Former Bank of England governor Lord King has said Brexit negotiations are not going the way the UK hoped.
Lord King, who believes Brexit would not make much long-term difference to the UK economy, questioned the Government’s tactics in EU withdrawal talks with Brussels.
He told BBC Newsnight: “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.
Lord King said he was not ‘terribly impressed’ by the UK’s fallback position in the Brexit negotiations (Jason Alden/PA)
“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.”