Anti-Brexit protesters demonstrate across the street from the Houses of Parliament in London, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced a backlash from furious lawmakers Thursday over his use of charged and confrontational language in Parliament about opponents of his Brexit plan. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

UK rate-setter hints at cut even if no-deal Brexit avoided

September 27, 2019 - 8:09 am

LONDON (AP) — One of the Bank of England's nine top policymakers says interest rates may have to be cut even if Britain manages to avoid a no-deal Brexit on Oct. 31.

In a speech Friday, Michael Saunders said the British economy has "weakened markedly" as a result of "persistently high Brexit uncertainties and softer global growth."

Even assuming Britain avoids leaving the European Union without a deal, Saunders said "persistently high Brexit uncertainties seem likely to continue to depress U.K. growth below potential for some time, especially if global growth remains disappointing."

He said "it probably will be appropriate to maintain an expansionary monetary policy stance and perhaps to loosen further."

The bank's main interest rate is 0.75%. The next policy meeting is Nov. 7, a week after the scheduled Brexit date.

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