Best of Today

Best of Today

United Kingdom

Insight, analysis and expert debate as key policy makers are challenged on the latest news stories. From BBC Radio 4's Today programme


Article 50: The view from Sunderland  

We begin the formal process of leaving the European Union today and the Today programme's chief correspondent Matthew Price is in Sunderland. Three in every five people who took part in the referendum in the city voted to leave. Reality Check Correspondent, Chris Morris, answers questions from listeners. Herb Kim is a tech entrepreneur in the North East. Richard Elvin led Sunderland's Leave campaign. Rebecca Ball is leading Sunderland's bid to be UK city of culture 2021. Paul Dobson is editor of the Sunderland AFC fanzine. (Image: A mural of a Sunderland football hero, Raich Carter Credit: Getty images)

The triggering of Article 50  

Theresa May has signed the letter to be delivered to the head of the EU triggering the UK’s exit from the European Union. Nick Robinson looks back at the start of the EU and asks what will happen now. The chancellor Phillip Hammond says although there will be consequences this is a “pivotal moment” for Britain and he’s hoping for “the very best possible deal.” The BBC’s Political Editor Laura Keunssberg provides analysis. (Image: EU and British flag in front of Big Ben Credit: Getty Images)

Wednesday's business with Dominic O'Connell  

The City of London campaigned hard against Brexit - how does it feel there on the morning that Article 50 will be triggered? Dominic O'Connell is at the offices of the Swiss bank UBS (Image: guests in room at UBS. Credit: BBC)

Could there be a European lorry jam in Dover?  

Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator in Brexit negotiations says long queues at the Port of Dover and severe transport disruption will be one of the consequences if the UK fails to get a deal with the EU post Brexit But is he right? The BBC’s Zoe Conway went to the port of Felixstowe, which does most of its trade with non EU countries. James Hookham, deputy chief executive of the Freight Transport Association, says we have to do proper planning to avoid the "worst case scenario" of a breakdown in negotiations. Charlie Elphicke is Conservative MP for Dover and Deal, he says what Dover needs is investment to deal with new customs processes. (Image: Dover port credit: Getty Images)

'Legsit' - Does it matter what politicians wear?  

‘Never mind Brexit - who won Legsit?’ is on the front page of the Daily Mail newspaper. The picture is of Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May following their meeting yesterday. Catherine Mayer, co-founder of the Women's Equality Party and author of Attack of the Fifty Foot Women: How Gender Equality Can Save the World! says this highlights how women aren’t fairly represented in the workplace, politics or the media. Angela Epstein, Daily Telegraph Columnist says "why shouldn’t we use our clothes to advance the way we are?" and that both women have undergone transformations after realising how important what they wear can be. (Image: Daily Mail headline and BBC presenters Credit: Daily Mail/ BBC)

'We have missed existing cancer targets for three years'  

A respected international study showed that many thousands of people die in this country from cancer every year who would still be alive if they had lived in France, Germany or the Netherlands. This week the Head of the NHS in England publishes a review of his five year plan for the health service and hopes to close this gap in survival rates with a push for better early detection of cancers in England and a 28 day target for diagnosis. Nick Robinson, who had cancer himself, returned to a chemotherapy suite to talk to current patients about their diagnosis. Fran Woodward, director of policy at Macmillan Cancer Support says targets are not the answer. Although survival rates have improved, late diagnosis is still a big problem.

Tuesday's business with Dominic O'Connell  

Is the UK well positioned to trade with China post-Brexit? Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images

Are encrypted messages doing us more harm than good?  

UK home secretary Amber Rudd says social media apps such as WhatsApp, which encrypts users messages, should not be a hiding place for terrorists. IT lecturer Paul Bernal, former privacy analyst at Google Susan Landau and former head of cyber security at the MOD Major General Jonathan Shaw, discuss whether government surveillance on encrypted messages will improve national security. (Image: Computer hacking. Credit: Thinkstock)

'We are prepared to see a lot more conflict in Mosul'  

Iraq's military has cast doubt on reports that an air strike by the US-led coalition caused the deaths of dozens of civilians in west Mosul. Instead it blamed explosive booby-traps set by so-called Islamic State (IS). The BBC's Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen reports from West Mosul. (Image: Mosul. Credit: Jeremy Bowen)

Rio Ferdinand on losing his wife to cancer  

Former England captain Rio Ferdinand has opened up about how his children wouldn't talk about the death of their mother. Mr Ferdinand's wife, Rebecca, was 34 when she died of breast cancer in May 2015. He said that, in the wake of Rebecca's death, he now understands why people contemplate suicide. 'Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad' will broadcast on Tuesday the 28th of March at 9pm on BBC One. (Image: Rio Ferdinand. Credit: AFP/ Getty Images)

Monday's business with Dominic O'Connell  

The EEF says loss of simple access to the single market will hurt manufacturing in the UK. Photo credit: Getty Images

'We were told everything is going to be as it was before'  

Stoke-on-trent overwhelmingly voted to leave the EU and with Article 50 to be triggered on Wednesday what needs to happen next? Stoke-on-trent is looking to draw high paying employers back to the place that has repeatedly suffered industry closures in the past. Mining and, more recently, the pottery trade had made Stoke rich. Sara Williams, the CEO of Staffordshire chambers of commerce says negotiations need to start and Trevor Parry runs a café and Jerahl Hall is a YMCA youth ambassador working in Stoke-on-Trent.

Is Red Nose day really helping?  

In an article in The Guardian yesterday, the Labour MP, David Lammy launched a stinging attack on Comic Relief to coincide with Red Nose Day. In it he urges the charity to challenge its audience. He argues they shouldn't just to feel guilty but also angry about the wars that have plagued the African continent which are permitted by an international market. David Lammy is a former labour minister and Dr Danny Sriskandarajah is a comic relief trustee, who presented last night’s BBC1’s Comic Relief programme and is Secretary General and CEO of CIVICUS, the global civil society alliance.

'Donald Trump is better off from this failure’  

President Trump has called the House of Representatives' Speaker, Paul Ryan, to ask him to withdraw the healthcare vote after it was thought there was not enough Republican support to push through Trump’s proposal to replace Obamacare. David Frum is a former speechwriter for President Bush and now senior editor at the Atlantic magazine and says Obamacare was never going to be repealed.The BBC's Jim Naughtie is in Washington.

Transparency in family courts  

The drive to open family courts in England and Wales to public scrutiny has had only "limited success", according to the first national evaluation, funded by the Nuffield Foundation. Today's Sanchia Berg talks to families that have been affected. Lucy Reed, barrister and founder of the Transparency Project and Dr Julia Brophy, policy and research officer for the Association of Lawyers for Children, discuss why the initiative has seen a lack of success. (Image:Silhouette adult and children. Credit: Getty Images/AFP)

How many jobs can an MP have?  

George Osborne is set to become the new editor of the Evening Standard... but he's still going to stay on as an MP. So, can he do two jobs at once? Opinions are to be sought for a review by the Committee on Standard in Public Life on what, if any, "reasonable limits" should be in place regarding outside interests held by MPs. Lord Bew, chair of the Committee on Standard in Public Life, says the "public is still divided on this issue" with some saying being an MP is a job that needs somebody's whole focus and others not wanting full-time politicians. (Image: George Osborne. Credit: AFP)

The threat of radicalisation  

The number of victims from the attack outside parliament in London on Wednesday has risen to four following the death of a 75-year-old man. As the attacker's identity is revealed what do we know about him and what could have driven him to do what he did? Sir Francis Richards, former director of GCHQ and Sasha Havlicek, CEO of the Institue for Strategic Dialogue discuss how ‘low-tech’ terrorist attacks make the jobs of police and security forces more difficult. Tariq Jahan, whose son was killed in the 2011 riots in Birmingham and Nusrat Ghani, MP for Wealden, discuss whether Birmingham has an issue with radicalisation. (Image: Candles at London Attack vigil Credit: EPA )

Friday's business with Rob Young  

The chief executive of the UK division of Lionsgate is Zygi Kamasa, he joined the Today programme to talk about challenges facing the film industry in the UK. Photo Credit: Getty

Terror attack in Westminster  

In this podcast we hear from Brendan Cox, husband of the MP Jo Cox, who was murdered in June last year. The speed of the response of the emergency services and their work at the scene was widely praised, Liz Harris is executive officer at the College of Paramedics and Sid Mackay is chairman of the Police Roll of Honour Trust, which maintains a roll of honour in remembrance of every police officer killed in the line of duty. Sir Michael Fallon is the Defence Secretary and Sadiq Khan is the Mayor of London.

Thursday's business with Dominic O'Connell  

The Government's pledge to cut energy prices risks leaving consumers worse off, a group of former regulators has warned (Image: gas ring. Credit: BBC)

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