Europe: Them or Us

2016   BBC Two

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The critical decision Britain’s voters are about to take in the referendum is the culmination of decades of agonizing debate about Britain’s place in Europe, and its often lethal effect on British politics.  Europe: Them or Us takes viewers into the corridors of power to hear from the men and women who took the decisions which led us to where we are today.  

The first programme, An Island Apart, investigates why British governments first shunned the new Common Market then begged to join it.  It explores the decisive part played by three British prime ministers, Winston Churchill, Harold Macmillan and Edward Heath.   After being humiliated by the French president, Charles de Gaulle, when Britain first applied to join, Heath triumphantly took the UK into the Common Market ten years later.  But the seeds of today’s problems were already being sown.

The second programme, Voice of the People, examines the way the first European referendum was fought forty years ago, and the changes in the European project since then.  After the British people gave their consent in 1975, successive governments have battled to maintain that consent, leading eventually to the in-out referendum this June.  

The film has specially-filmed contributions from five British prime ministers: Edward Heath, Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Tony Blair and David Cameron.  Also taking part are Tony Benn, Nick Clegg, Jacques Delors, Iain Duncan Smith, Nigel Farage, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, William Hague, Roy Jenkins, Jack Straw and Norman Tebbit, plus the main civil servants and diplomats involved on both sides of the English Channel. Some of the interviews come from the 1996 BBC Two series The Poisoned Chalice, also produced by John Bridcut.


Presenter Nick Robinson
Photography Jonathan Partridge
Aerial Photography Danny Cooke
Sound Patrick Boland, Paul Paragon
Composer Elizabeth Parker
Assistant Producer Barry Ronan
Archive Research Alex Cowan
Online Editor Dominic McMahon
Colourist Michael Sanders
Dubbing Mixer Andrew Sears
Production Co-ordinator Rowan Moss
Production Managers Amy Gostling, Fay Thompson
BBC Executive Producer Jim Gray
Film Editors Colin Napthine, Holly Bridcut
Producer Nigel Gardner
Series Producer John Bridcut


A Crux production for BBC Two  (2 x 60')

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