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Mark Carney finds ‘conceptual positive’ in Brexit

Once called “the high priest of Project Fear”, the Governor of the Bank of England has said that not everything about Brexit is bad Mark Carney has acknowledged there could be some benefits from Brexit, almost four years on from the referendum campaign during which he was accused of joining ‘Project Fear’. The outgoing Bank of…

Once called “the high priest of Project Fear”, the Governor of the Bank of England has said that not everything about Brexit is bad

Mark Carney has acknowledged there could be some benefits from Brexit, almost four years on from the referendum campaign during which he was accused of joining ‘Project Fear’.

The outgoing Bank of England Governor said Britain’s departure from the EU has forced a rethink of its domestic economic policies and its relationship with the rest of the world, which could be “a conceptual positive”.

“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 in an interview with Reuters.

The current political focus on infrastructure spending and ‘levelling up’ the nation is a key example.

“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,” said Mr Carney, who steps down from the top job next month.

“It’s early days but there are several initiatives – the budget will be telling – that suggest that some of these opportunities are being grasped.”

He noted the rebound in business and consumer confidence which has taken place since Boris Johnson won December’s general election on a promise to “get Brexit done”, though Mr Carney added that he still believes Brexit has harmed the economy.

“It’s absolutely clear in the data, whether both the survey data and the hard data, that it’s had an impact, a notable impact on investment and of course that flows through to productivity,” he said.

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