Hannan vs. Amanpour on Brexit: You Were Shouting "Racist!" You Weren't Listening To What We Were Saying


Christiane Amanpour asks British MEP Daniel Hannan if the 'Leave' campaign has a Brexit plan following the EU referendum vote. A fiery exchange between Hannan and the CNN anchor over immigration and the 'Leave' campaign's message followed. Transcript, via CNN:

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN: Just which pound he's talking about is unclear because it has been anything but stable. Loosing 12 percent of its value since the Brexit

vote, which is a 30-year low. And markets are still in disarray, the Dow Jones still lose 1.5 percent today. The U.S. foreign secretary John Kerry

is in London and together with his British counterpart Phillip Hammond reaffirmed the two country's special relationship.

I'm joined now by Daniel Hannan, he's a conservative MEP who backed the leave campaign and who says he's never felt more proud to be British.

Welcome back to the program Daniel Hannan.


AMANPOUR: So proud to be British, and of course a lot people are saying, a new dawn independence day, but the truth is, that all day the question is

being asked, what is the plan. And we're not hearing it from the main Brexit leaders. We hear the Prime Minister lay out a plan, the

negotiations and pre-negotiations. What is the plan?

HANNAN: Well, he is still the prime minister, so you're in a way assigning responsibility without power. You're saying, what do we want to do when

we're not in office, right?

AMANPOUR: So basically he has to -- the guy who lost has to figure out your ...

HANNAN: I would have liked him to have appointed one of the leave campaigners as the person in charge of the negotiation, I was hoping that

would happen today and then we could have got going with the process. But I don't think there's any secret about what the plan is, it's a

repatriation of power. We have to of course accept the constraint of a very narrow result, 48 percent of British people voted for no change, we

can't just wish that fact away, we have to respect their opinions.

Two of the four nations within the U.K. voted for the status quo, and so we may have to temper what we're doing and go for a more gradual and more

phased repatriation of power while leaving some of the existing stuff in place.

[14:05:05] AMANPOUR: Is there distinct though -- nine hearing, you know, a very mush softer, gentler version of what you proposed during the campaign,

temper some of the stuff, like what? Like immigration? Because you yourself have sort of step back, so is Boris Johnson.

HANNAN: Hang on, what have I said ...

AMANPOUR: You have said ...


AMANPOUR: ... that ...

HANNAN: That we want control back ...

AMANPOUR: No, no, you have said that maybe ...

HANNAN: When did I never said that?

AMANPOUR: Listen, and you know and you've been through all of these on other channels, the reason people voted, the majority of them, and I can

play you what they've said ...


HANNAN: ... you just accused me doing a U-turn ...

AMANPOUR: No, backtracking ...

HANNAN: OK, you've accused me backtracking. When I have ever said anything ...

AMANPOUR: You have said and your lead campaign, and you are the lead spokesman of the leave campaign that immigration in the free flow of

movement would be ...

HANNAN: I've never ever said that, I've written a book called, "Why Vote Leave" ...


AMANPOUR: Would you agree that the leave campaign main objective in terms of sovereignty ...

HANNAN: Before I answer would you please retract ...

AMANPOUR: No, I'm not retracting anything.

HANNAN: Then, people at home can Google this, they can look at what I've said and they can see what is fair. But you to accuse me of having done


AMANPOUR: Let me ask you, are you then saying that this immigration is going to be much lighter than you all promised?

HANNAN: I have never ever made any comment on numbers ever. On the contrary I've said ...

AMANPOUR: No you've said no free movement ...

HANNAN: What we said is we would take back control. Now what that means is that a foreign court should no longer get to determine who can reside in

this country, who can enter this country, that that should be a question for parliamentary sovereignty. We are clear about that.

AMANPOUR: So you're saying that parliamentary sovereignty could quite easily allow the same number of people to keep coming in?

HANNAN: That will be a decision for parliament, that's how democracy works.

AMANPOUR: But this whole thing was run ...

HANNAN: You guys have been shouting racist so long you're not listening to what we actually say.

AMANPOUR: Did I say that?

HANNAN: When I have ever say made immigration ...

AMANPOUR: Did I say that?

HANNAN: You have accused me backtracking. And I want you give me one bit of evidence, did I ever said anything ...

AMANPOUR: Yeah, let me play you sound byte, you refused -- but I'm going to tell you what they say of why people say they voted for leave mostly.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are you elated?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's all about immigration, it's not about trade, Europe, anything like that. It's all about immigration. It's to stop that

Muslims from coming into this country, as simple as that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think you've voted to leave the E.U. to leave Muslims come into the country?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To stop immigration.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But the movement of people in Europe fair at all (ph), but not from Africa, Saudi, Iraq, everywhere else, it's all wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible) everything to Germany, my parents, my grandparents fought for England to be free and it's about time that we'll

come back to be free.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Foreigners keep coming, and that's all I've got say actually.


AMANPOUR: So, just tell me what you plan for immigration because you know and we've all know, because we've done this endlessly for months. You even

said -- your group even said that if we have to leave the single market, in order not to have the free flow of labor, and people would have to leave

the single market, now they're backtracking all that.

HANNAN: This is a global country, a merchant country, a maritime country. We've always been connected to every continent and archipelago, right? The

argument against the E.U. is that it's in decline and that we can do better raising our eyes to more opulent market services. That has been my

argument throughout on every interview, every speech, and I've written a book, called "Why Vote Leave" where it's all set out. You will not find

any argument ...

AMANPOUR: But you did Boris Johnson and you did ...


HANNAN: If I was relying on CNN as my only source of evidence, I would think that this was nativist vote, a protectionist vote, it's the opposite



HANNAN: ... we can do better than just a regional ...


AMANPOUR: Are you concerned about some of the post-Brexit hate crimes, the graffiti, the hurling of insults ...

HANNAN: Oh come on, and that's not our fault.

AMANPOUR: The prime minister started ...


HANNAN: ... in every country ...


AMANPOUR: As a politician, are you concern about some of the fallout ...

HANNAN: In every society you have some racist idiots. But for you to suggest, without any connection that this is somehow connected to the campaign, that you couldn't have had that there were no racist in Britain before, that there are no ...

AMANPOUR: Daniel that's not what I was saying, I said, are you concerned about the fallout and the hate crime ...

HANNAN: Why assume there is fallout? Why assume there is fallout?


[14:10:00] AMANPOUR: Daniel, let's not be tautological here, you haven't voted out ...

HANNAN: What you are suggesting is outrageous, what you are suggesting is that there is a connection between people who voted for more democracy and

some of ...


AMANPOUR: We have the evidence and I put it on the air ...

HANNAN: What evidence, you show me a link between the vote and ...

AMANPOUR: We will show you the graffiti on the polish community ...

HANNAN: There are some bad people, right? Of course we condemn that but ...

AMANPOUR: 57 percent rise in hate crimes according to police.


AMANPOUR: According to the police here, I'm not making it up. I'm just asking you, are you concern ...


HANNAN: Well of course, that goes with what I'm saying, why do I need to say that?

AMANPOUR: You won't answer the other one. Now let me ask you this about Boris Johnson, OK? Who's maybe, at least he's trying to be the next prime

minister and party leader. This is what he said in his column which is written here, he hasn't gone out and made a big vision speech or big plan

speech, he's written it in a column for which he gets paid a lot of money.

He said, "I cannot stress too much that Britain is part of Europe, and always will be. There will still be intense and intensifying European

cooperation and partnership in a huge number of fields. There will continue to be free trade and access to the single market. Britain is and

always will be a great European power, offering top-table opinions and giving leadership on everything from foreign policy to defense, to counter-

terrorism and intelligence-sharing."

You see I thought this referendum was about disassociating from the E.U.

HANNAN: I get that you thought that. You were evidently not listening to us.

AMANPOUR: So it wasn't.

HANNAN: Correct.

AMANPOUR: It wasn't about disassociating from the E.U.

HANNAN: May I tell you what it was about without interruption?

AMANPOUR: Please. Yes.

HANNAN: It was about an internationalist global Britain, a multi-regulated Britain, a freer Britain and a mode democratic Britain, one that is

interested and engaged with every continent including Europe. I speak French, I speak Spanish, I lived and worked all over Europe, I have

absolutely no -- with collaborating with our immediate neighbors.

AMANPOUR: I understand that. How do you expect to be a leader at all these tables when you're not part of the E.U. because they have ...

HANNAN: It's the largest economy in the world where ...


HANNAN: ... permanency told us, on the U.N. security council, I don't think we need to moderate all our foreign policy through Mrs. Mogherini.

But the way -- the implication here that people have just voted for closing doors, for protectionism, which was -- has been theme (ph) is just the

opposite of what we were actually campaigning on. We were making a liberal argument for a global engaged international Britain, and we want to look

beyond a declining innovated Euro zone to the growing markets of other field where we have connections.

AMANPOUR: All right, well we will continue this conversation. Daniel Hannan, thank you very much indeed for joining me tonight.

HANNAN: Thank you.

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