Mervyn King blasts Govt over Brexit as Chancellor tries to reassure City

Former Bank of England governor Mervyn King

Former Bank of England governor Mervyn King has slammed the UK Government over its Brexit negotiating tactics as Chancellor Phillip Hammond tries to reassure the City that he can deliver a special deal for financial services.

King told BBC Newsnight the Brexit negotiations are not going as hoped and the Government’s lack of credible fallback position if talks fail gives it a weak hand.

“We’ve been waiting for a year now and I must say I’m not terribly impressed by how much of that fallback position has actually been stated, been implemented, and whether it’s actually being managed properly within the civil service and the Government,” King says.

The former Bank of England chief has previously dismissed the long-term impact of Brexit on the UK economy.

King’s comments come as Chancellor Phillip Hammond tells UK financial services bosses he will deliver a bespoke deal for the sector.

Hammond told the UK Finance Annual Dinner at Mansion House last night that he wanted to deliver a transition period after March 2019, when the UK is scheduled to leave the EU under Article 50.

The Chancellor told the audience: “It is my priority as Chancellor to ensure that the UK remains the financial services centre of the world.

“We have the time zone, the language, the legal system, the talent, the capital markets, and the tech centre to succeed.”