Ex-Bank of England governor Mervyn King says Britain should leave Europe without a deal saying it is ‘not obvious’ it would cost jobs
- Lord Mervyn King said UK should leave EU on World Trade Organisation terms
- He called for a six-month delay to ensure adequate preparation for the departure
- Lord King claimed the costs of No Deal would be no different from staying in
A former governor of the Bank of England has delivered an excoriating verdict on Britain’s handling of Brexit, saying the UK should now leave without a deal.
Lord Mervyn King said the country should depart on World Trade Organisation rules with a six-month delay to ensure adequate preparation, insisting there was little evidence it would lead to job losses.
He claimed the economic costs of leaving with No Deal would actually be no different from staying in.
Lord King told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: ‘My own personal preference would be to go back to Europe and say we have a clear strategy which is we want to leave without a deal.
Lord Mervyn King said the country should depart on World Trade Organisation rules with a six-month delay (file photo)
‘But we would like to take six months to complete the preparations to avoid the dislocation.
‘I think we would have to take advice from the government and officials as to how long they now think it would take before our country is ready to leave without a deal.’
Asked whether it was really possible to do so in six months, Lord King said: ‘It depends on how far the preparations have got.
‘And the government haven’t been as explicit on that as they might.’
The former governor said people should not worry about the economic impact of leaving the EU without any formal agreement.
Lord King claimed the economic costs of leaving with No Deal would actually be no different from staying in (file photo)
‘I don’t think it is obvious there would be jobs lost at all,’ he said.
‘There would be some short-run dislocation costs. The more wild exaggerated view that somehow we’re going to have queues of lorries on the M20 for five years or more is pretty absurd.
‘I don’t believe that with adequate preparation, or in the long term, that the economic costs of leaving would be very different from staying in.’
Speaking on the day the UK was originally scheduled to leave the EU, King blasted ministers for having failed to adequately prepare for a no-deal departure.
He said a decision by Philip Hammond, the chancellor, not to accelerate spending to prepare the country for such a scenario had been ‘disastrous’.
Lord King was governor of the Bank of England from 2003 to 2013, during the financial crisis.