Rishi Sunak leaves his press conference at the end of the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia.
At a press conference at the end of the G20 summit in Bali, Sunak was asked: “The UK’s economic woes have been particularly acute compared to some of its neighbours and like-minded countries.
“Do you accept that Brexit in any way is a contributory factor to those issues?”
But Sunak – who promised “professionalism, integrity and accountability” when he became prime minister – refused to address the question directly.
He said: “When you’re thinking about what the UK’s economic situation is, I’d point you back to … two-thirds of G20 members seeing inflation rates above 7% at the moment. The IMF thinks a third of the global economy either is or will be in recession.
“That is the global context, that is what’s dominated the conversations that I’ve been having here, and we know why that is – it’s the legacy of Covid and it’s of course what Putin is doing that is driving up energy and indeed food prices.”
He added: “That is the global economic context and I think that is what’s dominating what’s happening. Every country’s going to have idiosyncratic things, but those are the overwhelming, dominating factors.”
His comments came despite Office for National Statistics data revealing last week that the UK was unique among G7 countries in that its economy has still not returned to pre-pandemic levels.
And earlier this week, a former Bank of England said the UK economy had been “permanently damaged” by the decision to leave the EU.