The Panorama episode, aired this evening at 8.30pm, has already triggered a wave of comments on Twitter – particularly when former Brexit chief, Philip Rycroft, who quit before the original March 29 deadline, was featured. He said a no deal Brexit would be a “step into the unknown”. He added: “I think everybody should be worried about what happens in a no-deal situation. We would be taking a step into the unknown.
“It’s not in the UK’s interest to have no-deal, it’s not in the EU’s interest to have a no-deal.
“The rational outcome over the next few months is to get a deal because that is overwhelmingly in the economic interest of both the EU and the UK.”
Despite the doomsday-style warning, Brexiteers were quick to slap down the programme.
One Twitter user, Dennis Ward, warned: “I think everybody should be very worried if we throw democracy down the toilet.”
Stephen Buller added: “And shouldn’t we all be concerned about the impact of staying in the EU? I think so.”
Kevin Robinson said: “The BBC continue to display an absolute disregard for the wishes of the British people in relation to the EU referendum. They honestly believe that if you roll out the propaganda enough times, the public will glibly accept everything they say.
“It has gone past the point of no return, the BBC will be consigned to history by the next General Election, the public have seen through your litany of lies and fear mongering over Brexit.
“There is no trust in the left leaning BBC and in the opinion of every Brexiteer I have met the corporation has no credibility, when reporting on EU related topics.”
Duncan Shelley said: “Oh PANORAMA!!! A BBC programme. I wonder what impartial view on the EU it will show.”
Eileen Morris, referring to Mr Rycroft, added: “As a former employee of the British government he should support Democracy and we have just had proof the EU is not democratic.”
Nick Adams said: “Panorama only concentrating on costs for UK. No mention of costs for the eu. More BBC bias.”
Brian Gallagher added: “I’m starting to think that this Brexit thing isn’t going to be as simple as some have been making out.”
Another social media user said: “A clean Brexit and permanent damage to the EU is the most benevolent gift we could hand all citizens of Europe.
“This isn’t about food or fuel prices. It is about escaping a totalitarian tiptoe.”
Mr Rycroft also said during the programme that there are around “16,000 civil servants whose jobs are dedicated to Brexit-related issues”, in what he calls “an unprecedented situation” and “the biggest exercise across Government we’ve seen over the last few decades”.
He said: “The planning I think is in good shape, absolutely but of course what that doesn’t mean is that there won’t be an impact from Brexit, and particularly a no-deal Brexit, because that is a very major change and it would be a very abrupt change to our major trading relationship.”