EU referendum should take place ‘as soon as necessary’ — Bank of England chief

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The governor of the Bank of England has said a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union (EU) should take place “as soon as necessary.”

Mark Carney said the prospect of a referendum was fuelling business uncertainty, which could hurt the economy if companies start putting off investment plans.

Asked whether he would like to see the referendum sooner rather than later, Carney told the BBC Radio 4’s Today program: “As soon as necessary. That’s as much as you’re going to get.

“The government has made it clear it’s a priority. I’m sure the government will act with appropriate speed in developing the negotiations and putting forward an appropriate question,” he said.

Carney also pointed out the benefits of Britain staying in the EU.

“One of the big advantages this economy has is access to the European market. It’s the largest economy in the world, it’s our largest per destination, it’s our largest investor in the United Kingdom.”

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