Mark Carney says Boris Johnson’s general election win has prompted a ‘rebound in business confidence’ in Britain and admits Brexit could boost the UK economy
- Mark Carney will step down as the governor of the Bank of England next month
- He has been long time critic of Brexit but suggested it could have silver lining
- Also said Boris Johnson’s election victory helped restore business confidence
Boris Johnson’s general election victory has prompted a ‘rebound in confidence’ in the British economy and there could be a silver lining to Brexit, Mark Carney has said.
The governor of the Bank of England is due to step down from the role next month after a nearly seven-year term.
In recent years he has been one of the leading critics of the UK’s departure from the European Union with Brexiteers frequently accusing him of making ‘Project Fear’ predictions.
But Mr Carney has now appeared to soften his warnings relating to Britain’s split from Brussels.
Mark Carney, pictured at the Bank of England in London yesterday, said Boris Johnson’s election win helped the UK economy ‘rebound’
In an interview with the Reuters news agency, Mr Carney said the UK was now moving to address its main economic problem – weak productivity.
Mr Johnson this week gave the green light to the £100 billion HS2 high speed rail network to better connect major cities in England and he has also promised further help for regions where growth has fallen far behind London.
Asked about the potential upsides for the economy resulting from Brexit, Mr Carney said: ‘In an environment where everything is getting a fresh look, it’s fertile ground for taking a step back and making bigger changes than otherwise might have been made.
‘It’s early days but there are several initiatives – the budget will be telling – that suggest that some of these opportunities are being grasped.’
Canadian Mr Carney became governor in 2013 and three years into his term the UK voted to leave the EU despite warnings from him and many other analysts that Britain’s economy was likely to suffer as a result.
He said that the data was ‘absolutely clear’ that Brexit ‘had an impact, a notable impact on investment’.
But he then said that Brexit could prove to be ‘a conceptual positive’ for the UK.
Mr Johnson, pictured alongside his new Chancellor Rishi Sunak at a meeting of the Cabinet today, won a crushing 80-seat Tory majority at the December election
‘It is a major reordering of our relationship not just with the European Union but our trading relationships with the rest of the world and it is prompting a reassessment of economic policy, structural economic policy in the country,’ he said.
Mr Carney said the clear election victory for Mr Johnson in December which ended Brexit uncertainty and ensured the UK finally left the bloc on January 31 had caused an upturn in the UK economy.
‘We are already seeing a rebound in confidence, business confidence and to some extent a firming of consumer confidence,’ he said.