'The worst of both worlds': Former Bank of England governor attacks 'incompetent' Brexit handling

Former Bank of England governor Mervyn King has warned UK is left without a ‘credible position’ over Brexit. Photo:Oli Scarff/Getty Images

The former governor of the Bank of England has called the government’s handling of Brexit “incompetent”.

Lord Mervyn King, who has previously spoken out in support of Britain leaving the EU, said that it “beggars belief” that one of the world’s largest economies had been forced into a position where it is stockpiling medicines and food.

King warned that the government’s approach to a no-deal scenario had left it without a credible bargaining position, and that the current approach would leave nobody happy with the outcome.

He told the BBC: “I’m not going to tell the government what to do, but what is pretty clear is that we are likely to have some sort of deal.

“But we are going to get the worst of both worlds.

“We will leave next March, but only in the sense that we won’t be going to any of the meetings that take place, so we will have no say in what happens. And yet we will still be bound by all the rules and regulations of the European Union.

“The referendum hasn’t decided it, because both camps feel that they haven’t got what they wanted, and that is not how policy in Britain is usually made.”

Lord King called the government’s preparations for Brexit ‘incompetent’. Photo: Getty Images

The damning assessment came as Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham called for an extension to the Article 50 timeline to avoid the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal

The Labour politician is set to tell Westminster on Wednesday that “this isn’t about frustrating Brexit”, but instead about “getting Brexit right”.


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On Tuesday, the Brexit secretary Dominic Raab insisted that a withdrawal deal was “within our grasp”, despite the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier warning that he is “strongly opposed” to the government’s current negotiating position.

Raab faces a grilling from MPs later today as he appears before the European scrutiny committee alongside the PM’s Europe adviser, Olly Robbins. 

He is expected to defend the PM’s Chequers plan which continues to cause deep rifts through his own party.