Bank of England governor Mark Carney has said he is “quite confident” that major economies will want to deepen their trading relationship with the UK after its withdrawal from the EU.
Mr Carney named his homeland of Canada alongside Australia and “a number of the big emerging markets” as countries who will want trade deals with a post-Brexit Britain.
Answering questions from a panel of children on live TV as part of the BBC School Report project, the governor said he believed his interventions to calm the markets in the wake of the Brexit vote “definitely worked”.
But he said that the morning after the June 23 referendum - when he made an immediate statement announcing that the Bank was making £250 billion available to help deal with uncertainties caused by the vote - was the “toughest day” of his career at Threadneedle Street.
In response to a wide-ranging set of questions, he also cautioned that an independent Scotland would have to give up some of its sovereignty if it wanted to continue using the pound. And he diplomatically declined to say whether he preferred to work with David Cameron or Theresa May, insisting they were “both very professional, incredibly easy to work with”.
Asked where a post-Brexit UK will find trading partners, Mr Carney said: “Most countries want to trade with the UK and there are a number of countries - including my home country Canada, Australia and a number of the big emerging markets - who I am quite confident will want to have deeper trading relationships with the UK because of what the UK has to offer in business, services, manufacturing, design, culture and financial services. The opportunity is very large.”
Mr Carney recalled arriving at the Bank at 3.30am after a couple of hours’ sleep on the morning after the referendum.
“We had everybody in the financial world focused on this event and we had to get it right, so I felt a tremendous responsibility to make sure we had prepared properly and we executed as well as possible,” he said.