MADRID – British authors Ken Follett, Lee Child, Jojo Moyes and Kate Mosse visited Madrid on Monday as part of their The Friendship Tour, an anti-Brexit campaign led by the novelists in which they are holding talks about the issues surrounding the United Kingdom leaving the European Union.
“We want to say: don’t give up on Britain,” Child said at the beginning of the talk.
The four anti-Brexiters highlighted the importance of keeping in touch with their followers and how closing off the British Isles would be devastating for the UK’s culture.
“We sort of have enough money so we’re not worried about sales in that sense, but we are worried about our relationship with our readers,” said Follett.
“When you’re a creative artist, you absorb influences from all around, and if we become more insular in the UK, I think our cultural life will suffer.”
Jojo Moyes said that politicians do not always represent the people, and along with Lee Child expressed her dislike for Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage.
“One of the most depressing elements for me of Brexit has been the number of people who have been taken in by Farage, who is a failed politician.”
When asked about what the responsibility of the British people was in Brexit, Follett said they “didn’t ask enough questions,” that they “allowed themselves to be fooled” and “read stupid newspapers.”
Child pointed out the importance of democracy and how it must be cherished, something that, in his opinion, the British people did not do.
“When you study history, democracy is an incredibly unlikely outcome.”
“We should have been grateful for it; we should have been vigilant every day in defending it. But we didn’t,” Child said.
When asked about whether they would leave the UK after Brexit, the four novelists agreed they would not.
“To stay and fight for the country that I grew up in and want to see remain. I would feel like I was running away if I went to live somewhere else,” said Mosse.
Madrid was the second stop of The Friendship Tour, the brainchild of Follett himself.
“I thought it would be a good idea to get a group of British writers together to go on a tour of Europe, like a rock band, and talk to readers and say how we felt about Brexit, how we felt about Europe,” said Follet.
The campaign started on Sunday in Milan and will next head off to Berlin and Paris.