Just how united is the United Kingdom? With Brexit ushering in a time of drastic change across our four nations, the UK’s relationships with the European Union and wider world have never been more ambiguous.

As Wales dreams of devolution, Scotland weighs up its own independence and Ireland’s unification issues continue to make headlines, discussions about electoral and parliamentary reform have invaded the cultural conversation. To make matters more complex, controversial political campaigns promising referendums and touting links to nationalism, heritage and identity have made the idea of unity one of the hottest topics of the day.

To explore the state of the union and what the future of the United Kingdom’s four nations might look like, we’ve gathered a panel of experts to share their thoughts.

About The Speakers

Gavin Esler

Gavin Esler is a journalist, television presenter and author. He was a main presenter of the BBC current affairs show Newsnight for 12 years until 2014. Since 2014 he has been a public speaker, a political commentator and journalist, and the Chancellor of the University of Kent. He is the author of five novels and four non-fiction books, most recently How Britain Ends – English Nationalism and the Re-birth of Four Nations – a forensic examination of resurgent English nationalism and its implications for the United Kingdom.

Ian Dunt

Ian Dunt is the editor at large of Politics.co.uk, a columnist for the New European and the i, and a regular contributor to various newspapers and magazines. He is a host on the Oh God What Now? podcast and the author of Brexit: What The Hell Happens Now? and How To Be A Liberal.

About The Chair


Bidisha is a broadcaster, journalist and film maker. She works for The Observer and The Guardian and presents and commentates for BBC TV and radio, ITN, CNN, ViacomCBS and Sky News, where she has been a regular on the weekend breakfast show since 2016. Bidisha specialises in international human rights, social justice and culture and the arts. Her fifth book,  Asylum and Exile: Hidden Voices of London (2015), is based on her outreach work in UK prisons, refugee charities and detention centres. 

Her first short film, An Impossible Poison, premiered in Berlin in November 2017  and received its London premier in March 2018. It has been highly acclaimed and selected for numerous international film festivals. Her latest publication is an essay called The Future of Serious Art (Nov 2020) and her latest film series, Aurora, launched in 2020 and is ongoing. She is currently presenting the Hello Happiness audio series for Wellcome Collection, all about mental and physical health.