THE pound fell against the dollar as Bank of England governor Mark Carney warned that the possibility of a hard Brexit was now “uncomfortably high”.

Speaking on the BBC’s Today programme, the Canadian said he’d asked banks to stockpile cash, and be prepared for the possibility of a recession if Britain crashes out of Europe without agreeing a post-Brexit trade deal.

He said as part of the Bank of England’s preparations they had asked banks to run stress tests to see if they could withstand the shock of house and commercial real estate prices decreasing by a third, interest rates going up by almost 4%, and unemployment increasing to 9%.

Brexiteers attacked Carney, accusing him of being the “high priest of project fear”.

The SNP said the warning should prompt the government into action.

During the interview, when Carney was asked if no deal would be a disaster, he told the BBC: “It is highly undesirable. Parties should do all things to avoid it.”

Pushed on what no deal would mean, he said “disruption to trade as we know it”.

He said: “Our job at the Bank of England is to make sure those issues don’t happen in the financial system, so that people will have things to worry about in a no-deal Brexit, which is still a relatively unlikely possibility but it is a possibility, but what we don’t want to have is people worrying about their money in the bank, whether or not they can get a loan from the bank – whether for a mortgage or for a business idea – and we have put the banks through the wringer well in advance of this to make sure they have the capital.”

Carney’s comments left the pound reeling, as it fell below the $1.30 mark for the first time in 11 months. It recovered some ground later in the day.

Former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith, who backs Brexit, was scathing: “There is no such thing as a no-deal, as the [World Trade Organization] is where the EU and the UK are already and as a rule-based organisation, both sides would have to abide by those rules.”

He said the Treasury and the Bank of England had “struggled to understand how this would work,” adding: “No deal is the language of project fear.”

Influential back bench Brexiteer, Jacob Rees-Mogg said: “Mark Carney has long been the high priest of project fear whose reputation for inaccurate and politically motivated forecasting has damaged the reputation of the Bank of England.”

But the SNP Europe spokesman, Peter Grant said: “The comments from Mark Carney, and the findings published by the Institute of Directors, are just the latest in a long list of warnings against the dangers of a Tory-driven hard Brexit.

“The reality is that despite the mounting economic evidence from businesses, banks, and devolved governments, Theresa May is intent on pandering to her party’s extreme Brexiteers and leading the UK off the cliff-edge.

“The Tory government’s chaotic handling of the Brexit negotiations, and its ideological red lines, have resulted in small and large businesses already having one foot out the door.”

The banker’s comments came as Theresa May met Emmanuel Macron in the French president’s summer retreat.

It was reported that May spoke on the phone to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker about Brexit and general global trade yesterday morning.

The French press described May’s visit as a “cry for help”as she desperately tries to circumvent the European Commission to try and win support for the Chequers plan.

One minister told press that there was hope France “could be the great unblocker” and get negotiations back on track.