Siva Thangarajah

The Spectator Podcast: is Brexit a national humiliation?

The Spectator Podcast: is Brexit a national humiliation?
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This week opened with the cautious optimism of a third meaningful vote passing, and ends, as our cover depicts, with Theresa May begging the EU for an extension.

After John Bercow’s ruling that May’s Brexit deal cannot be voted on a third time, unless with ‘substantive changes’, the chances of May passing her deal before March 29 seemed further than ever.

Now, this week has shown that Brexit is dictated at home by warring factions in the Commons, and dictated abroad by the EU.

Even though the EU has given May a third chance at her deal, these past weeks lay bare the government’s inability to run the government, and Brexit is on the verge of being taken over by the Commons.

Has May been reduced to nothing more than the semblance of a leader?

James Forsyth is on the podcast this week talking about his cover story for this week’s issue, where he argues May’s missteps have not only humiliated the country, but have cost the Conservative party’s unity.

Joining him is The Spectator’s deputy political editor Katy Balls, who writes about Parliament's internal arguments this week, and Sam Gyimah, a former Conservative minister who has voted against May’s deal twice.

They talk about the early mistakes May made which resulted in her losing control of the Brexit process, and whether May might be able to bring enough MPs over the line in time for another meaningful vote. Hint: it’s not looking good.

We also take a look the doctor shortage in the NHS. With over 53% of our doctors coming from abroad in 2018, why is the UK unable to train our own?

The argument against importing most of our doctors, J. Meirion Thomas says, is not only one about self-sufficiency as a nation, but also an ethical problem. As the majority of foreign-born doctors come from developing nations, why is the UK poaching much needed medical talent from parts of the world that need them most?

He puts his concerns to Saffron Cordery, deputy CEO of the NHS Providers: the agency that oversees NHS services.

Finally, we take a deep dive into the world of The Archers super-fans. Lara Prendergast talks to Nicola Headlam, an expert on the long-running show, and co-author of the upcoming book, Gender, Sex and Gossip in Ambridge: Women in the Archers.

She responds to Justin Marozzi’s article in this week’s Spectator. Justin reflects on why he cannot stop listening to The Archers despite the show’s loathsome characters.