161 | 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.

151 | Italy vs France vs Brexit

We take the wider European view this week, catching up with the latest developments in Italy and France.  A year on from the Italian elections, who is up and who is down in the coalition between the League and Five Star?  What is China up to in Italy?  Has Macron really got his mojo back?  Plus we ask the big question: between chaos at Westminster, riots in Paris and rabble-rousing in Rome, whose democracy is in the biggest trouble?  With Lucia Rubinelli and Chris Bickerton.

147 | Endgame?

We weigh up where we've reached with Brexit, now that the big choices can't be avoided for much longer.  Is a second referendum any more likely than it was a week ago?  What terms will the EU demand for an extension of article 50?  And can May finally prevail?  With Helen Thompson and Chris Bickerton.