Email slip-up reveals Bank of England's investigation into what would happen if UK left the EU

 
Sarah Spickernell
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The bank said the news should not be surprising (Source: Getty)

The Bank of England is carrying out a confidential investigation into what would happen if the UK left the European Union (EU), an email accidentally sent to The Guardian has revealed.

It discloses details of a special task force set up by the central bank to look into the economic consequences of a UK exit, or “Brexit”.
The email was originally sent by a senior official to four executives at the bank, but it was accidentally forwarded to the newspaper. It directs recipients to keep quiet about the task, called “Project Bookend”, to anyone not directly involved. This includes James Talbot, head of monetary assessment at strategy division.
“Jon’s proposal, which he has asked me to highlight to you, is that no email is sent to James’s team or more broadly around the Bank about the project,” the email stated.
The bank today issued a statement acknowledging the investigation, but said the news “should not come as a surprise”, and that it would “not be responsible” to talk bout the work publicly until the appropriate time arrives.
"While it is unfortunate that this information has entered the public domain in this way, the Bank will maintain this approach."
As part of his pre-election campaign, Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to hold an in-out referendum on membership in 2017, but recent reports suggest it could be brought forward to 2016.

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