Turmoil over Brexit is costing country £800m a week, a top Bank of England official claims

City & Finance Reporter for the Daily Mail

Brexit turmoil: Bank boss Mark Carney

Brexit turmoil: Bank boss Mark Carney

Brexit turmoil: Bank boss Mark Carney

Turmoil over Brexit is costing the country £800m a week, a top Bank of England official claims.

The economy is 2 per cent smaller than it would be if we had voted to stay in the European Union, Monetary Policy Committee member Gertjan Vlieghe said.

The Belgian-born economist, who helps the bank set interest rates, said this means the country is £40 billion a year worse off, or more than £80 billion, since the referendum was held in June 2016. He suggested the problem is growing as next month’s Brexit deadline looms with no clear solution in sight.

Vlieghe said: ‘As we approach the deadline without a clear way forward, concerns have intensified and investment has weakened further.’

He said interest rates may need to be cut to support the economy if Britain leaves without a deal.

It came as the head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, warned at a speech in Munich that high unemployment risks damaging the eurozone.

She said in Italy, Greece and Spain unemployment is as high as 20 per cent – and for young people, it is more than 30 per cent. Lagarde said: ‘In many southern euro-area countries unemployment is far too high.’

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