Banker stays to face the music - A voice for sanity in Brexit

THE wishful thinking, the lack of planning, the dishonesty, the ugly jingoism, and the indifference around how their behaviour might damage a neighbour’s economy — ours — characterised the Brexit camp to the extent that it makes the war cry of Dads’ Army’s Lance Corporal Jones — “Don’t panic!” — more relevant than it has been for some time.

The apprehension provoked by the sense of drift, the feeling that no one really knows how this divorce will end, when it might happen, or what the real cost might be, is more than disconcerting. However, there is one sliver of comfort — Bank of England governor Mark Carney has agreed to stay until 2019, when, it is expected, Britain will have cut itself adrift from the European project. Unlike some of the politicians who criticised his intervention, when he argued for a ‘Remain’ vote, he is to stick around to face the music.

That the announcement was made on a day when the London Stock Exchange warned that the loss of London’s euro-clearing industry could cost €77bn; when the true cost of the sweetheart deal offered to carmakers, Nissan, to stay in Britain became clearer; and when Carnegie Investment Bank admitted that it sold all of its UK holdings ahead of the vote and that it will not invest in the UK as uncertainty prevails, shows the scale of the challenge facing Mr Carney, Britain, and Europe. His influence may not be decisive, but he seems a voice for sanity, ready to challenge the bedlam.


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