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Brexit: A Love Story? Podcast Cover
Brexit: A Love Story? Podcast Profile

Brexit: A Love Story? Podcast

English, Political, 1 season, 27 episodes, 8 hours, 21 minutes
You know we’re leaving the EU but this is the story of how the UK got here. Mark Mardell uncovers the fractious yet intriguing story of Britain’s relationship with the EU.
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25. The Purge

Revolution is afoot in the Conservative Party - with many Tory MPs threatening to vote against the new Prime Minister's deal - while Boris Johnson himself is threatening to boot them out of the party if they do. Mark Mardell follows the twists and turns as this love story comes to a close. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: #BBCWATO
9/4/202018 minutes, 35 seconds
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24. The Centre Cannot Hold

With problems in Parliament trying to get consensus on a withdrawal agreement, it seemed the main political parties were edging away from the centre ground. Did this leave a vacuum for a new movement? In 2019, more or less simultaneously, a new party started and a new campaign launched, both supporting a so-called People's Vote on any Brexit deal. The Independent Group - or Change UK, as they came to be known - was not without challenges. Neither was the People's Vote campaign. Eventually, the friction came to be personal. Mark Mardell speaks to the people involved about where it all went wrong. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: #BBCWATO
9/2/202019 minutes, 38 seconds
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23. Three Strikes and You're Out!

Emotions run high as Theresa May tries to get her Withdrawal Agreement through Parliament, and fails. Not once, not twice but three times. Meanwhile the European Research Group (ERG) grows in influence and now firmly holds Parliament in the balance. Each day seems to wear away the Conservative’s party cohesion. And while Mrs. May’s government will try again and again if necessary, there will be a cost. Mark Mardell takes a look behind the news reports of the day, into the meeting rooms and corridors of Westminster, and reveals the private tensions of the party’s existential crisis. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: #BBCWATO
9/2/202019 minutes, 21 seconds
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22. The Spartans

After Theresa May's so called Chequers plan failed to impress, the Prime Minister faced another problem within her own party. A group of eurosceptics were gaining interest, members and momentum. The European Research Group (ERG), or the Spartans as they came to be known, had previously been a small organisation on the fringe of politics. In 2018, they fought their way to the front line. As Mark Mardell follows the twists and turns of Britain's 45 year relationship with the European Union, Mrs May must meet her newest challengers. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: #BBCWATO
8/31/202019 minutes, 10 seconds
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Brexit: How did we get here?

In this one-off special episode of Brexit: A Love Story?, Mark Mardell recaps the journey Britain has taken from joining the European Economic Community in 1973 to voting to leave the European Union in 2016. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @BBCWorldatOne
1/31/202015 minutes, 5 seconds
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21. Checkmate at Chequers

After months of talks, haggling and negotiations, the Prime Minister invited the entire cabinet to her country retreat in Buckinghamshire to present her proposed deal. The mercury was running high, as were tensions; it was reported that Downing Street officials made it clear if ministers weren't happy with the deal, they could leave but would have to give up their ministerial cars and take a taxi home. Hours later, and the Chequers deal was finally done. People seemed pleased... but for how long? Mark Mardell revisits the events of that day and finds out from those there what really went on. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @BBCPM
4/23/201921 minutes, 24 seconds
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20. The path to a meaningful vote

Running alongside the Government's negotiations with the European Union has been a complex - and at times fraught - discussion in Parliament about how much say MPs should have on the final Brexit deal. Mark Mardell navigates MPs' journey for a meaningful vote on the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @BBCPM
4/22/201921 minutes, 58 seconds
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19. The election that broke Brexit

When Theresa May called a surprise general election that she'd ruled since she took office, with the aim strengething her mandate ahead of tricky Brexit negotiations, nobody could have predicted that she'd end up losing her overall majority in the Commons. Mark Mardell dissects the campaign itself, and the impact on Britain's departure from the European Union. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @BBCPM
4/19/201920 minutes, 16 seconds
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18. Dexeu: Brexit from a broom cupboard

Even before she became Prime Minister, Theresa May pledged a new government department that would oversee Britain's departure from the European. Not just that, but the department would be run by a leading Brexiteer. How much influence did David Davis - the first Brexit secretary - have? Who was really leading negotiations? And was it all simply a political manoeuvre on the Prime Minister's part? Mark Mardell delves into the corridors of Whitehall and the new Department for Exiting the European Union, to find out what was really going on behind the doors of No 10 and No 9 Downing Street. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @BBCPM
4/18/201920 minutes, 31 seconds
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Coming soon

If you’re getting bogged down in Brexit… maybe it’s time to take a step back and get some perspective. After a hiatus to allow the day-to-day events to unfold, Mark Mardell returns with his in depth look at Brexit... New episodes available soon. #brexitlovestory Email: [email protected] Twitter: @BBCPM
3/28/20191 minute, 55 seconds
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17. Lancaster House and red lines

January 2017 and Theresa May delivers her now infamous Lancaster House speech. But how was it decided what it would say and where it would be said? Mark Mardell dissects whether the speech backed the Prime Minister into a corner by setting out her red lines, or if it was merely the start of the long negotiating process. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @BBCPM
12/14/201817 minutes, 44 seconds
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16. Article 50 and the Avatar of Hate

It took the Government nine months to trigger Article 50 after the British public voted to leave the European Union. At the time, some said it was overdue. Since, people have said it was too soon. Running alongside that debate, though, was whether it could even be triggered at all. Mark Mardell unpicks the attempt to trigger Article 50 without a vote in Parliament and the ensuing court case, how a business woman was thrust into the limelight and felt she became “an avatar of hate” and whether the timing was wrong all along. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @BBCPM
12/6/201817 minutes, 53 seconds
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15. Road to Conference

After Theresa May became Prime Minister, one of the first jobs was to set out her vision for implementing Brexit. Integral to doing that were her Chiefs of Staff – Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill. Mark Mardell considers how Mrs May positioned herself as the person to deliver Brexit, the influence her chiefs had at the time, and - as she approached her first party conference that Autumn – what her speeches said about how negotiations would progress. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @BBCPM
11/29/201818 minutes, 1 second
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14. Inside May's Mind

In June 2016, Theresa May put herself forward to be the new Prime Minister, the person who would navigate the UK's exit from the European Union. Her campaign, however, was to be short lived and she moved into Number 10 just a few weeks later. What did she think about the EU? Mark Mardell delves into what she said to friends and colleagues, the role she played in the Referendum campaign itself and what this tells us about her approach to the subsequent negotiations. Oh, and what does "Brexit means Brexit" really mean? Email: [email protected] Twitter: @BBCPM
11/22/201817 minutes, 1 second
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13. An Island Nation

In 1973, there were celebrations when Britain joined the European Community. But there were always those against the UK being part of the project. Over the next 45 years, there were debates and clashes, headlines and speeches; everyone speaking just as passionately about membership, regardless of which side they were on. In Brexit: A Love Story? Mark Mardell has talked to the people who were there at those key moments, trawled through the BBC's archives to hear what was said at the time, and painted a picture of how things have changed over time. Was the end, Britain voting to leave the European Union, an inevitability? Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @BBCWorldatOne
9/20/201820 minutes, 20 seconds
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12. Five miscalculations and a resignation

When the Conservatives won the 2015 election, David Cameron reiterated his manifesto promise to hold an in-out referendum on Britain's membership of the EU. Not long after, the starting gun was fired and the battle lines drawn. What followed? It's a well charted path; but Mark Mardell talks to the people who were there at the key moments, to see what they think the defining factors are, and whether they think things could - should - have been done differently. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @BBCWorldatOne
9/6/201820 minutes, 41 seconds
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11. Banging on about Europe

How much can one man do? During his first speech as Conservative Party leader, David Cameron insisted the party needed to stop "banging on about Europe". So how did he come to promise an in-out referendum 7 years later? Mark Mardell charts the rise of UKIP and Nigel Farage, and asks what impact this had on Cameron, the Conservatives and the country. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @BBCWorldatOne
8/24/201820 minutes, 34 seconds
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10. Pole position

The European Union started with just 6 member countries. Over the years 6 more - including the United Kingdom - joined the community. But it was in 2004 when the single largest expansion saw 10 more countries join in one go. And with membership came freedom of movement. Mark Mardell looks at what impact this had on Britain's relationship with the EU and whether enough consideration was given to the number of people who would come to live and work in the UK? Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @BBCWorldatOne
8/2/201818 minutes, 39 seconds
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9. Blair, Brown and a bike ride

In 1997, Tony Blair swept to power with New Labour and Britain won the Eurovision song contest with Katrina and the Waves. Was there also a renewed enthusiasm for the European project? Mark Mardell recalls the twists and turns of Labour's relationship with Brussels. Could the fresh-faced, charismatic new Prime Minister rekindle the romance? And if not, why not? Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @BBCWorldatOne
7/19/201821 minutes, 7 seconds
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8. The Most Successful Party That Never Won A Seat

A blustering billionaire playing politics, or a brave man doing his best for his country? Sir James Goldsmith divided opinion, but he united both sides of politics in promising a referendum on the euro. Mark Mardell reflects on the party that only fought one election, didn't win a single seat, but secured a promise that in the end mattered more. And while that referendum never came to pass, he paved the way for the one that did, nineteen years after his death. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @BBCWorldatOne
7/5/201819 minutes, 21 seconds
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7. Major and the mad cows

In 1990, the agriculture minister fed his daughter a beef burger in front of the tv cameras to prove British beef was safe. But five years later, the government was forced to admit a link between BSE and a new, human disease. As Mark Mardell follows the twists and turns of Britain's 45 year relationship with the European Union, he hears about the swift reaction from the E U: British beef was banned, and a public health crisis was moulded into the familiar shape of a battle with Brussels. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @BBCWorldatOne
6/22/201820 minutes, 2 seconds
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6. Major’s Bastards and the Battle of Maastricht

Tensions rise in the Conservative Party as the Prime Minister negotiates with the European Community member states in Maastricht. Mark Mardell follows the twists and turns of Britain's 45 year relationship with the European Union, but even though John Major succeeds in arranging Britain's opt outs of the 1992 treaty - on the single currency and the social chapter - is it enough to appease the rebels in his government? Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @BBCWorldatOne
6/7/201818 minutes, 59 seconds
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5. Up Yours Delors!

Stepping away from this series' timeline, Mark Mardell considers what role the press had in influencing public opinion about the European Union during it's 45 year relationship with Britain. Why did the newspapers go from broadly supporting the political project when we joined in 1973, to a fractured landscape of discord and - at times - antagonistic hatred? Did proprietors such as Rupert Murdoch and Conrad Black dictate the agenda, or was it correspondents in Brussels? Or was it the European Parliament itself that contributed to shifts in opinion? Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @BBCWorldatOne
5/24/201819 minutes, 15 seconds
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4. From Bruges to Bust

After her success renegotiating the EEC budget, Margaret Thatcher gave a speech at the College de Europe in Bruges, now widely considered to be a eurosceptic battle cry. But was it ever meant to be? Mark Mardell continues the journey through Britain's relationship with the European Union. From shadowing the Deutschmark to the resignation of Geoffrey Howe, he looks at the role Europe played in her downfall. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @BBCWorldatOne
5/10/201818 minutes, 39 seconds
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3. Battling Maggie's blues

It's 1979, Margaret Thatcher and her Conservative government have been voted into power in Britain, and one of her first tasks is to reduce the contribution the UK pays to the European Economic Community. Mark Mardell follows the new Prime Minsiter through negotiations with the other EEC member states - from the 1979 Dublin summit to Fontainbleau 5 years later - discovering how difficult relationships were formed, tears were shed and the controversial rebate was agreed. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @BBCWorldatOne
4/26/201818 minutes, 15 seconds
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2. Yes to Britain in Europe

The 1975 referendum to remain in the European Economic Community was a historic first for Britain. As well as dividing the country, the argument split the Labour Party, who were then in Government. Mark Mardell explores the UK's 45 year love affair with Europe, looking at Anthony Wedgewood Benn's call for a referendum and Prime Minister Harold Wilson's fight to keep the party together. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @BBCWorldatOne
4/13/201818 minutes, 3 seconds
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1. Fanfare for the future

It's 1973 and Britain is joining the European Economic Community. For some it's the culmination of years of hard work and a political necessity for the country. But for others, concerns about food prices, sovereignty and the English language remain unresolved. Mark Mardell explores the UK's 45 year love affair with Europe, starting with the role that Edward Heath - the Prime Minister at the time - had in negotiating entry into the common market. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @BBCWorldatOne
3/29/201818 minutes, 36 seconds