Bank of England's Carney hits back at critics over EU comments

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney
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Bank of England Governor Mark Carney

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney hit back at critics who have accused him of venturing into politics when assessing the economic impact of a British vote to leave the European Union, saying it would be political to omit such judgments.

Carney told members of parliament on Tuesday that the Bank had to assess the implications of Britain's membership of the EU as part of its job to manage the country's economy.

"Assessing and reporting major risks does not mean becoming involved in politics," Carney said. "Rather it would be political to suppress important judgments which relate directly to the Bank's remits and which influence our policy actions."

Carney has previously described Brexit as the main domestic risk to Britain's financial stability. He has also stressed the gains for Britain's economy from its open trading relationship with the EU, drawing criticism from some pro-Brexit lawmakers.

In an annual meeting with members of the House of Lords, Carney said uncertainty about the outcome of the referendum already appeared to be weighing on Britain's economy.

He said the risks related to the referendum included pressures on Britain's wide current account deficit, its property markets, liquidity in financial markets and a possible negative impact on the rest of the EU.

"Some elements of these risks may be beginning to manifest," he said.

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