• Wednesday, May 29, 2024


UK should seek longer Brexit transition, says IMF chief

Kristalina Georgieva

By: Pramod Thomas

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Kristalina Georgieva said that Britain should ask for an extension to its post-Brexit transition period to ease uncertainty as the world economy is being hammered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is tough as it is. Let’s not make it any tougher,” she said on Thursday (16).

“My advice would be to seek ways in which this element of uncertainty is reduced in the interests of everybody, of the UK, of the EU, the whole world,” Georgieva said.

The transition period is due to end on December 31, and barriers to exports and imports will go up if a new trade agreement is not reached by then, a challenge which has been made harder by the coronavirus crisis.

Recently, IMF warned that the world economy is heading for its steepest downturn this year since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The IMF managing director praised the emergency measures taken by Britain’s finance ministry and the Bank of England which she said had been taken “early” and were well-coordinated.

“That very strong package of measures is helping the UK, but given the UK’s sizeable role in the world economy, it’s actually helping everyone,” Georgieva said.

The government has increased spending and cut taxes in measures that Britain’s budget office estimates will cost £100 billion ($125 billion).

It has also offered guarantees for £330 billion of company loans.

The BoE has cut interest rates to 0.1 per cent and ramped up its bond-buying by a record £200 billion.

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