pronounce on the chances of such a challenge being successful.

FOSTER: Do you think it's most likely that some sort of parliamentary mechanism will be sought to try o counter what the Prime Minister has announced today?

GRIEVE: There may be a variety of things that can be done. But as I say, I'm afraid I'm not going to be drawn on the options.

FOSTER: I mean you know I mean the debates here is that your side of parliament isn't particularly well organized partly because Jeremy Corbyn wants to head up and he sort of interim government there might be if this one falls.

GRIEVE: I would reserve judgments on that and see what happens. FOSTER: In terms of how many members of the conservative party are outraged today, could you give us any sort of qualitative analysis of that?

GRIEVE: I think there's a substantial number of conservative MPs who will be extremely concerned at what the Prime Minister is doing. Many of them are loyal. They've not wanted to come to a crisis. We try to avoid a crisis perhaps more than I have.

But I think that this is likely to be fairly important in determining what they decide to do because they've got to make up their mind now whether they're going to put country before party.

FOSTER: He has put himself in a stronger negotiating position, hasn't he? Outside the UK, with the European Capitals, can he not argue that he is now in control of parliament? Therefore they have to do a deal? This isn't about a no-deal this is about him wanting a deal.

GRIEVE: I'm very dubious about that he's very good at trumpeting his successes or alleged successes, but they're pretty nonexistent. He hasn't started negotiations but when he hear there's no evidence that there's a meeting of the minds to the deal that he wants. In any case a no-deal Brexit is so damaging for the United Kingdom that we will be the principal victims of it for all of those reasons, I don't think that those MPs argument on that there in anyway valid.

FOSTER: So you don't think he wants a deal? He wants a no-deal?

GRIEVE: Well, he may want a deal but he wants a deal on terms, which I don't think he's going to get.

FOSTER: What if he comes back to you and says look, Angela Merkel has given me 30 days to come up with a deal and if you're going to interrupt this process, you're going to risk a deal for Brexit?

GRIEVE: But Angela Merkel hasn't given him 30 days to come up with a deal. It was a throw-away line by her it's become more and more apparent in which she says, she has taken all these years, now you say you're going to take 30 days.

Of course the EU is prepared to negotiate. But the reality is that if he is going to do a deal, he is going to -- 31st of October deadline, anyway. This is all part of the Prime Minister's smoke-and-mirrors policy. He's very good with the gift of the gab. He speaks it's the first thing that comes into his head will come out as facts when any rational analysis shows that most of it is unsustainable.

FOSTER: Finally, are you confident that no, the no-deal cap within parliament across the parties will be able to get a position together this week, ahead of parliament meeting next week?

GRIEVE: I have every hope that that will happen.

FOSTER: Okay. Dominic Grieve, really appreciate your time today.

GRIEVE: Thank you very much. FOSTER: There are many MPs very disappointed and clearly shocked by what the Prime Minister has announced today in terms of the next parliamentary session, we'll get more response, some people calling it a coup on the labor side, coming up on CNN.



FOSTER: A Labor Member of Parliament calling a coup a Conservative Member of Parliament calling it a constitutional outrage the British Prime Minister suspending parliament or creating more of a suspension of parliament if I can tell it that way and in the next parliamentary session which starts next week.

Bill Cash is Conservative MP Chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee as well. What was your response to the news today? Did you have some sort of inkling it was coming?

BILL CASH, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Well, we had heard talk about this kind of thing. But it hasn't yet or hadn't yet become clear. The reality is there's a lot of posturing going on at the moment by people who actually want to reverse the Brexit result.

In other words they didn't like the referendum result, and what they want to do, they come from some, some from the Labor Party, some from the Conservative Party and some from the SMP and so on. They never accepted the result and they will fight and have been fighting for that to be reversed.

Now the bottom line is that the Democratic decision of the British people on the 23rd of June, 2016, was taken as a result of an act of parliament, a Sovereign Act of parliament which quite deliberately, quite deliberately as the Prime Minister at the time, David Cameron made clear, once and for all decision, et cetera, et cetera, that decision was taken by a significant majority.

By act of parliament, deliberately and I emphasize deliberately, giving by act of parliament the right to decide not to MPs, not to parliament, but to the people, and they made their decision. That was followed by an Act of parliament, which is called the Notification Withdrawal Act 499 apart from the fact by the way that the manifestos in 2017 committed us to getting out of the European Union but this notification of Withdrawal Act was passed by 499 to about 120 again, members of parliament voting to withdraw.

Then the Withdrawal Act itself was passed on the 26th of June, 2018, barely a year ago and that decision was taken by every single Conservative MP who voted for it even Kenneth Clarke, voted for withdrawal as the law of the land is quite simple, as endorsed by those folks that some of the - quite obviously clearly intending to try reverse.

The decision was taken the Law of the Land was that we repeal the European Communities Act 1972 on which our membership for the European Union depends, on Exit Day, which is also the Law of the Land on 31st of October.

So that's the position. There's a lot of posturing going on about democracy, sovereignty, they all decided to do this and they knew what they were doing when they did it.


FOSTER: Well, a clear expert on this matter is the House of Commons Speaker, John Bercow; he is calling a defense against Democratic process. However, stressed up is blindingly obvious the purpose of prorogation suspension now would be to stop parliament debating Brexit and performing its duty in shaping a course for the country.

CASH: Well, we've been debating -- I led the Mastery of Rebellion right the way back in the early 1980s.

FOSTER: You sorted all of that Bill Cash. That's the -

CASH: As you may or may not remember. What I'm saying to you is this we've been debating this issue for a very long time. Only very recently to bring us more up to date the decision was taken, I thought wrongly as it turned out, that's my opinion, to take away from the right of the government, under what's known as Standing Order 24, the Right to Determine the business of the government.

Because the whole purpose of our system is parliamentary government, not government by parliament. That is an absolutely fundamental part of our system government by parliament. It's parliament -- it's not, it's parliamentary government, not government by parliament itself.

Now, the sovereignty question was tested in a business motion, which they put forward bearing in mind a business motion is not the Law of the Land. It merely allows certain things to be done. It was taken by a majority of one. Then they got into this bill in which they tried to interfere with the date of our leaving. This is back in April and the bottom line is that the result of that was just completely disintegrated.

Then again they tried it again, this time about eight, ten weeks ago. They tried to do it again and what happened? Well it was very simple -- they lost by 14. And there were 28 suspensions; they're it now trying it again.

They will go on trying and trying, gnawing away at this bone and the bottom line is this -- the decision was taken by the British people. It was deliberately given to the British people and parliament gave it to them. The significant majority of the people who are agitating and saying that it's actually, this is very undemocratic are defying the will of the people and defying the acts of parliament and even their own votes which in many cases they actually cast themselves on behalf of their constituents quite deliberately.

FOSTER: We're talking to Dominic Grieve earlier. He's fiercely against a no-deal Brexit.

CASH: Surprise, surprise. FOSTER: We've have members of parliament not just within your party to try to appeal this. He's very confident they can get something together by next week. It could be parliamentary procedure, he suggested some sort of legal action. That could thwart all of the Prime Minister's intentions outlined today, couldn't it?

CASH: Well, that's what they say. But actually the truth is that the repeal of the European Communities Act 1972 set out in section 1 of the Withdrawal Act, which I just described was passed in June of 2018, is quite clear. It is absolutely crystal clear and it says that on Exit Day, which is the 31st of October which has been done in accordance with the procedures properly to date that the 1972 act is repealed on that day.

And that is a crystal clear decision, the Law of the Land. Now he may argue all kinds of things, but the bottom line is this is not only a question of constitutional propriety because actually the Law of the Land must be obeyed. But furthermore, as I said, what many of them are trying to do is reverse their existing votes, which is an astonishing thing to witness that they actually did it and only recently, too and to reverse the decisions taken in the manifesto.

All on the basis that somehow or other, they feel because they want to remain in the European Union, without ever explaining to anybody why they want to stay in the European Union despite what the people said. I've never had a single coherent argument put forward as to why they want to remain in the European Union. Look at the position in Europe itself with Italy, Greece and Hungary, all these other countries are voting with their feet against the current European Union.

FOSTER: One of the concerns - well, one of the suggestions here is that Boris Johnson certainly does want a deal that's his priority. He wants to get into a position where he can say to Brussels and to Paris and to Berlin -- he's now in control of parliament.

Therefore -- from your end of the party if he comes back to you and says I got some movement on the Irish border -- but I didn't get anything else, is that going to be enough for you?


CASH: Well I've already made it clear I mean my European Scrutiny Committee did a report on this about a year and a half ago. We made it clear that we did not accept the idea as a matter of Constitutional Law that the European Union should dictate to us the guidelines.

Theresa May gave in on that, she suffocated the European Union and I and others sort of forced her into a resignation. The reality is that, that the basis upon which we carry on our relationship with the European Union and whether there is or is not an agreement, is partially dependant as you're quite rightly said about the backstop.

There are some other aspects of it, about the conservative laws on which Boris Johnson was quite clear a couple of days ago. He said we can't be in a position where we're having our laws dictated by other countries without our being in a position to even be there and to influence them. And the reason that we wouldn't be there, is because we would have left the European Union.

FOSTER: Okay. Bill Cash really appreciate your time. Someone here from the --

CASH: Thank you very much.

FOSTER: Thank you very much indeed. That's one view you also heard a view earlier from within the Conservative Party as well saying that this is all a constitutional outrage. If British politics wasn't in murky waters and in chaos already, it certainly is after today's announcement from Downing Street. We'll have more after the break.


FOSTER: Welcome back. Political chaos today in the UK and parliament isn't even sitting and that's because the Prime Minister has announced when parliament does come back into session next week there will be a suspension shortly after which will give no-deal camp, anti-no deal campaigners around Brexit in parliament less time to debate blocking a no deal and that's caused a huge amount of frustration but actually on the other sides of the debate. Let's go to Downing Street where this announcement was made. Anna Stewart is there take us through what you expect to happen next week when it really kicks off then Anna.

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Parliament returns on Tuesday, and we always expected that what would happen would be several days of debate about a Northern Irish report and then a vote the following week. Now I think that will still happen but when they get back they will be pushing ahead to try to find a way around this.

This is of course an opposition MPs and Tory Rebels. Now there are two big options out there that we're looking at potentially the calling of the standing order number 24, essentially an emergency bill. They can ask the speaker to be granted that. Now ordinarily that wouldn't enable any kind of substantive conclusion but they might try to use it to hijack the agenda and from what Bercow said today, it seems he might be likely that he might allow this and allow parliament to really break with convention.


STEWART: He has called this move by the Prime Minister, a constitutional outrage. Now the other options out there potentially a vote of no confidence against the government. Funnily enough, yesterday, opposition MPs all met together, they spoke about the various options to try and block to prevent a no deal Brexit.

One of them was this confidence motion although many thought that probably was no good idea, they would try instead to legislate because perhaps they wouldn't get enough support of Tory Rebels. Now that looks much more likely. Coming Tuesday, while there will have been plenty of phone calls and plenty of reactions. I think we can expect some pretty strong movement in parliament. Max?

FOSTER: We've heard from the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn one of those outraged by what he's seen today. He said the government's position to suspend parliament is an outrage and a threat to our democracy. We understand some MPs have even appealed to the Palace asking for the Queen not to agree to this. It just shows the tension surrounding this whole issue and how it really is coming down to the wire now, Anna. It's more likely now after this announcement that there will be a no deal Brexit.

STEWART: It's more likely there will be a no deal Brexit. It's more likely there will be a general election and more likely that there could be a confidence vote against this government. The stakes have risen here. And what's interesting here is you mention the outrage from the main opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn of the Labor Party.

But you know what the outrage is across all the parties, Chuck Ameen of Liberal Democrat saying the Prime Minister is behaving like a tin pot dictator. And let me show you a tweet by Phillip Hammond, the Former Chancellor of Exchequer also a Tory MP and now of course a Rebel. He said it would be a constitutional outrage if parliament were prevented from holding the government to account at a time of national crisis, profoundly undemocratic.

And I think what's so interesting is the Prime Minister said he's not doing anything unusual. This has been the longest parliamentary session in 400 years. In order to pass his domestic policies now he's Prime Minister, he needs the Queen's speech. He needs a new session of parliament. But to do it at this time of course everyone is reading that as a way he's trying to stop any kind of rebellion against him to prevent a no-deal Brexit. Max?

FOSTER: If I can put your business hat on for a moment Anna, we're seeing the pound is down .63 percent 2/3rd of 1 percent today, against the U.S. Dollar. Actually the markets have held up pretty well throughout this whole process but are they starting to shake now?

STEWART: Well I think the pound has been significantly down since Boris Johnson became the Prime Minister. That in and of itself, raised the chance of a no deal Brexit and this was always going to be it was called the nuclear option, the idea he would provoke parliament before that Brexit deadline.

So a lot of it was already taken into account. If you look at the share prices, the home builders are down today a very sensitive stock of course for any kind of economic uncertainty in the UK. So we're seeing falls, but not huge. In the context of Boris Johnson and his time as Prime Minister, and just the few short weeks the pound is significantly down, Max.

FOSTER: In terms of what the response might be from parliament next week. I know you've reported on how these MPs who oppose a no deal are trying to get together. We spoke to Dominic Grieve earlier on he won't tell us what their plan is now. But he thinks actually there is a mechanism for them to block what was announced today, either through the parliament or the courts. Do you think that they're organized enough though honestly to get that through within a week?

STEWART: From what I understand right now, there are huge consultations going on, on the phone, across email, trying to find a way round this and the speaker, John Bercow, is definitely a part of that as well. I think he'll be giving his advice and what's possible at least from a legislative parliamentary side of things. Of course as he mentioned the coups.

What's interesting is Dominic Grieve you spoke to of course, the Former Attorney General he is not showing his hand. He is making sure that he keeps some of those calls back just to ensure that as he said the Prime Minister doesn't play dirty tricks against him. There's such a lack of trust here.

There are options in parliament. It would be highly unconventional for some of them to be used in the way that they would be to really take the agenda away from the government. The MPs to hijack that would be absolutely extraordinary. But I think it's what we can expect at least an attempt for that to happen next week. Max?

FOSTER: Anna, thank you very much indeed. Anna there throughout the day we're also getting reaction from parliament and the MPs there, also in the wider world European Commission not commending so far on this. Says it's an internal matter. We'll continue to monitor it for you. We go across to "New Day" now though with Alisyn and John.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, ANCHOR, CNN NEW DAY: Around the world, this is "New Day" and we do begin with big breaking weather news for you. Puerto Rico is now bracing for a direct hit from tropical storm Dorian. The National Hurricane Center says Dorian's track has significantly changed overnight. Dorian is now expected to strike the eastern side of the Island of Puerto Rico--