we have to end it right there, but thank you sirjohn major hello. this is bbc news. forjoining us on hardtalk. thank you. our top story — the lion air crash in indonesia. lawyers for the families of those who died in the boeing 737 max say they have been cheated out of compensation. it's after the bbc discovers many families who lost loved ones were persuaded to sign agreements that prevent them from taking legal action against boeing. one of india's largest cities is running out of water. millions of people in chennai are struggling as taps run dry. a lack of monsoon rains last year — which the city relies on — is one of the causes. and this video is trending on bbc.com: a waterspout spins over lake pontchartrain in new orleans as the city braces for a hurricane. tropical storm barry is forecast to hit on friday. that's all. stay with bbc world news. now on bbc news, it's
time for hardtalk. apologies for that. we will bring the programme to you in a few minutes time. stay with us, we are having a couple of technical difficulties. you can keep up—to—date on all the stories we're covering online at our website and you can also reach me on twitter. we have plenty more of all of our top stories. let's bring you a quick i'm rico hizon in singapore. weather update. thursday brought us the headlines: a warm and humid day across many parts of the country but we also had the lion air crash in indonesia — lawyers say the families of those heavy showers and thunderstorms as who died in the boeing 737 max have well. been cheated out of compensation. a mix of sunny spells on friday and a few showers around across eastern england and eastern scotland but many of us will avoid the showers president trump has ordered that we have an area of low pushing all government agencies to provide off towards the east with high pressure waiting out in the west records that will help determine how many non—citizens and illegal dominating more as we head through immigrants live in the us. the weekend. friday morning a
reasonably mild start to the day, we will leave no stone unturned. dry for most places, more cloud for northern ireland in the north—west of scotla nd northern ireland in the north—west of scotland will bring drizzly rain and a bit of mist mist. some areas also in the programme. should be dry was sunshine but the daily struggle for water. afternoon showers bubbling up one of india's biggest cities anywhere from east anglia to lincolnshire towards eastern scotla nd lincolnshire towards eastern scotland as well. we could not rule out a couple of passing showers at wimbledon during friday afternoon or saturday afternoon. as we head through friday night into the early hours of saturday, dry unsettled weather with clear spells on the overnight temperature will be a little lower than recent nodes are not quite as warm or as than recent nodes are not quite as warm oras humid than recent nodes are not quite as warm or as humid as we start the weekend. through the day on
saturday, a chance of a couple of showers lingering particularly in the east but this area of high pressure is building in from the west as we move through saturday and on into sunday. a little change in wind direction with the wind coming in from more of a westerly direction but into saturday, the wind will turn more north—west league bringing rain to the north—west of scotland and then it is parts of eastern scotland, north—east england down the spine of england that will start to see a few isolated showers cropping up. most places will avoid them is. a few long spells of sunshine and temperatures between 17- 23 sunshine and temperatures between i7— 23 degrees. not as hot nor as humid as it has been in recent days. heading into sunday as high pressure builds it looks dry unsettled, not a lot of showers around. a little cooler with the breeze coming in off the sea around the east coast and the sea around the east coast and the warmest of the weather towards the warmest of the weather towards the south—west with temperatures in cardiff around 25 degrees. just the chance of a passing shower but most places will avoid them. it stays dry and settled into the start of the new working week, chance of things
johnson and jeremy hunt boils down to brexit. who do conservatives believe is better equipped to navigate the and constitutional crisis that looms as the departure date of october 31 draws near? my guest is former prime minister sir john major. what kind of conservative party and country will emerge from the mess? sirjohn major. welcome to hardtalk. conservative party leadership is in its final lap. you have been
watching it very closely. what is it telling you about the state of your party? i have been a member of the conservative party since my 16th birthday. it's been a very large part of my life. i owe a great deal to it and i hope i have given quite a lot to it. i do not think i have ever seen the party so divided or in such difficulty as it is at the moment. and we need as we look forward, first to look at what is right for the country. let me make that point absolutely clear, that the country is infinitely more important than the party. and if asked to choose between the two, i would unhesitatingly choose the interest of the country. but, we do need a prime minister who can bring the country together. we need a prime minister who can negotiate with europe. we need a prime minister we can trust and whose word we can trust. and we need a serious man for serious times. the justice secretary, of this current conservative government, said this, a short time ago, talking about the political atmosphere.
he said that a willingness by politicians to say what they think the public wants to hear, and there is right now a willingness from the public to believe what they are told by populist politicians. do you think those words apply to this race? i think they were intended to apply to this race, i should imagine. and i think in many ways they do. we need people to understand what's at stake with brexit. and thus far, from the very outset of the campaign, there has been a great deal of misunderstanding and frankly a great deal of misinformation peddled to people about what brexit is going to mean. now, nobody should be in any doubt of my position, i have not changed it. i voted to remain in the european union. it is an imperfect organisation. it needs reform, it's very frustrating, it's a bit out of date and there is a lot wrong with it. all that is true. but, to leave the biggest and richest free—trade market in the world on the grounds that
you're going to go global is absurd. and the damage done to us both in the short and long term, people might think we are ok, we finished our working lives and perhaps comfortable in many cases, but our children and grandchildren aren't. and we are now making a choice at the moment and leaving the eu that i think is the worst foreign policy choice that britain has made within my lifetime and for a long time before, and i think people need to understand that. we will get to the big picture, what brexit means for britain and its place in the world, but you as a conservative face a choice right now, in fact, you may have received your ballot paper already. many tories have already received and voted. have you voted? i have not received any ballot papers yet. who will you vote for? well, a ballot is private, but i think it's fairly evident from my view that i cannot vote for someone who was part of the brexit campaign that misled the country. so i shall offer my
vote to jeremy hunt. i don't think anyone would be in any doubt about that. and i hope everybody before casting their vote will wait a little while. we need to see the two candidates properly examined by media, and both appearing before the media answering difficult questions and explaining what they will do, explaining how they will do it. borisjohnson has refused to engage in a head to head debate with jeremy hunt thus far and the only one he agreed to is going to be actually after many conservatives vote. well, in that case, the wise conservative will wait until after mrjohnson has appeared before making up their mind on who they will vote for. does character matter in this race between boris johnson and jeremy hunt? i think character matters in politics, never mind just in the race for prime minister. of course, character matters and everyone will make their own particular judgment about that. it's very important. the choices you make particularly as prime minister are crucial. a proper leader will make a choice that's right for the country,
even if it's wrong for himself and his party. the wrong leader will make a choice for his party or himself, rather than for his country and people have to make a judgment about everybody in politics about where priorities lie. do you trust borisjohnson? i do not know him very well, but i do find many of the things that have been said by borisjohnson and by many others to be in conflict with reality as i understand it. in conflict with reality but also in conflict with the truth. i think the truth is reality, don't you? are you saying to me... no, i'm not. i'm not having those words put in my mouth. i've indicated for whom i'm voting, jeremy hunt is the better choice for our country. i'm not here for character assassination of borisjohnson. my preference isjeremy hunt for reasons i set out and the bigger issue here is notjust who has misled us but how. and what the misleading is and what it'll mean for the country and what it will mean for the people.
on the key issue i think it's fair to say most conservatives are voting upon, and that's who is best equipped to deliver the brexit a clear overwhelming majority of conservatives want, it seems that boris johnson's fundamental message, brexit do or die, has coloured this entire campaign and indeed arguable thatjeremy hunt signed up to the same message. before i come directly to answer that question, this you say the brexit that majority of conservatives want, let's not forget the people in this country when you look at the interest of the country who are not conservative, and i find it very difficult how any prime minister wishing to lead the whole of the country can entirely ignore the views of 48% of people who passionately do not want to see brexit at all, because it's bad for their country. they cannot be ignored, it's not only wrong constitutionally but politically it's crazy. those 48% of people are going
to remember they were completely ignored at the next election and for a long time to come. you seem to be coming very close to saying this process where the next prime minister is being chosen between 120,000 and 160,000 conservative members and we know from all the survey evidence they are 97% white, average aged 57, you seem to be suggesting for that to be the way, appointing britain's next prime minister the manual have to deal with brexit challenge is not legitimate. i think you have to look at a number of other things as well. when you look at the electorate for this particular election not only does it have the deficiencies suggested because we are choosing a national leader, not just for the party, but the next prime minister. it's not only a narrow electorate in the sense you set out, but a very large part of that electorate appear to have joined
the conservative party within recent months or the last year. i have not seen great successes by the party that would have created a flood of members coming into it in the last year and i wish i had, i really do but i haven't. so you have to ask why are they coming in. they are certainly not lifelong conservatives, they've flooded in to the party recently, and from all one can gather, they have flooded into it because they wish to take a firm view on brexit and they are people in many cases i suspect, i cannot know this, but i suspect they had their boots in the conservative party but had their hearts in brexit or ukip. that's a very odd way to choose the next leader. you haven't used the word, but if there are infiltrators, then one can assume you believe that whatever happens in the leadership election, the only genuine way to put this before the people is to go for a general election before brexit happens.
i don't think that would be the right way for several reasons and for practical. if we had a general election at the moment we would not get what ideally we need, which is government with a clear majority that can determine policies and argue in parliament and have the majority to carry the policy out. if we had a general election, we would get a very fragmented parliament indeed, with very curious people getting elected and a government in an even weaker position than this government is at the present time because of lack of majority and that is not an anyone's interest and certainly not in the interest of good government and the united kingdom, the general election would be a bad idea from the point of view of everyone in the country. surely asjeremy hunt put it, the most fundamental requirement right now is to show the british people that having given them the decision to make on whether to remain or leave the eu, that decision in the referendum in 2016 will be followed through on by those who govern. parliamentarians are in
an extraordinarily difficult position we have not seen before. i would guess that up to 80% believe brexit is a disaster and we should not be leaving europe and it's damaging the country and to our future. but they feel hamstrung in carrying their conscience and belief through to action because of a result of the referendum. a referendum in which david cameron who ordered it said it would be the once—in—a—lifetime opportunity for the people. you can deal with that point call it semantic or not or you can deal with what's in the interest of the people of the country and the future. it's notjust people who believe we should remain like me saying it's going to be a disaster, the world bank do, imf, the british government does. the british government itself is saying we will be worse off. we will lose growth and there will be innumerable problems
and i have never seen a time in history when a british government was in a position in permitting a policy to proceed that they know, that they know, will be bad for the working people of this country. now, which is the primary responsibility of parliament? i will argue however unpopular it may be, that the primary responsibility parliament is to speak for the well—being of the country and if they have to say to the country, you were misled during the referendum campaign as they were repeatedly day after day, you were misled and we now know the facts of what brexit means and therefore you should have the opportunity to reflect. now that is what i would like to see parliament do. why will you not accept the word from both borisjohnson and jeremy hunt that they will go back to brussels and negotiate a better deal than the one given before precisely because they are serious and genuine about leaving the european union
by october 31 even if the eu does not give them a better deal. with that negotiating strategy in hand, they say they will get a better deal and you know the eu well, they always in the end make last—minute compromises. they will not compromise on the withdrawal deal itself. with respect, how do you know? because they are a rules—based organisation and in the past when they altered it they were a smaller union. now even without britain they are 27 nation state would have to agree on a change and they will not all agree to that. particularly with the problems with the irish backstop. the point about the irish backstop is notjust trade, the true point underlying it is blood. the troubles in northern ireland started with the murder of custom officers at that very
same customs point. and there are plenty of people, ask the northern ireland police service and others, there are plenty of people both on the nationalist side and on the republican side, who would be only too willing to have an excuse to restart violence. so let us notjust concentrate on one aspect of that, that's a huge impediment. i spent a large number of my time in downing street beginning irish peace process which to his eternal credit, tony blair picked up carried on and finished with an excellent deal in the good friday agreement. you cannot infringe on that and risk returning to the problems we had before in which 3000 people were killed. i've never seen you, i talked to you several times in the past, but i never seen you so exercised and so passionate and even angry, are you at a point where you are prepared to say to your own party which you say you have been in since 16, that if the party elects a prime minister who in
the end commits to leaving on october 31 with no deal if necessary, are you saying i will recommend to conservative mps that they bring down that prime minister? i don't necessarily think that's the way it will evolve. there are some things i think one has to deal with the absurd suggestion of bypassing parliament by proroguing. there are things like that that which should not be permitted to happen. i made my view perfectly clear, i believe the direction in which we... i have no personal ambitions, not politics and i'm not going back into politics, there is nothing the government can offer me. i'm not interested in any of that. all i am doing is on behalf of people who do not have a voice to speak, 48%, that what we are doing is bad for the future of our country and parliament, i'm not in parliament, but parliament must decide how to protect that, it's not for me to tell them how to do it.
well, people would be interested if you were prepared to give a pathway to thwarting a no—deal brexit, but surely it's incumbent upon you as a former leader of the party and former conservative prime minister to say, whether like ken clarke that you believe it would be right if it comes to it for conservatives to vote no confidence in a prime minister and government that's committed to a no—deal brexit. as i said earlier quite clearly, if you have to choose between your country and your party, you choose your country. that applies in all circumstances with none put to one side. so you would leave the conservative party if you had to? no, no it's not a question about me leaving, i'm a centre—right conservative, one nation conservative which i had been since i was 16, i have not moved. i am not moving from the conservative party, if they move away from me, that's the choice they make but i am not moving and i will stay where i am inside the conservative party fighting for the sort of conservative party that genuinely is one nation and genuinely does not cast aside the interest of 48% of people in the country without reflecting upon what their needs and concerns are. that's the sort of conservative
party i wish to see and there are many conservatives in the house of commons who feel exactly as i do. it's not the whole of the conservative party who is absolutely obsessed with the question of brexit, it is a portion. as you say that, i am mindful of your own premiership and that moment in 1993 when in an unguarded moment, you refer to some of your cabinet colleagues who were die—hard eurosceptics as "bastards". it seems to me at this point, where you are having to acknowledge that the "bas—tards" have won. they now represent your party.
two points, first it was entirely wrong of me to call them that, true but wrong. but as far as today is concerned, there are more of them. some are the same people. but there are more of them. let me answer the question first. this adds to the pressure upon you. 60 something percent of conservatives told a survey, a credible survey, that they regarded brexit as more important than the survival of the party itself. then what do they mean by brexit? on the day in which the brexit referendum was held, there were opinion polls saying a majority of people actually wish to stay in a single market. the interpretation of what brexit is is an interpretation that was not made during the referendum. no one in the referendum said we will have a no deal brexit.
no one said that. not borisjohnson, michael gove, no one. that's something that emerged after the result when they began to harden their position. that position has been hardened and hardened and hardened ever since. the right wing of the conservative party, the anti—europeans more accurately say will push and push and push and when there is a concession or appeased they push more. and the idea of a completely no deal brexit was not what people thought they were voting for. whatever people say now, that was not on the referendum ballot paper, it was not what the referendum was about and it was not what people thought on that day in which they voted. and if parliament had actually picked up the point straightaway and said we must leave because we dislike bureaucracy and to restore sovereignty, therefore we are leaving the political elements of the european union, but we'll keep the single market that margaret thatcher entered in the 1980s because it's in our economic interest to do so. that would've been a fairer reflection and more accurate of what most people had in their minds i believe at the time they voted. you believe your view,
but i want to invite you to look at a bigger horizon. politics across the world is changing, look at donald trump style politics in the united states. i am very struck that borisjohnson has just said if he is elected, he would make britain the greatest country in the world. that sort of message appears to be the style of politics and sort of message that people want, they want energy and positivity, they are fed up with people like you telling them the problems of brexit. they may also want an indication of how it's supposed to be done, might they not? and to simply say i'm going to make this the greatest country in the world is fine, we would all like to do that, no one
can object to that at as an aim, but it's a very curious way of doing it to leave the richest largest free—trade market the world has ever seen. in the last period when we said how we could become global britain and failed ourselves to negotiate a new trade deal or set them up for negotiation, the eu has done a free—trade deal with japan, canada, brazil and the rest, all of which, all of which, we would have benefited from had we remained inside the european union. that trade is the sort of thing that makes prosperity to make us the greatest country in the world. we have thrown away, thrown away, over 50 trade deals across the world totalling 70 countries and now these big new ones, will take about 30 years to replicate that. i can hear borisjohnson saying in my ear, why are you so negative about the prospect of britain
outside the european union? we are going to get a great trade deal with the united states and we can make trade deals with countries across the world, which would work for our economy and ourfuture is bright outside the eu. i'm not obsessed with borisjohnson, with great respect you seem to be, but i'm not. i do not believe you make this country great by diminishing the relationship with the rest of the world. we are diminishing our relationship by leaving the eu, here's an example, in terms of foreign policy the world looks at britain and on one side see a long—term relationship with the united states as the closest ally, but on the other see us as a leading member of the european union at 500 million people. diplomatically, we marched into the world with a billion of the most organised people in the world metaphorically at our sides when we did so. we now leave the eu at exactly the moment that america is piveting away from the west, away from the uk towards asia for reasons perfectly proper from an american point of view, not because they are disinterested in us, but because there is a big market there and it's in their interest to do so. so suddenly, britain
on its own is shorn of the two great bulwarks of foreign policy, relations with america and the eu. and if people who support brexit go out... i spend a large part of my work travelling the world now, speaking to businessmen and politicians privately around the world and they will tell you, it breaks my heart to say this, it breaks my heart to say we have diminished ourselves and our prospects by leaving the european union. and to be brutally frank, there is a very large part of the world that think the pragmatic, cool, to be trusted britons have taken leave of their senses in the policy they are following and if you want to know why i feel passionately about it, that's why. i would like to be part of the greatest nation in the world, but you don't become the greatest nation in the world by running away from the rest of the world and breaking your connections with it. it's absolutely the wrong way to proceed and simply to say, we are going to be the greatest nation in the world without any indication of how you will do it and please don't feed me the pap about how we could do these