No-deal Brexit could cause property crash, Bank of England governor warns PM

The governor of the Bank of England has warned ministers that house prices could crash by more than a third in the event of a disorderly, no-deal Brexit.
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney. Picture: AFP/Getty ImagesBank of England Governor Mark Carney. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

Mark Carney briefed Theresa May and senior ministers on the Bank’s planning for a “cliff-edge” break with the EU at a special Cabinet meeting on Thursday to review the Government’s no-deal preparations.

It is understood he warned house prices could fall by up to 35 per cent over three years in a worst-case scenario, as sterling plummeted and the Bank was forced to push up interest rates.

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According to reports, he compared the fall-out from such a chaotic departure to the 2008 global financial crash.

Ministers were said to have listened in silence as he and Chancellor Philip Hammond spelled out the grim consequences for the economy.

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His bleak prognosis came as France said it could halt flights and Eurostar trains from the UK if there was no agreement when Britain leaves the EU in March 2019.

The Bank of England declined to comment on Mr Carney’s briefing to ministers.

However it follows the Bank’s latest annual “stress test” of the UK financial system in November 2017, which warned of a 33 per cent fall in house prices in a worst case scenario.

Meanwhile, France’s Europe minister Nathalie Loiseau, in London for talks with Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, warned that Paris could halt major transport links with the UK in the absence of a Brexit deal.

Speaking at the Chatham House international affairs think tank, she said EU member states were working on measures to ensure there was not “chaos” after Britain leaves on March 29.

Asked whether, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, it was a “real possibility” Eurostar trains from London could be rejected and planes leaving Britain turned back, she said: “The consequences of a no-deal which you mentioned are correct.

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“If we do nothing and if we reach no agreement, this is what would happen, among other examples.”

She added: “This is the reason why we need to prepare for a no-deal because we cannot wake up on March 30 and say to our fellow citizens and to our businesses, ‘we thought it would not happen so we are not ready’.”

Downing Street sought to play down her remarks, saying preparations were in hand to deal with “all possible scenarios” after Britain leaves the EU on March 29 2019.

“It is in everybody’s interests for that not to happen,” the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said.