By Daniel Hunter

The governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney has had his say on the EU referendum, calling for it to take place "as soon as necessary".

Mr Carney said that the prospect of a referendum, which is promised by the government to take by place the end of 2017, is shaking business confidence. He warned that the economy could be harmed as a result, if businesses start to delay their investment plans.

The Bank of England governor said: “The government has made it clear that it is a priority. I am sure the government will act with appropriate speed in developing the negotiations ... as soon as necessary.”

He added: “It’s in the interests of everybody that there is clarity about the process and the question and the decision,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“[The EU] is the largest economy in the world. It’s our largest investment destination. It’s the largest investor in the United Kingdom.”


Mr Carney has also said that productivity "matters enormously" to the economy and must be improved.

Productivity per worker has been "particularly weak since the financial crisis", according to the Bank of England. And despite the employment rate rising to records highs, there are calls to improve productivity.

Mark Carney said improving productivity is key to the UK's economic growth.

"We have been successively disappointed with the productivity performance of the UK," Mr Carney told the BBC.

Mr Carney explained that productivity is a key determinant of living standards and wages.