BOE's Haldane Says Brexit Deal Would Unlock U.K. Investment

(Bloomberg) -- Reaching a Brexit deal would help unleash investment in the U.K. economy, according to Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane.

The government’s failure so far to get Parliament to approve Prime Minister Theresa May’s agreement with the European Union has led firms to “press the pause button,” he said in an interview with the Daily Mail published late Wednesday. That’s despite low interest rates which mean there has “never been a better time for companies to be investing,” he added.

“On the assumption that some deal is done, that would reduce uncertainty and, we think, cause people to take their finger off the pause button and do a bit more investment spending.”

Other highlights from the interview included:

  • Haldane reiterated the BOE’s interest rate guidance that “if the economy continues to tick along, as we expect, then we might expect some further limited and gradual rises.”
  • Yet “if the economy begins to change direction we will be flexible.”
  • The government’s industrial strategy -- which Haldane helps oversee -- is missing a means of tracking progress and an early task will be to develop a framework to keep score, he said.
  • Haldane declined to say whether he’ll apply to be BOE governor when Mark Carney steps down in January 2020, the Mail said.

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