Simon & Schuster will publish a 'behind-the-scenes' insight into the Brexit negotiations in September.
S&S deputy publishing director Ian Marshall acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to Blind Man’s Brexit by Lode Desmet and Edward Stourton from Gordon Wise at Curtis Brown Agency working in association with Films of Record and Menuetto Film.
The book was conceived when film-maker Desmet was given complete access to Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s representative on Brexit, to make a fly-on-the-wall documentary about the negotiations. Shown on BBC Four as "Brexit: Behind Closed Doors", the series provided insight into what actually happened in the corridors of power in the EU.
The book includes a "huge amount of additional material that wasn’t seen, while Stourton provides a complete overview of events on the UK side to make this the definitive account of the Brexit negotiations", said S&S.
Marshall said: "Because we have been so caught up in our own internal debate about Brexit, we have almost forgotten that we were actually negotiating with the EU and paid scant attention to what they were saying and thinking. This book reveals all of that in stunning detail, and highlights the many errors made by the UK negotiating team. So often in political books, stories are reported second hand, with those feeding information sometimes having an eye for what will make them look better. In Blind Man’s Brexit, there is no such filter and the book shows exactly what happened and when. For anyone wanting to understand how we got things so badly wrong, this book will be the first place you have to look to find out."
Desmet added: "What do you do when, after two years of filming behind the scenes of the Brexit negotiations, you sit on a chest full of transcripts detailing the inner workings of high diplomacy? You drag it to Ed Stourton’s door, knock, kindly ask whether he can help you map out the crime scene, and write the tale together, like the brothers Grimm of Brexit."