An anonymous civil servant’s "hilarious and horrifying" account of government amid Brexit chaos will be published by Headline in March 2019, a few weeks before Britain is due to leave the EU.
The Secret Civil Servant: The Inside Story of Brexit, Government F**k-Ups, and How we Try to Fix Things, to be published as a £20 hardback, has been authored by a civil servant working for the British government in Westminster, "writing anonymously because Theresa May probably won't find any of this very funny." The author has previously published a series of columns with the New Statesman, revealing shocking and humorous anecdotes about the Brexit negotiations.
Fiona Crosby, senior commissioning editor for non-fiction at Headline, pre-empted world rights from Chris Wellbelove at Aitken Alexander, who has also agented the Secret Barrister.
Headline billed the book "a unique and revealing" title "which will share the truth about what goes on in government behind closed doors, from the corridors of Whitehall to the EU negotiating table.
"As Britain jigs daily between political crisis and constitutional meltdown, it’s high time we understood how our government really works. This book will reveal what happened behind-the-scenes of Brexit, from the panic triggered by the EU referendum result in June 2016 to the last-gasp efforts to a secure a deal in 2018," the publisher said.
"It will also be a unique insight into the organisation we entrust to enact the will of the British people, exploring the role civil servants play in running Britain, how decisions made in SW1 have significant consequences for everyone, and what Brexit revealed about the cracks in the system.
Crosby said: “What The Secret Barrister did for the legal system and Adam Kay did for the health service, The Secret Civil Servant will do for the inner workings of government during an extraordinary political era. The truth about who’s running Britain and how Brexit unfolded is even more hilarious and horrifying than you could imagine.”
The Secret Civil Servant said: “With so much nonsense being talked about Brexit, The Government and the Civil Service at the moment, it’s time somebody wrote an insider’s account that offers a glimpse into the corridors of Whitehall and behind the front page outrage. Everyone is affected by what the Civil Service gets up to. I want to show that for all its failings, perceived or otherwise, it is ultimately an organisation made up of ordinary people, like you and me, who don’t know what is going on. I am delighted to be working with the team at Headline who have long been a big supporter of the column.”