Mark Carney didn’t say Brexit could usher in “a golden age of trade”

Published: 13th Feb 2019

In brief

Claim

The Bank of England governor says that post-Brexit trade deals could lead to “a golden age of trade”.

Conclusion

Mr Carney’s speech yesterday did not use these words. It did discuss both opportunities and risks from Brexit, but to describe his comments as suggesting a “golden age of trade” is misleading.

“And will [the Prime Minister] also rule out a future customs union arrangement which would prevent us doing those global trade deals, which the Bank of England governor says is a potential golden age of trade?”

Henry Smith MP, 13 February 2019

In Prime Minister’s Questions today Conservative MP Henry Smith said that the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, described post-Brexit trade deals as a potential “golden age of trade”.

Except, he didn’t.

After a speech at a Financial Times event yesterday, the Sun reported that Mr Carney “admitted Brexit could spark a golden era of trade,” and Mr Smith described the speech in a very similar way in parliament.

Mr Carney didn’t use the words “golden age” at all in the speech. While the Sun article didn’t directly quote him as saying that, to describe the speech (which was mostly discussing warning signs of a global economic slowdown) in that way is misleading.

On Brexit, Mr Carney actually said: “In many respects, Brexit is the first test of the new global order and could prove the acid test of whether a way can be found to broaden the benefits of openness while enhancing democratic accountability.

“Brexit can lead to a new form of international cooperation and cross-border commerce built on a better balance of local and supranational authorities.

“In these respects, Brexit could affect both the short and long term global outlooks so it's in the interests of everyone, arguably everywhere […] that a Brexit solution is found that works for all.”

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