Bank of Englands Carney hits back at critics of Brexit scenarios

Irving Hamilton
December 7, 2018

Pro-Brexit critics of Carney, who have long accused him of political meddling in the debate about Britain's relationship with the European Union, dismissed last week's Bank of England report as scare-mongering.

The governor of the Bank of England made comments about Lord King of Lothbury, who ran the Bank from 2003 to 2013, at a parliamentary hearing where he defended his Brexit projections.

Carney also hit back at critics of the BoE report, which detailed several worst-case scenarios for Britain's economy, dependent on the nature of a Brexit deal (if any).

Meanwhile, Carney also told MPs that in the most "extreme" case, prices would rise by 10 per cent, but in a less severe scenario, the increase would be about 6%.

"For individual food products it's going to vary".

On auto prices, he added: "The direction of travel is clear, but the size (of price rises) will depend on the nature of the withdrawal".

House prices could fall around 30%.

Mr Carney was asked by MPs to describe some of the ways in which this might affect ordinary consumers.

Former Bank of England Governor Mervyn King
Former Bank of England Governor Mervyn King

Mr Carney told MPs: "The first set of criticisms of our releasing this information is, in our judgment, unfair".

"There's no exam crisis".

"You asked for something that we had, and we brought it and we gave it to you", he said.

"These are low probability events in the context of Brexit", he said.

Mr Carney was asked about whether rising meat prices might make people become vegan. He also dubbed the criticism of the Governor by Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg as being "contemptuous of Parliament".

Last week, Mr Carney said that fewer than half of businesses had initiated contingency plans.

"We would not be comfortable...outsourcing supervision of this incredibly complex, incredibly important financial sector", he said.

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