Bank of England governor to see through Brexit negotiations

By on 02/11/2016
Bank of England governor Mark Carney

The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, is to remain in the post during the crucial two-year period during which the UK is expected to negotiate the terms of its departure from the EU.

When he took on the role in 2012, Carney had made known his intention to step down in 2017 after serving five of a possible eight years, for what he said were personal reasons.

But in a letter this week to the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, Carney said he had decided to extend his time as governor to the end of June 2019. This will cover the two years the government will have to see through the formal Brexit process, which is expected to begin by March 2017 with the triggering of Article 50.

Carney said in his letter that he “recognised the importance to the country of continuity” during the Brexit negotiations.

“I would be honoured to extend my time of service as governor for an additional year to the end of June 2019. By taking my term in office beyond the expected period of the Article 50 process, this should help contribute to securing an orderly transition to the UK’s new relationship with Europe,” he wrote.

Hammond said he was “pleased” to hear of the governor’s decision. “This will enable you to continue your highly effective leadership of the Bank through a critical period for the British economy as we negotiate our exit from the European Union,” Hammond wrote in a letter responding to Carney’s notification.

During the run-up to the UK’s Brexit referendum in June, Carney attracted criticism by warning of the potentially damaging economic impact of a British exit from the EU. Pro-Leave Conservative MPs said Carney had broken rules applied in the run-up to elections or referenda preventing government departments from making policy-related announcements that could influence voters.

In a statement, Conservative MP Andrew Tyrie, chair of the parliamentary Treasury Committee, welcomed the “much needed clarification” over Carney’s future at the bank. However, with numerous media reports circulating this week suggesting Carney could in fact stay for his full eight-year term, Tyrie said further speculation over the governor’s future “needs to be avoided”. Nonetheless, Tyre added that “the decision requires a good deal of examination and explanation, which the committee will seek when it next sees the governor in a fortnight.”

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See also:

Interim Brexit deal with EU ‘inevitable’ for UK, says former Foreign Office chief

John Kingman, champion of HM Treasury’s supply-side activism, warns of Brexit threat

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Leslie Evans, Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government: Exclusive Interview

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About Ben Willis

Ben Willis is a journalist and editor with a varied background reporting on topics including public policy, the environment, renewable energy and international development. His work has appeared in a variety of national newspapers including the Guardian, Daily Telegraph and Times, as well as numerous specialist business, policy and consumer publications.

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