Bank of England policymaker Catherine Mann has issued her opinions on the Brexit debate, blaming UK’s departure from the European Union for adding to inflation. Mann is a US economist who sits on the rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee. She said there were signs that the cost-of-living crunch was beginning to turn a corner in the US and the EU, but not yet in the UK.
All three regions had faced shocks to demand and supply driven by the “Covid and lockdown-induced global demand rotation and subsequent supply bottlenecks,” and the energy shock caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Mann stated. “However, the UK has also been affected by a third type of shock which makes it unique: no other country chose to unilaterally impose trade barriers on its closest trading partners,” she added.
Her comments are likely to anger some Conservative members of Parliament, who have criticized the central bank for being too pessimistic about the UK’s prospects after leaving the EU. Inflation in the UK is still at 10.5%, only marginally down from the 41-year high of 11.1% reached in October and still well above the BOE’s 2% target.