Exclusive: John le Carré’s new novel set amid ‘lunatic’ Brexit intrigue

Agent Running in the Field, due out next month, reflects ‘the divisions in Britain, and between Britain and Europe’

  • Read an extract below

Just as intrigue over Brexit is expected to reach peak intensity next month, Britain’s master spy novelist John le Carré will be releasing a new novel, set in 2018, where the UK is ruled by “a minority Tory cabinet of 10th-raters”, and the country’s new prime minister Boris Johnson is at that point merely “a pig-ignorant foreign secretary”.

An early extract from Le Carré’s 25th novel, Agent Running in the Field, is published in Saturday’s Guardian. It shows Nat, a 47-year-old member of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (MI5), revealing his career choices to his daughter. As she picks away at his beliefs, Nat admits to serious reservations about the idea of England “as the mother of all democracies”, describing the country as in freefall, with “a minority Tory cabinet of 10th-raters … Labour no better. The sheer bloody lunacy of Brexit.”

Le Carré’s editor at Viking, Mary Mount, said that the novelist “doesn’t pull his punches” when it comes to Johnson.

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