Finance

Mark Carney: UK businesses not ready for Brexit

Less than half of the U.K.s businesses have initiated their contingency plans for a no-deal Brexit, Bank of England chief Mark Carney warned Thursday.

“The core of this financial system is ready, the Bank of England is ready, for whatever form of Brexit this country chooses to take,” Carney told the Today program in an interview. But “less than half of the businesses in this country have initiated their contingency plans for a no-deal Brexit.”

The BoE chief said: “All the industries, all the infrastructure of the country, are they all ready at this point in time? Best as we can tell, the answer is no.”

Carney said that while he doesnt have a position on what sort of deal, if any, the U.K. should strike with the EU, “It is in the interests of the country to have some time to transition to whatever relationship it is.” He added that 18 to 24 months should be sufficient to get businesses and infrastructure up to speed.

The Bank of England on Wednesday released an 87-page report in which it found that the U.K. would be economically worse off under any scenario of Brexit.

“In the end Brexit is a unique situation where there is a substantial change potentially in the trading relationship with our biggest trading partner,” Carney told the Today program. “In a situation like that, the best thing the bank can do is to make sure the financial system is there to help it [make] that adjustment.”

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