The speech was described as outlining an “upbeat” assessment of the impact that the EU has had on Britain. However, Carney was mindful to remind people that he was speaking specifically about the effects that membership has had on the Bank of England and was not making an evaluation on the EU as a whole.
In spite of this, there will be many supporters of the EU who will have been glad to hear him remark that the United Kingdom could be seen as “the leading beneficiary” of the single market set up by the EU. He went on to say that being one of the 28 countries to make up the trading bloc can definitely be seen as one of the biggest factors in the country’s solid economic standing.
“Overall EU membership has increased the openness of the UK economy, facilitating dynamism but also creating some monetary and financial stability challenges for the Bank of England to manage,”
He continued by saying that so far “we have been able to meet these challenges”.
The Governor also examined the topic of immigration and its impact on the British economy. He praised this politically divisive area by saying that the free movement of labour had helped hugely in balancing the UK’s deficit of skills in certain key sectors and had helped the country’s economic growth.
Carney did say that there have been times when the UK’s membership of the EU has had a negative impact on the country and that Britain was not immune from risks that are presented by Europe. The example that he pointed to was the recent eurozone crisis, which saw many of our biggest trade partners slide into crisis.
“As a result of closer integration within the EU and, more recently with the euro area crisis, this may have increased the challenges to UK economic and financial stability,”