Former BoE governor suggests Brexiteers have ‘basic misunderstanding of what drives economies’

In a scathing attack on Liz Truss and her economic vision, former Bank of England governor Mark Carney accused the former PM of turning Britain into “Argentina on the Channel”.

Carney also suggested that Brexiteers, whom the former Conservative leader claimed to champion during her short tenure as PM, had a “basic misunderstanding of what drives economies”.

The 58-year-old Canadian delivered a speech in Montreal over the weekend at a gathering of centre-left leaders attended by Sir Keir Starmer in which he praised “progressive” policies and attacked “far-right populists”

Carney referenced Argentina to criticise the economic turmoil that followed the “mini-budget” drawn up by Truss and her chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng almost a year ago.

He told the Global Progress Action Summit that it was “misguided” to suggest that cutting taxes and government spending leads to economic growth.

He also accused Brexiteers of wanting to “tear down the future”.

He said: “When politicians proclaim that our great democracies are broken, it’s not because they want to fix them, it’s because they want a licence to demolish. It’s a model, and it’s a repeated model that uses a constraint to, quote ‘starve the beast of government’, in the misguided view that slashing leads to growth. 

“Starving the beast was the reflexive response of [Leader of the Opposition in Canada] Pierre Poilievre to COVID. He saw a humanitarian catastrophe as another chance to cut taxes and spending”

“And it’s this … reaction of extreme conservatives to every problem. It’s grounded in a basic misunderstanding of what drives economies. It meant that when Brexiteers tried to create ‘Singapore on the Thames, the Truss government instead delivered Argentina on the channel”.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s shadow Paymaster General, has called on the prime minister to have a “backbone” and block Liz Truss’ resignation honours list.

Ashworth said: “The key issue here is it’s 12 months now since that quite disastrous set of decisions the Conservative government took, which ran our economy off a cliff.

“It led to a run on pension funds, it means that homeowners are paying hundreds if not thousands of pounds more on their mortgages.

“And at the same time I think something like £300m has been wiped off the value of properties.”

The shadow minister said for Liz Truss to be “out here today saying it was a London dinner party circuit that blocked her, when people in Leicester, Bury and Bolsover are paying more for food I think is just extraordinary”.

“If Rishi Sunak had any backbone, he would block this Liz Truss list today.”

He said if the list goes ahead, it would be a “kick in the teeth”. is the UK’s leading digital-only political website, providing comprehensive coverage of UK politics. Subscribe to our daily newsletter here.