Bank of England officials are secretly researching the financial shocks that could hit Britain if there is a vote to leave the European Union in the forthcoming referendum.
The Bank blew its cover on Friday when it accidentally emailed details of the project – including how the bank intended to fend off any inquiries about its work – direct to the Guardian.
According to the confidential email, the press and most staff in Threadneedle Street must be kept in the dark about the work underway, which has been dubbed Project Bookend.
It spells out that if anyone asks about the project, the taskforce must say the investigation has nothing to do with the referendum, saying only that staff are involved in examining “a broad range of European economic issues” that concern the Bank. …
The report could prove incendiary, but without a public notice advertising the Bank’s research project, parliament and the public would be unable to demand its publication.
The email indicates that a small group of senior staff are to examine the effect of a Brexit [i.e., a British exit from the EU] under the authority of Sir Jon Cunliffe, who as deputy director for financial stability has responsibility for monitoring the risk of another market crash.