The chair of NatWest has dubbed Brexit a “significant mistake” in an interview with the Observer.
Sir Howard Davies shared his concerns about political polarisation and the long-term impact of the UK’s split from the European Union on the City of London in a tell-all interview.
He said Boris Johnson is a prime minister who “hated the Treasury” because of its pro-EU views, “but when he got himself in a hole, who else but the Treasury could bail him out?”
Dubbing Brexit a “significant mistake”, he said: “You don’t solve the problems of the left-behind by damaging the one area of the country that’s been writing the cheques.
“London is paying large amounts of tax and will be damaged by Brexit over time.”
Davies is currently working on a book – The Chancellors, published by Polity Press – about the Treasury’s role in the running of the economy under every chancellor from Gordon Brown to Rishi Sunak.
Asked which of the recent chancellors he has most time for, Davies picks Alistair Darling, whose three years at the Treasury between 2007 and 2010 were dominated by the banking crash.
“Alistair had terrible hand to play. He had no money, a financial crisis and his predecessor as his boss. There wasn’t anything Alistair knew that Gordon didn’t. Yet he was completely unflappable.”