We talk to lawyer and constitutional expert Alison Young about the current pressures on the UK constitution, from Brexit to devolution to political polarisation. Is parliamentary sovereignty still the linchpin of the system? What changed with the arrival of the Supreme Court? Can the constitution survive in its current form?
We talk to historian Jill Lepore about the idea of nationalism in America, from the birth of the Republic through to Trump. What defines the nation? Why does the illiberal version keep getting the upper hand? Are there any politicians in America who can rescue the idea of liberal nationalism? Plus we ask Jill what she thinks of Johnson, Brexit and nationalism in the UK.
Boris Johnson is off to see the Queen to become her 14th (!) British Prime Minister, but where might he be taking the country this autumn? We try to work through the various Brexit scenarios, from a renegotiated Withdrawal Agreement to a crash no-deal exit. Can the backstop be issue? Plus we explore whether an early election or a second referendum can really provide a way out of the mess. Something's got to give - what will it be? With Helen Thompson, Catherine Barnard and Chris Bickerton.
Barring an act of God, Boris Johnson is going to be the next leader of the Conservative Party. We're exploring what that means in two parts. Today, Helen and David talk about the domestic implications. Can Johnson avoid an election? Can he hold on to the seats he needs while winning others he doesn't have? Will he unite or divide his party? Will Labour be able to stop him either way? Plus we talk about what's at stake for the Tories in Johnson's relationship with Trump. Next week: Europe and Brexit.
The current crisis for the Conservatives is often described as the worst since the party split over the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846. So we talk to historian Boyd Hilton about what really happened back then and what it meant for British politics. Why were the Corn Laws so divisive? How did public opinion impact on the politicians? Did Peel betray his party or did he do what needed to be done? And what are the real lessons for Brexit and for the Conservative Party today? With Helen Thompson.
We try to work out what the current favourite to be next Tory leader actually stands for. Can his time as Mayor of London tell us what kind of PM he might be? Will his journalistic past come back to haunt him? Does he have a political philosophy beyond 'doing Brexit'? Plus we discuss whether the Johnson-Trump comparisons really stand up. With Helen Thompson and Chris Brooke.