Carney stays firmly on the fence over Brexit

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has determinedly stayed neutral under questioning on whether the United Kingdom should leave the European Union.

Carney stays firmly on the fence over Brexit

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Carney appeared in front of the Treasury Select Committee on Tuesday morning to be quizzed on the Bank’s stance on the referendum and its policy options for responding to the vote.

He declined to offer any views or forecasts on how Britain’s exit would impact the economy and employment.

The Bank of England did offer some soft support for Prime Minister David Cameron’s deal with the European Commission, saying it addressed issues the Bank is concerned about.

Deputy governor for financial stability Jon Cunliffe was also questioned by the Committee and largely stuck to the line set out by Carney.

The appearance before the Committee follows on from an announcement last night that the Bank of England is preparing to make extra liquidity available to Britain’s banks in the run up to the 23 June.

The move would seem to indicate the Bank has serious concerns over how financial markets will behave in the run up to the vote and the immediate aftermath.

“The Bank of England’s announcement today that it will provide additional liquidity to commercial banks around the Brexit referendum looks sensible and is line with their previous contingency plans around the Scottish referendum,” said Paul Brain, leader, fixed income at Newton Investment Management.  “In this charged political debate, I’m sure some will suggest it is either scaremongering or evidence of a reason to be scared; but, from a market perspective, it is very sensible.”

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