182 | Talking Politics Guide to ... European Union before the EU

We talk to historian Chris Brooke about ideas of a united Europe that long pre-dated the advent of the European Union. Since the eighteenth century philosophers, lawyers, diplomats and revolutionaries have constructed schemes to bring Europe together economically, legally and politically. How do these plans compare with what actually happened?

173 | Waiting for Boris

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.

160 | A Mockery of Democracy?

Are the UK's looming European elections making a mockery of democracy, or is this how democracy is meant to work?  Would cancelling them at the last minute make the situation worse?  We talk about trust in politics, the threat to the two main parties, and the knock-on effects for the rest of Europe.  Plus we discuss what can meaningfully happen before the end of October, and whether the events of the last few weeks have done permanent damage to the Tory brand.  With Helen Thompson, Catherine Barnard and Chris Bickerton.

156 | Brexit Lessons

We try to draw some wider lessons from the nightmare that the Brexit process has now become.  What have we learned about the relationship between parliament and the executive?  Is there any way that the Article 50 process could have worked?  And what conclusions will other countries reach about how hard it is to leave the EU?  Plus we talk about the recent report from the Hansard Society indicating that the British public is more open than ever to the idea of a 'strong leader'.  With Helen Thompson and Kenneth Armstrong.

154 | May Rolls the Dice

David and Helen talk through the latest twist in the Brexit tale: Theresa May's offer to work with Labour to get some version of Brexit over the line.  Can the two parties ever agree on what that version is?  Could any agreement be made to stick?  And if they can't agree, what happens next?  Plus we talk about whether May's offer to stand down is still in effect and we ask what all this might mean for the ERG, the DUP, the SNP and the EU.

153 | Moment of Truth?

As parliament finally gets the chance to indicate its Brexit preferences - if it has any - we discuss the real choices now facing MPs and government.  What is the sequence of events that would actually prevent a no-deal Brexit?  Can the Withdrawal Agreement be separated from the Political Declaration?  And if it can, will MPs eventually have to vote for it?  Plus we ask how long we can avoid another general election and we discuss whether Theresa May's survival to this point tells us more about her resilience or about the dysfunctionality of British politics.  With Helen Thompson, Chris Bickerton, and Catherine Barnard, Professor of EU Law.