Raghuram Rajan, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, crushed Project Fear as he threw his support behind Brexit and expressed his concerns the EU referendum had not gone far enough. He said: “People are saying ‘we want to take back control’.
“The question is, take back control from what?
“Taking back control from the EU to London will still keep power in London.
“They don’t want power to remain in London, they want to take back control into their communities, the ability to affect these huge changes that are affecting them and that is eroding their sense of opportunity.”
The former governor of the Reserve Bank of England argued the world is in need of more democracy and localism.
He told the Daily Telegraph: “Sovereignty is important – take sovereignty back when you have given up too much.”
His comments are a far cry from repeated warnings by Mark Carney, who he is tipped to replace, who regularly offers a bleak outlook on Britain’s future outside of the bloc.
Mr Rajan also spoke of his support for ordinary people who rally against the elite, saying: “Periodically democracy gets really angry with the kind of cronyism that happens, and sends the message ‘we don’t want that’.
“It happens in communist countries, it happens in crony capitalist countries, it happens in fascist countries.
“Government and the private sector get together. These are just different names for that combination which ensures that it becomes authoritarian.
“What keeps it from becoming authoritarian is democratic oversight, that keeps daylight between the private sector and the Government.”
But Mr Rajan urged Britain not to cut immigration because an ageing population needs new workers.
He said: “Controlled immigration has to be the answer for many countries, because we are still a long way from making robots supplant the population.”