Best-Selling Author Lee Child Becoming Irish Due to Brexit

DUBLIN (AFP) — One of the world’s best-selling detective novelists, Jack Reacher creator Lee Child, said he is becoming Irish so he can continue to travel in the European Union after Brexit.

The British author, whose real name is James Grant, said he was applying for a passport as his father was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

“I haven’t got the passport yet, but I will do very soon. It feels like I’m cheating, to be honest, as I will get in the back door,” he was quoted as saying in the Irish Times on Monday.

“I am not a huge fan of Britain even though I was born there,” he said. “It’s a silly and frustrating country, which is why I moved to America.”

Child, who was born in Coventry, central England, was speaking in Berlin on a four-city European tour with three other British writers — Kate Mosse, Jojo Moyes and Ken Follett.

They are speaking out against Britain’s departure from the EU, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants before Jan. 31, and which may hinge upon whether he wins a majority at a general election in December.

The author said Johnson, who went to the prestigious Eton College and Oxford University, was the product of privilege and an elitist system.

“If he had gone to my school, he would not now be prime minister,” he said.

Child was asked what would happen if his protagonist — an ex-U.S. military man turned crime investigator — was locked with Johnson in an isolated farmhouse for a weekend.

“Only one of them would come out of it alive, and it wouldn’t be Boris,” he said.

The British literature heavyweight, one of whose crime books sells every 13 seconds, was honored by Queen Elizabeth II in June.

© Agence France-Presse

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