Jeremy Paxman

Who Really Rules Us? Programme ponders the EU question

Presenter Jeremy Paxman will take TV viewers on a journey to the heart of the European Union in a one-off hour-long programme co-produced by BBC and The Open University.

Called Paxman in Brussels:  Who Really Rules Us? it will ask, quite simply: Have we handed over the power to rule the UK to Europe? And if we have, does it matter?

As the EU referendum debate heads to a climax with next month’s big vote, Jeremy Paxman goes in search of the movers, shakers and anonymous faces who run the EU. The programme will broadcast at 9pm on BBC1  on Thursday 19th May.


To help understand his central question, Paxman will be catching up with central debaters such as Michael Gove and Nick Clegg, as he hears the arguments on both sides of the EU Referendum, whilst also trying to understand just how this incredibly complex organisation operates.

On his travels, both in Brussels and back in London, Paxman navigates his way through the Parliamentarium (a museum that attempts to explain the mechanisms of the EU), tries on a replica of Margaret Thatcher’s famous EU jumper, and samples the EU-regulated wares of the Portobello Road. The co-produced BBC/OU programme offers a quirky, entertaining guide, to help viewers understand the deeper issues at the root of the big question facing the UK.

EU: Stay or leave?

The OU’s OpenLearn pages contain a host of information and resources on the topics featured in the programme and explore the possible consequences of a 'Stay or Leave' vote, relating to sovereignty, the economy and population, in an EU Referendum hub.

This one-off programme was commissioned by the Open Media Unit supported by the Faculty of Business and Law, with particular relevance to Bachelor of Laws (Honours) (Q79).