INSIDE EUROPE: TEN YEARS OF TURMOIL attempts to explain the reasons behind Britain’s decision to leave the EU and how, over the course of a decade, the European Union has become fractured by disputes over the economy, immigration and unity.
It does this through the use of interviews with those figures who played such a key part in the fight to save the European Union and who may have, unwittingly, sewed the seeds of its destruction.
As Britain leaves the European Union, it is perhaps understandable that many people still feel bewildered how this has all happened. How did Britain come to vote to leave? What factors drove both campaigns? Was the eventual vote to leave because of the European Union or because of other reasons?
The first episode deals with some of the recent root causes of Britain’s decision to leave the EU. Beginning with David Cameron’s election as Prime Minister and his first meeting with Nicolas Sarkozy in 2010. The documentary explains many of the difficulties that Cameron faced over Europe despite his desire not to focus on it.
As contributors William Hague and Nick Clegg explain, Cameron wrestled with trying not to be drawn into the Conservatives psycho drama over Europe but was continually forced to because of back bench MPs.
The documentary does not spend too long going into the background of why the Conservatives are split over Europe, but it does accurately analyse how this forced Cameron into compromise after compromise in order to keep power.
Though the part of the first episode that deals with the referendum may feel, to some, as if it is simply re-treading old ground, it does, in fact, provide a uniquely European slant to events which gives it an engaging and different quality.
The second and third episodes deal with the financial crisis and immigration respectively, perhaps the two great nails at the heart of European politics. Both deal with their subjects in a direct and honest manner; one of the programmes advantages is the fact that it addresses both issues succinctly and allows the people who were at the heart of both issues to speak frankly and honestly.
It is not surprising, perhaps, that the interviewees tend to highlight their part in any successes and diminish their responsibility for failures – yet from the sum of its many parts, the documentary presents a truly authentic account of what it was like to be in the room when great decisions were made.
Inside Europe: Ten Years of Turmoil is not simply an interesting documentary – it is a necessary documentary. Many people, three years after the referendum, can’t fully understand the reasons behind the vote and why the political class acted in the way that it did. This series goes some way to explaining the causes of the crisis that Europe faces, both internal and external. As history occurs it is pivotal that citizens understand the truth of how events transpired and this documentary series will hopefully go some way to explaining both the why and the how.
- Watched on BBC Two. 28/01/2019