Monday 9pm – 10pm, BBC2
I promise, this isn’t just another documentary about Brexit, in the past two years you’ve probably heard every political view and subject matter expert placing their opinion on Britain’s democratic decision to leave the EU. This documentary goes a lot further and looks into the roots of the turmoil created in Europe, looking particularly at its fractious relationship with Britain (and of course some other countries too!).
It is arguable the writing was on the wall for Brexit. By delving into the past we can explore and understand how all of this situation began. As March 29th looms it is perhaps more important to understand this now more than ever. This three part documentary series reveals the insight from some of the biggest names in Europe, which includes Jean-Claude Juncker, George Osborne, Nicolas Sarkozy and Donald Tusk, but not David Cameron, who only appears in news footage.
The first episode explores David Cameron’s desperate fight to win over and placate the Euro-sceptics within his own Conservative party. His answer, as we all know, was to promise an “in/out” referendum. His misplaced confidence in his own ability to influence the UK’s then European partners on attaining concessions over curbing migrants access to benefits was naive at best. But as we will see, he was not wholly to blame for the situation we find ourselves in. Jean-Claude Juncker and Nicolas Sarkozy reveal in detail what the EU made of Cameron’s demands, and how they warned against picking a fight.
We also see how it wasn’t just Britain that triggered the crisis, Greece’s serious money problems threatened the existence of the European project, as did the influx of migrants to the continent in 2015 which saw member countries bicker and argue on the correct way to address the problem, many, understandably sought to protect their own interests and not that of the EU.
Perhaps one of the most striking aspects to the series is the deep, meaningful interviews with European leaders, speaking as passionate advocates for the European project they reveal a deep regret for the direction in which both the EU and Brexit has gone.
This documentary is essential for any Brit, series producer Norma Percy tells the story in the unique Brook Lapping style, which utilises the recollections by those who were in the room at the time the key decisions were made. Whether you voted Brexit or Remain this reveals a great deal about the past and offers an insight into why others may have voted the opposite way to you.
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