Mark Carney to stay on - 'the only Canada deal the government will land'

PUBLISHED: 13:01 11 September 2018 | UPDATED: 13:02 11 September 2018

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Mark Carney is to stay on as Bank of England governor until January 2020, chancellor Philip Hammond has confirmed - leading Remainers to mock it is the only Canada Brexit deal the government is likely to land.

The move means extending Carney's term by seven months, having previously planned to step down in June 2019.

Hammond told the Commons today: "I can now announce to the House that I have been discussing with the governor his ability to be able to serve a little longer in post in order to ensure continuity through what could be quite a turbulent period for our economy in the early summer of 2019.

I can tell the House today that the governor has agreed, despite various personal pressures to conclude his term in June, that he will continue until the end of January 2020 in order to help support continuity in our economy during this period."

The Canadian announced in late 2016 that he would stay in his role until the end of June 2019, opting against a full eight-year term.

It would have left him in the hot seat for just three months after Britain formally leaves the EU in March, leaving a newcomer to navigate the aftermath of the divorce.

It is thought the increasing fears of a no-deal scenario also increased the need for continuity at the top of the Bank.

Labour MP Virendra Sharma, a champion of the anti-Brexit campaign group Better for Britain, said Carney's willingness to stay through the turbulence "shows the problems that the government are having on Brexit".

He said: "Keeping him on seems like the only Canada deal the government will able to land in the next year.

"That Mark Carney wants to stay should worry everyone, but the shocks facing the economy could be deeply damaging - jobs and our prosperity are at risk.

"In a sea of Brexit political pygmies the governor of the Bank of England is one of the only sane voices at the table, so it is welcome news he is staying on."

But the news upset former Ukip leader Nigel Farage, who tweeted that it was a "truly appalling decision".

He moaned: "He is a Remainer, how can we take this government seriously?".

Carney confirmed last week that he was in talks with the Treasury over extending his tenure, saying he pledged to do "whatever he can to support the UK through Brexit".

In an exchange of letters with Hammond published today alongside the announcement, Carney said: "I recognise that during this critical period, it is important that everyone does everything they can to support a smooth and successful Brexit.

"Accordingly, I am willing to do whatever I can in order to promote both a successful Brexit and an effective transition at the Bank of England, and I can confirm that I would be honoured to extend my term to January 2020."

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