LONDON (Reuters) - Former Bank of England governor Mervyn King said the United Kingdom was probably heading towards a ‘Brexit in name only’ because the British political elite had been so incompetent in negotiating an exit from the European Union.
The United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union on March 29, yet little is clear: There is, so far, no full exit deal, rivals to Prime Minister Theresa May are circling and some lawmakers are pushing for a rerun of the 2016 referendum.
King, a supporter of Brexit, said it beggared belief that such a major economy should be talking of stockpiling food and medicines.
“We haven’t had a credible bargaining position,” King, who ran the Bank of England from 2003 to 2013, was quoted as saying by the BBC.
King said the UK would probably find itself with Brexit in name only, dubbed BRINO, which he said was the worst of all worlds, the BBC reported.
Brexit in name only would leave Britain closely linked to the EU after leaving, a state Brexiteers say would leave it subject to EU rules but unable to reap the benefits of a full divorce.
With just under seven months left before the UK is due to leave the EU, the country, its politicians and its business leaders remain deeply divided over Brexit.
Recent opinion polls show voters think May is handling the process badly and there may be a slight move towards support for staying in the EU.
“Both camps feel that they haven’t got what they wanted,” King said, adding that the failure of Britain to provide a united front in negotiations was shocking.
“The EU has been united, has been clear, has been patient and it’s the UK that’s been divided without any clear strategy at all for how to get to where we want to go.”
Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Kate Holton