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Saudis Seek Death Penalty for Five Suspects in Khashoggi Murder; U.S. Sanctions 17 Saudi Officials Over Khashoggi’s Murder; Donald Tusk:

November 16, 2018



<Date: November 15, 2018>

<Time: 15:00:00>

<Tran: 111502cb.k40>

<Type: SHOW>

<Head: Saudis Seek Death Penalty for Five Suspects in Khashoggi Murder;

U.S. Sanctions 17 Saudi Officials Over Khashoggi’s Murder; Donald Tusk:

“No-Brexit Scenario” Still Possible; Brexit Supporter Criticizes Theresa

May and Her Deal; Theresa May Comes Out Fighting Amid Political Turmoil - Part 2>

<Sect: News; International>

<Byline: Hala Gorani, Elise Labott, Erin McLaughlin>

<Guest: Nigel Huddleston, Antony Phillipson, Rushanara Ali, John

Longworth, Mark Littlewood, Jack Blanchard >

<High: Saudis seek death penalty for five suspects in Khashoggi murder.

U.S. sanctions 17 Saudi officials over Khashoggi’s murder. European Council

President says a no-Brexit scenario is still possible. Brexit supporter

criticizes Theresa May and her deal. Theresa May comes out fighting amid

political turmoil.>

<Spec: Saudi Arabia; Jamal Khashoggi; U.S.; Donald Tusk; Jacob Rees-Mogg;

Theresa May>

<Time: 15:30>

<End: 16:00>

And banking was certainly one. RBS closed down nearly 10%, wiping some $3.6 billion off its market cap. And I just want to read you some of the sort of doomy gloomy scenarios we’ve had from various people today. We spoke to UBS earlier and they say, the risk of a disorderly Brexit certainly rose today and they said that if there was to be a hard Brexit and we kind of fell out of EU, the UK economy could be up to 10% smaller by 2023.

S&P the rating agency, they kept that outlook as it is at the moment, but they said in the event of a hard Brexit, they would expect sterling to drop some 15% against the dollar. So there you have the extreme risk we could see and the IMF have said that hard Brexit would see UK output drop maybe 5% or 8%. So lots of gloomy outlooks. This is why investors are very, very nervous, why sterling was down and why many of the stocks were punished today. Hala.

GORANI: All right, thanks very much, Anna. Coming up, we’ll bring you up to date on some other major world news. In Saudi Arabia, prosecutors reveal the Kingdom’s official version of Jamal Kashoggi’s death confirming some disturbing details of the journalist’s murder.



[15:30:00] HALA GORANI, HOST, HALA GORANI TONIGHT: Welcome back. We’re coming to you live from Westminster tonight following chaos in the British government. But here’s another big story we want to update you on. Saudi prosecutors are revealing grisly details of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

And they are vowing to seek the death penalty against five of the 11 suspects. They say Khashoggi was injected with a deadly dose of a sedative after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, then that his body was dismembered. Prosecutors say that was not the original plan and they insist that the Saudi Crown prince had nothing to do with it and no knowledge of it.

Now, the United States responded to that statement by announcing economic sanctions against seven Saudi officials. Elise Labott joins us from Washington. Before we get to the detail of the sanctions, are U.S. authorities buying this version of events that these were just rogue assassins that just happened to be able to dismember the body and happened to have a collaborator in Istanbul that would dispose of it.

ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, how the public lied is that there’s no evidence or I mean, it’s not even public, it’s kind of a -- you know, anonymous officials saying that there’s no evidence that the Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman ordered this killing and that, you know, even though its members close to him, members of the royal court, they’re saying there’s no evidence he himself --

GORANI: Can I have a sheet?

LABOTT: Ordered the killing. But I think privately, there are serious concerns. Let’s face it, these are men that were, you know, super close to him, his inner circle, I think there’s a recognition that, you know, even if the Crown Prince did not order the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, that he did know that there was some kind of operation going on, whether it was a rendition, whether it was, you know, actively trying to persuade him to return home.

So I don’t think they think his hands are completely clean, but in the absence of a smoking gun, I think they’re willing to follow the Saudi narrative that this was an operation that in the end went terribly awry.

GORANI: And what are this -- I mean, we know that these sanctions have been announced targeting 17 individuals. What type of sanctions are we talking about and who are the individuals?

LABOTT: These are, you know, similar to the 18 that the Saudis had named several weeks ago, suspects in the case that were involved in the operation. We understand 15 or so as the Saudis said in their statement by the prosecutor today, 15 or so were on various teams of the operation.

These are also individuals that were sanctioned a few weeks ago under a different executive order. This one is under the Magnitsky Act which is an effect we know that this was initially sanctions regime for Russia, but now it involves individuals that are responsible for human rights, abuses across the world and there are much more a stringent there.

Travel bans, there are asset freezes, all sorts of bans on dealing -- doing business for U.S. individuals with these individuals. And I think it remains to be seen whether the U.S. is prepared to sanction the Saudi government. All instances kind of say no.

Again, in the absence of a, you know, a directive from the leadership of Saudi and the absence of that smoking gun, it seems that the U.S. does not want to sanction the government. It remains to be seen what Congress will do. Certainly, they have the purse strings and they do have to approve arms sales with Saudi Arabia, something President Trump has said he’s not willing to sacrifice.

But I think if you’re going to see further action, it could be from Congress.

GORANI: All right, Elise Labott at the State Department over in Washington I should say. Thanks very much for that update as the Saudi prosecutor puts out the official version of the circumstances surrounding Jamal Khashoggi’s murder in Istanbul.

[15:35:00] With the Brexit deal now in crisis, Donald Tusk; the president of the European Council said that the EU is still prepared for the U.K. to cancel Brexit.


DONALD TUSK, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COUNCIL: It is not for me to comment on the latest developments in London. All I can say is that the EU is prepared for a final deal with the United Kingdom in November. We’re also prepared for a no-deal scenario. But of course, we are best prepared for a no Brexit scenario.


GORANI: Back here in London, the critical and vocal Brexiteer Jacob Rees- Mogg had a very busy day, apparently, trying to lead the rebellion against this deal and maybe even against Theresa May herself. He started in parliament.


JACOB REES-MOGG, CONSERVATIVE MP & LEADING BREXITEER: My right honorable friend, and she is unquestionably honorable --


REES-MOGG: Said that we would leave the Customs Union, annex two says otherwise. My right honorable friend said that she would maintain the integrity of the United Kingdom, her whole protocol says otherwise. My right honorable friend said that we would be out of the jurisdiction of the European court of Justice, article 174 says otherwise.

As all my right honorable friend says and what my right honorable friend does no longer match, should I not write to my right honorable friend, the member for Altrincham and Sale West?


GORANI: Well, he asked the question dramatically, why shouldn’t he write a letter of no confidence, and just a few hours later, he answered it.


REES-MOGG: Well, that’s what democracy is about. You make your case and then you have the vote and you accept the result. Many people of the 48 percent as shown by opinion polls accept the result even though they did not like it. And that’s the nobility of our democracy and that what we have voted for should be implemented and the Prime Minister is not doing that, and that is why I have no confidence.


GORANI: I want to bring in Tory MP Nigel Huddleston, he’s parliamentary private secretary for Digital and Culture. And he joins me now live. You’re supportive of Theresa May’s deal.

NIGEL HUDDLESTON, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Yes, I have, I think it’s a sensible and reasonable deal that actually fulfills most of the requirements that most people said they wanted when they voted for Brexit.

GORANI: Critics say it’s the worst of both worlds because you have no say over rules that you must abide by now if you adopt it.

HUDDLESTON: I don’t think that’s the case, and also there are some ideological purists out there who want, you know, the 100 percent of exactly what they want. That’s not going to happen. It was never part of the deal, it was never going to be, the EU would not give us that. And I think we all have to be a bit flexible, compromise a little bit and be pragmatic, and both the EU and the U.K. have done that.

So much as I respect Jacob, I’ve known him for a long period of time, he’s one of those ideological purists and I don’t think he’s going to get what he wants under any circumstances or under any leader.

GORANI: Well, he’s trying to oust Theresa May.

HUDDLESTON: He is -- well, he’s one of a few people who have put their letters in so far at least, I’m not aware of it reaching that magic number to trigger --

GORANI: Forty eight --

HUDDLESTON: Forty eight needed out of 315 MPs. And I think even if they do reach that number and there will be a vote, Theresa May will get re- elected with a massive majority.

GORANI: But there’s another important number, and that is that she needs a majority in parliament --


GORANI: To get this deal through. It doesn’t seem like she has those numbers yet.

HUDDLESTON: Not yet, and I think we’ve all got to go back to our constituencies this weekend and talk to our constituents and businesses there and say, look, is this a deal that you can accept? It may not be perfect, but is it a deal that you can accept or do you want the alternative?

And the alternative is crashing out without a deal, and that is too horrendous for too many people to consider --

GORANI: Well, I’ve spoken to many MPs over the last 48 hours and those who support Brexit say there’s no crashing out, it’s not even the right term. Peter Bone for instance said we’ve been trading with the U.S. without being in a single market with the U.S. for many decades, it’s never been an issue, we can do the same with the EU.

HUDDLESTON: Well, we’ve got rules and guidelines with our trade with the U.S. and many of the countries around the world. The problem is if we default to this, will trade organization default? It’s silent on non- existence on sways of industry like aviation.

So all of a sudden, we’d have to maniacally come in with hundreds of bilateral agreements that would cause absolutely chaos. Now, we are so close to a deal, this almost, you know, acceptable to large numbers of people was so close. Can we not just all agree to just compromise just a little bit more and we don’t need that chaos.

GORANI: Well, the good thing about the situation your country is in now is that we actually have dates. We have -- we have hurdles that are clearly sign --


GORANI: Posted now. So it’s not this indefinite open-ended thing. You need this agreement to be ratified and discussed officially in Brussels on November 25th.


GORANI: Yes, and once that happens, you’ve -- that’s one hurdle that’s kind of been overcome.

[15:40:00] HUDDLESTON: You’re right and the clock is ticking, and then it’s highly like that we will vote on it in parliament before Christmas. And the issue is now, can we gather any more compromises from the EU? It’s very difficult to think of the mechanics of that happening. It may be possible --

GORANI: Well, she doesn’t have a Brexit secretary, Prime Minister May yet --

HUDDLESTON: Not at the moment, watch this space, I should think within 24 hours, we’ll have a new one.

GORANI: Who do you expect will get the job?

HUDDLESTON: I don’t know this talk about the Michael Gove, but to be honest, there’s a lot of talent on the back bench, which is at the conservative party and I think there’s many people who could do the job.

GORANI: All right, Nigel Huddleston, Tory MP, thank you for joining us on Cnn, we appreciate it. And what is the EU saying about all this? Erin McLaughlin is in Brussels, what are you hearing, Erin?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Hala, well, Brexit very much on the minds of EU leaders here in Brussels today, although they’re not commenting on the specifics of the political drama unfolding there in London. The president of the European Council today and now start extraordinary summit that is scheduled on Brexit for November 25th.

He reiterated Brussels opposition that Brexit is a lose-lose proposition for both the U.K. and the EU. He pledged to the British people that this process will be as painless as possible, that he’ll make it. So -- but he also said that EU is preparing for all eventualities.

It is preparing for a no-deal scenario, it’s preparing for the deal to go through. But it’s also -- he said best prepared for a no Brexit scenario, a comment which ruffled a few feathers there in the United Kingdom. As it stands now though, the wheels are in motion for this extraordinary summit, the 585-page text, the withdrawal agreement has been distributed to all 27 capitals to be scrutinized line-by-line.

The EU ambassadors are expected to meet here in Brussels tomorrow to saying that he hopes they won’t have too many comments on that as it’s not a done deal just yet. A major outstanding issue in all of this, though, is the political --


Excuse me, is the political declaration, that is the political declaration on the future relationship between the U.K. and the EU. That has not being finalized, that has yet to still be negotiated, although I’m told that there is an outline for that.

The details have yet to be hammered out, that is an active negotiation that needs to conclude between the U.K. and the EU. The deadline for that is Tuesday. It’s unclear given the political dynamics playing out there in London, how that’s going to get done at this point, Hala.

GORANI: All right, Erin McLaughlin, so much uncertainty in both capitals. Many questions about Britain’s economic future are still unanswered, I’ll be joined by the British Trade Commissioner to North America, he is the man in charge of finding new deals, new trade deals once the U.K. is out of the EU. We’ll be right back.


GORANI: Twenty months of fraught Brexit negotiations have brought us to this day. At the start, there were eight main points of contention. Now, we know the draft plan. When it comes to how much the U.K. will pay the EU for leaving, the draft says that Britain will honor all existing commitments to the EU through 2020.

That has previously been estimated at $65 billion. London’s status as a global financial center appears at risk, fewer than 300 words in the draft address and the draft text addressed the U.K.’s financial sector. It says that U.K. firms will be treated just like those outside the EU without any clear special access to the single market.

And a hard border with Ireland is avoided for now. The U.K. will stay inside the Customs Union and will be barred from doing anything that undercuts the EU. Northern Ireland’s DUP; the party which Theresa May needs to stay in power may not approve of this plan.

In fact, one of the MPs for the DUP said they will oppose it or told us this yesterday. Antony Phillipson is the U.K. Trade Commissioner to North America and he joins me now from New York. So you are first-appointed -- you are the first person appointed to this post after the U.K. exits the EU, you will be the point person to discuss any future trade relationships between the U.K. and the U.S., is that correct?

ANTONY PHILLIPSON, BRITISH TRADE COMMISSIONER TO NORTH AMERICA: Well, my role covers trade and investment priorities across the U.S. and Canada, but it’s part of a team of officials based in the U.K. and based in our embassy in Washington.

And we’ve actually been talking to the U.S. as part of a trade investment working group established between Secretary of State Liam Fox and Ambassador Owen Lighthizer(ph) in July last year about the breadth of our trade and investment relationship including crucially our ambitions to deepen and strengthen that partnership through an ambitious free trade agreement as soon as we leave the EU.

GORANI: And how will the relationship change between the U.K. and the U.S. after Brexit? Because obviously there is an existing trade relationship between the EU and the U.S., the U.K. is still part of the EU.

PHILLIPSON: So yes. There is a very deep relationship between the EU and U.S., but I’d also say, to stress it, there’s a very deep relationship between the U.K. and the U.S. The U.S. is our number one export partner with the biggest investors in each other’s country.

There are a million Brits who go to work each day for U.S. companies and a million Americans who go to work each day for British companies. And our ambition is to deepen and strengthen that as we leave the EU. And that will come in phases when we get into the implementation period after the March 29th next year when we leave the EU, we will be able, according to the terms set out in the draft withdrawal agreement yesterday.

We will be able to negotiate and even ratify trade deals. And then as we get out of the implementation period into the future partnerships, which I would just stress, I mean, was the shorter of the two documents published yesterday. But it sets out a very clear ambition between the U.K. and the EU for our future partnership in the trade and economic space and the security space that will leave us free to deepen and strengthen our relationship with the U.S. going forward.

GORANI: And do you -- do you support this draft text? Do you think it’s the best agreement that Theresa May could have negotiated?

PHILLIPSON: The Prime Minister has made it very clear that her ambition and her intent throughout this process has been to establish a future relationship between the U.K. and the EU that provides for our future security and our future prosperity.

She’s also made clear that she intends to ensure that we can leave in an orderly manner, and that’s what the withdrawal agreement provides for, especially in the context of the implementation period. That will mean that business and others have time to transition for an existing relationship to the future relationship.

That is what is set out in the withdrawal agreement, and that is what the Prime Minister intends to deliver over the coming weeks and months.

GORANI: Yes, I won’t dispute all those points you just made, but do you personally support the draft text? Do you think it’s the best deal that Theresa May could have negotiated?

PHILLIPSON: I’m a civil servant, I support the government of the day and we will do everything we can to prosecute the government’s intent and the government’s policies, so yes, I do.

GORANI: All right, now, when you say that the U.S. is the U.K.‘s biggest trading partner, you mean individual countries? Because the EU, 43 percent of the trade that the U.K.’s trade is with the EU, isn’t it?

[15:50:00] PHILLIPSON: Yes, the U.S. is our single biggest export partner in terms of countries, yes.

GORANI: Right, but as far as a single market is concerned, the EU is still your biggest partner.

PHILLIPSON: The EU is a significant economic partner now and will be in the future, which is why the Prime Minister has always said that our ambition is, as we leave the EU to establish the terms of a future partnership that allows us to continue to trade with the EU, continue to invest with the EU and then indeed continue to work with the EU on some of the big global challenges that we will face in the world in the years ahead.

GORANI: What is something you’ll be able to do unilaterally with the U.S. that you’re not able to do in terms of trade as members of the EU?

PHILLIPSON: So as a member of the EU, we are not able to pursue an independent trade policy in the context of, for example, agreeing a different tariff rate for a particular product. We are also bound by the duty of sincere cooperation, which we will not be bound by once we have left the EU.

So we’ll be able to agree our own trade agreements that are more specifically focused on the future needs of the British economy across the service industries, across advanced manufacturing and life sciences. But I would just stress that, you know, we’re not looking to tear up the relationship that we have with the EU.

We we’re looking to establish a new partnership, a new relationship. The Prime Minister has said many times we are leaving the EU, but we’re not leaving Europe. We are still committed to the prosperity and security of citizens across Europe and we still expect to be a major strategic partner of the EU across both the prosperity and security agendas.

GORANI: Antony Phillipson; the Trade Commissioner to North America, joining us from New York, thank you very much for being on the program. We’re going to take a quick break, we’ll be right back.


GORANI: Earlier today, Theresa May faced a tough reception when she presented the Brexit draft agreement to the House of Commons. The opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn had some harsh words for the Prime Minister’s deal, calling it a leap into the dark.

Let’s talk to a member of Corbyn’s Labor Party, Rushanara Ali; Labor MP and who sits on the Treasury Select Committee and joins us now live. Thanks for being with us, so you’re against this deal because you want a second referendum, because you think this deal is essentially the worst of both worlds.

RUSHANARA ALI, BRITISH LABOR MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: It is -- it is the worst of both worlds because we actually have a much better deal within the European Union at the moment. And the hard line Brexiteers, when they campaigned for the referendum in 2016, promised that we would have a better deal if we left the European Union, that we could benefit from exactly the same benefits by leaving the European Union.

And that it wouldn’t cost the British economy and it wouldn’t have -- do harm to the British people.

[15:55:00] But what we’re finding is that this deal has a temporary Customs Union, it will cost 39 billion pounds to leave, and it is not clear what the trading relationship -- future trading relationship with the European Union for the United Kingdom will be.

GORANI: But what will your party do --

ALI: So actually, it’s a very weak proposal after --

GORANI: What will --

ALI: Nearly two years of negotiation.

GORANI: What will your party do to advance the cause of calling for a second referendum because your party leader Jeremy Corbyn has not been the most passionate remainer. I mean, there’s some interviews he’s given where he said this is irreversible and it doesn’t -- he does not send a message that he is, you know, very passionate about staying within the EU.

ALI: Well, what he’s made clear is that we want to see Britain’s interests being served. And that means our economic interests, that means that we have access to the single market, that we have a Customs Union that is permanent, that we have -- that we protect people’s --

GORANI: Staying in the EU basically --

ALI: Protect people’s rights and standards and environmental protections. Our six tests, and this deal doesn’t provide that. It’s not really much of a deal. Now, what we’re saying is that --

GORANI: Yes --

ALI: We in our conference set out what our tests are, but also that in the event that there isn’t a good enough deal, and there isn’t -- and it doesn’t succeed, it doesn’t look -- the government doesn’t win and it doesn’t have the confidence of parliament as you will have seen today.

Then there should be the option of having a second referendum with the option --

GORANI: But there’s no --

ALI: Of staying in or voting on this deal --

GORANI: Is there’s a political backing for a second referendum?

ALI: Well --

GORANI: It doesn’t sound like this is the most --

ALI: Well, actually, I think that the --

GORANI: Probable --

ALI: Interest in a second referendum on this deal and the other options has grown and public opinion is increasing support. There’s increasing support for it. The reason is because we have had nearly two years of this government trying to come back with a deal that is supposed to be better, supposed to provide the exact same benefits, frictionless trade and the rest of it.

It’s not happened. What it shows is that you cannot have your cake and eat it. That’s what it exposes, it’s an impossible situation. So the government is going to be left with very few options if they lose this vote, which they will because there isn’t a majority in the House that will support Theresa May’s deal.

GORANI: All right, Rushanara Ali, Labor MP, thanks so much for joining us on Cnn --

ALI: Thank you --

GORANI: And thank you for joining us for this special report, I’m Hala Gorani outside the houses of parliament. “THE LEAD” with Jake Tapper is next.



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