Bank of England governor Mark Carney wants an EU referendum sooner rather than later

 
Jessica Morris
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Mark Carney sought to dampen claims migrant workers are holding back wage growth (Source: Getty)

Bank of England governor Mark Carney has said he wants the Conservative government to hold an early referendum on Britain's membership to the European Union.

Carney said that the planned vote on EU membership should be held "as soon as necessary" in an interview on BBC Radio 4 this morning.

He stressed the importance of Europe to Britain's economy saying "one of the big advantages this economy has is access to the European market".

The Tories promised to hold a referendum on Britain's membership to the European Union before the end of 2017, but since David Cameron's shock victory in the General Election, there have been suggestions it could be brought forward.

The governor also took the opportunity to play down inferences he thinks an influx of foreign workers are responsible for holding down wages. Yesterday he attributed poor wage growth to higher unemployment, which was down to a number of factors, including net migration.

Today Carney said that there are up to 600,000 older workers who wouldn't normally be in the labour force, and workers who want more hours. However migration is only up by 50,000 in the last two years.

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