Smithsonian links with BBC for Europe in Chaos

Smithsonian Channel and the BBC have teamed to explore the origins of Brexit and the migrant crisis with two-part special Europe in Chaos.

The two hour-long specials reveal the fierce arguments and personality clashes among Europe’s leaders as they struggled over the past decade to find common ground amid intense political pressure, overwhelming waves of refugees and Brexit.

Europe in Chaos will premiere on Smithsonian Channel on 28 March at 8pm ET/PT, just as the UK reaches the 29 March deadline for withdrawal from the EU.

The first hour, titled ‘Brexit’, tells the story of how former British Prime Minister David Cameron – who favoured remaining in the EU – caved to the Euro-skeptic wing of his party and ended up calling the referendum that pushed the UK into its biggest political crisis since World War II.

For the first time on TV, former Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs William Hague; former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg recreate the internal arguments that led to Cameron’s fateful decision.

The special also reveals insider accounts from the UK’s allies in the EU, who watched as the political storm in Britain forced them into an impossible choice: to abandon fundamental principles of the EU or lose a key member forever.

Europe in Chaos is produced by Brook Lapping Productions and Smithsonian Networks in association with BBC and France Television.

It hails from documentary filmmaker Norma Percy, whose work has encompassed several significant international stories including The Death of Yugoslavia and Endgame in Ireland.

Her most recent series include Putin, Russia and the West and Inside Obama’s White House. Percy’s work has won more than two dozen awards, including an Emmy, two BAFTAs, four Royal Television Society Journalism awards and five Peabody Awards for broadcast excellence.

Percy, Greg Sanderson and Lucy Hetherington are executive producers for Brook Lapping. Charles Poe and David Royle are executive producers for Smithsonian Channel.

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