On 29 March, with one year to go until Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union, Radio 4 will broadcast a number of specialist programmes under the theme Britain at the crossroads.
This day of programming will go beyond the detail of the negotiations, and the drama of Westminster politics, to explore Britain’s future role and place in the world - and that of our European neighbours.
Gwyneth Williams, Controller of Radio 4, says: “A year before Britain is due to leave the European Union we want to consider what this moment might mean in the broadest terms. We have reshaped our schedule and, drawing on Radio 4’s flagship news programmes with analysis from our current affairs and documentary teams, we will attempt to assess its significance in terms of culture, politics, history and economics.”
The Today programme will start the day by co-presenting from a factory in the North East and will feature reporting and interviews from the around the UK. Following this at 9am a lengthened episode of The Long View will consider moments in history when Britons faced a new and uncertain future after a break from the established order. At 9.45am the fourth episode of The Channel - a series of five essays running throughout the week - explores the waterway that both links Britain to, and separates it from, Europe. Contributors to The Channel across the week are Professor Sanjeev Gupta, Professor Dominic Rainsford, writer Alba Arikha, historian Dr Renaud Morieux and journalist Christine Finn.
An extended edition of World At One, presented by Martha Kearney, will consider Britain’s post-Brexit place in the global order; our role, our values and our alliances. In addition, the programme will be launching a new 12-part series called Brexit: A Love Story? Each episode will look at one event during the UK's membership of the EU, retelling the story of a fascinating and complex relationship - and asking whether the tensions and contradictions which ultimately led the UK to choose to leave the EU were evident from the beginning.
At 4.30pm is The Brexit Lab, where Iain Martin talks to policy-makers, experts and campaigners about the ideas which could come to fruition after 29 March 2019 - both in the short and long term. From the way we work to the environment, he asks how we could do things differently if the UK is no longer bound by EU rules, and asks how much appetite is there for new ideas across the political spectrum.
At 8pm is The EU After Brexit, where Radio 4’s Bottom Line and Briefing Room combine in a special hour-long programme to look at the future of an EU without Britain. Evan Davis meets Jean-Claude Trichet - formerly president of the European Central Bank- and is joined by a panel of business leaders from across the EU. David Aaronovitch will look at the EU’s political future - asking what a more deeply integrated bloc on its doorstep means for the UK.
Ending the day is The World Tonight. Over the next year The World Tonight is following four very different businesses as they prepare for Brexit and the opportunities and problems that it will pose. On 29 March Paul Moss will introduce listeners to the four firms that we’ll be hearing from at regular intervals across this critical year.