WATCH Former Bank of England governor Mervyn King: Brexit talks are not going well

Posted On: 
14th September 2017

The former governor of the Bank of England has said he does not believe the Brexit negotiations "are going in the way that we might hope".

Sir Mervyn King is concerned about the progress being made in the Brexit talks.
Credit: 
PA Images

Sir Mervyn King accused the Government of failing to come up with a clear strategy for what to do if the talks break down.

He said a separate team should be set up to explore how the UK would cope with being forced to trade on World Trade Organisation rules if no deal is reached with Brussels.

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Appearing on the BBC's Newsnight programme, Sir Mervyn - who was a pro-Brexit voice during the EU referendum - said: "If you’re going to enter a negotiation, it’s actually very important to make sure that the other side of the table knows that you have a fallback position that you’re capable of delivering. That requires you to make clear publicly what the fallback position is.

"We’ve been waiting for over a year now and I must say that 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.

"I don’t think this is a statement about the potential impact of Brexit but I don’t think that the negotiations are going in the way that we might hope.

"And I think that you need a separate team who are responsible for ensuring that if the negotiations do break down in some way, and we cannot control that, that depends on the other side... We have no influence over that.

"Then what we are capable of doing is saying, well if you don’t want an agreement then we are capable of leaving and trading with you, for example under World Trade Organisation terms. It’s not our first preference but we can do it, and we need a team of people who are capable of delivering that."

Watch his full comments here: 

Sir Mervyn spoke out as it emerged Theresa May will make a keynote Brexit speech in Florence on 22 September in a bid to kickstart the talks.

It was also announced earlier this week that the next round of negotiations have been delayed by a week.