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The Morality of Politics

Combative, provocative and engaging debate chaired by Michael Buerk. With Michael Portillo, Matthew Taylor, Mona Siddiqui and Anne McElvoy.

We're nine months away from Brexit and the UK is in a deep political crisis. Two senior members of the cabinet - Boris Johnson and David Davis - have resigned over what Brexit means. It's the most important decision to have faced the country for a generation, and probably the most important for some generations to come. Mr Johnson's departure has intensified speculation about a leadership challenge. The latest showdown can be seen as a clash between competing - and seemingly incompatible - moral principles: personal conscience versus the virtues of compromise, party unity versus national unity, and national unity versus the long-term national interest. It's easy to see why some commentators are saying that British politics is broken. They point to politicians, fighting like ferrets in a sack at the expense of the national interest, and conclude that our current system of democracy can no longer deliver what we expect from it. Perhaps we need a new model, based on the values of consensus, respect and compromise? Others believe that failing to deliver the kind of Brexit the country voted for in June 2016 - even if that means crashing out with no deal - would be an unforgivable betrayal of the British people. If the system is struggling at the moment, is it the fault of the politicians or is it because the people themselves are so deeply divided about Brexit? Do we need to reform the way we do democracy? If so, how? Witnesses this week are; Sarah Allen, David Goodhart, Brendan O'Neill and David Runciman.

Producer: Dan Tierney.

Available now

43 minutes