The former governor of the Bank of England has branded the current Brexit situation an "awful shambles" and likened MPs' negotiations to a poor attempt at buying a new car.

Lord Mervyn King said the current stalemate was hopeless and suggested another General Election might be required to break the impasse.

Now aged 71, Lord King led the bank for ten years until summer 2013 which included the tumultuous banking crisis of 2007-08.

He was discussing the negotiations between the UK and EU in the wake of MPs recently voting against backing a no deal Brexit.

He told guests at a charity lunch in Birmingham: "You can't deliver any project in Britain unless you have two things - a mandate from the public and a working majority in the House of Commons.

Lord King (left) speaking with BirminghamLive's editor-in-chief Marc Reeves during the Acorns charity lunch
Lord King (left) speaking with BirminghamLive's editor-in-chief Marc Reeves during the Acorns charity lunch

"The only way we're going to get out of this ultimately is to have a General Election. The word 'shambles' is not adequate enough to describe this.

 

"MPs have behaved as if they were going into a car dealer on a Saturday afternoon and saying 'I'd like to know what your best offer is but I can assure you that we're not leaving this showroom without buying one of these cars'.

"It is really hopeless. We could end up moving towards a position in which we end up with the worst of all worlds.

"We don't get the benefits of being in the EU where we influence or shape the rules and regulations that govern the UK but we don't get any benefit from leaving it because we still align ourselves to the rules and regulations of the rest of the EU.

"None of this makes any sense."

Parliament has just negotiated another extension for Brexit until October 31, meaning European Parliament elections are likely to take place in May.

Lord King's comments were made during an interview with BirminghamLive's editor-in-chief Marc Reeves at a lunch at Opus Restaurant hosted by Acorns.

He is a patron of the Wythall-based charity which cares for children with life-limiting conditions at hospices in Selly Oak, Worcester and Walsall.

Former Bank of England governor Lord Mervyn King speaking during a charity lunch hosted by Acorns at Opus
Former Bank of England governor Lord Mervyn King speaking during a charity lunch hosted by Acorns at Opus

The dinner brought together senior figures from across the city's business community to hear more about the charity's work and why Lord King is such a passionate advocate for its work.

Looking ahead, he added: "Parliament voted for a referendum by an overwhelming majority (but) it has basically decided it doesn't want to leave the European Union and the majority of MPs want to remain.

 

"The relationship between the EU and the UK in the long run is what really matters to us but none of that has been decided.

"I am quite sure both the EU and most sensible people in Britain realise that, by the time we get round to deciding what that is, this Parliament will have been dissolved, we'll have a new Parliament, probably a new government and almost certainly a new Prime Minister.

"So what is the point of Parliament deciding on which of the options they want when they can't bind them for a future Parliament?

"They can't even bind themselves for a few days, let alone a future Parliament.

"I do think it is an awful shambles. I don't like the words 'national humiliation' but it's hard to avoid it given what's happened."