The Bank’s deputy governor, Ben Broadbent, said a delay beyond the new deadline of 31 October would harm Britain’s prospects as it faced the longest run of falling business investment since the second world war.
Speaking to the Press Association, Broadbent said the failure to chart a clear path before the original leave date of 29 March had left firms in limbo over investment decisions and major projects.
He said business investment has already been “feeling the consequences” and cautioned that delaying Brexit further means prolonging the uncertainty for hamstrung companies and risks hitting the wider economy.
Broadbent came to prominence last year following a rebuke from the head of the TUC, Frances O’Grady, for saying the economy was in a “menopausal stage” to illustrate how its best days were in the past.
The former Goldman Sachs banker, who sits on the Bank’s interest rate setting committee, also sought to assure borrowers that any interest rate hikes would be gradual after the governor, Mark Carney, said last week that increases would need to be more frequent than financial markets expect. [...]
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