LONDON: Bank of England Governor Mark Carney today warned that the possibility of a no-deal Brexit was "uncomfortably high" and "highly undesirable" but still "unlikely" compared to other outcomes.
"The possibility of a no-deal is uncomfortably high at this point," Carney told BBC radio.
Carney, who is due to step down next year after Britain leaves the European Union as scheduled in March, said no-deal was "a relatively unlikely possibility but it is a possibility".
Brexit negotiations are "entering a critical phase", he said, speaking ahead of a meeting between British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron later today.
Carney said Britain's financial system would, in any case, be able to "withstand the shock" as banks have increased capital and liquidity and contingency plans have already been put in place.
"We've already done the stockpiling," he said.
"Our job is to look at what could go wrong, what are the bad outcomes that could happen so it lessens the impact of a bad deal, a no-deal Brexit in this case," he said.
A no-deal Brexit would "mean disruption to trade as we know it and as a consequence of that a disruption to a level of economic activity, higher prices for a period of time," he added.
Carney revealed that banks had been stress-tested for property prices falling by more than a third, interest rates going up by almost four percentage points, unemployment rising to 9.0 per cent and the economy entering a 4.0 per cent recession.
"The financial system will be ready," he said.