The former MP heads to Europe to discover how the divisions exposed by Brexit are reflected across the EU, exploring the role that national identity and pride have had to play in fuelling the rise of right-wing populism across the continent.
Part 1: Our Way of Life
Ed begins in the Netherlands, and the fishing towns of Den Helder and Scheveningen, where he meets a veteran fisherman who explains how EU rules and regulations have made the job harder.
Part 2: The People vs the Elites
Ed continues his journey across Europe in Poland and Germany. In Leczna, eastern Poland, he meets coal miners who explain the importance of an industry that is now under threat from the EU. Crossing the border to Germany, Ed heads to Dorfchemnitz, which in the 2017 national election returned the highest vote in the country for the far-right Alternative for Germany party. He also visits Bremen, a city that has felt the impact of Angela Merkel’s controversial policy to take on more refugees during the migrant crisis than any other country in Europe.
Part 3: The Haves and Have-Nots
Ed travels to Italy and France, finding out how years of austerity have affected politics across Europe. In Italy, he compares the lives of multimillionaire fashion entrepreneur Valeria Marini, who lives in Italy’s wealthiest city, Milan, and a farming family from Calabria, one of the poorest regions. Ed ends his trip in France, where Marine le Pen has increased the vote for her rebranded National Rally party, in part by promising to protect French industry from foreign traders. He meets voters unsure which way to turn and asks what the future holds for European politics.