BoE’s Carney wants lengthy Brexit transition for UK firms – Sunday Times

Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England speaks during the quarterly Inflation Report press conference at The Bank of England in London, Britain November 3, 2016. REUTERS/Kirsty Wigglesworth/Pool

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney wants British businesses to retain access to the European Union’s single market for two years after the country leaves the bloc, the Sunday Times reported, without citing sources.

Carney laid out a plan to allow companies a lengthy Brexit transition period when he hosted two dinners last week with Britain’s biggest lenders, the newspaper said.

Britain would remain subject to the European Court of Justice until at least 2021 under Carney’s plan, the Sunday Times said.

By contrast, the paper quoted May as saying that she wanted to “get on with the deal” of leaving the EU, in an interview published late on Saturday.

A Bank of England spokesman declined to comment on the report.

Earlier this month, Carney told lawmakers it would be in the interest of British companies – especially in the financial sector – to have a transitional deal to cover the period between Britain leaving the EU and the finalising of new trade deals.

Carney said the shortest transition period he had ever seen was two years for a Swiss-EU deal on insurance, but that they normally last four to seven years.

The Bank of England does not have any role in the Brexit negotiations with the EU but can provide technical assistance to Britain’s government.

The Canadian BoE governor has maintained a robust defence of the central bank’s operational independence since June’s Brexit vote.

Last month he said BoE officials would not “take instruction” from politicians, a week after May had highlighted the “bad side-effects” of the Bank’s near-zero interest rates and said a change had to come.

(Reporting by Andy Bruce; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)