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UK: London mayor Khan demands more autonomy

29th Jun 2016
UK: London mayor Khan demands more autonomy

LONDON (AA): London Mayor Sadiq Khan has demanded greater autonomy for the U.K. capital in the wake of Britain leaving the EU.

London, Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain in the union and many have expressed concerns the British exit, or Brexit, could harm London’s economy.

Khan, who became Britain’s most senior Muslim politician when he was elected to his role last month, said he was not calling for London to become a city-state.

“But on behalf of all Londoners, I am demanding more autonomy for the capital — right now,” he told a conference organized by The Times newspaper in London.

“More autonomy in order to protect London’s economy from the uncertainty ahead, to protect the businesses from around the world who trade here and to protect our jobs, wealth and prosperity.”

He said the decision to leave the EU was not reversible but that Britain must remain within the European single market.

“I’m sure that I don’t need to tell you why: 500 million customers, nearly half of all British exports, the passporting of our financial services, the foundation of British jobs, wealth and prosperity,” Khan said.

“Remaining in the single market needs to be priority one, two and three of our negotiation with the EU. And what’s more — I am confident we can achieve this.”

The London mayoralty, which was established 16 years ago, holds a sweeping range of powers over housing, transport and the emergency services but has limited taxation powers and Khan argued the city needed to be able to spend more of what it raises.

 

Author Michael Sercan Daventry

 

[Photo:Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan delivers a speech during a rally for a vote to remain in the European Union in London, United Kingdom on June 22, 2016. Photographer: Kate Green/AA]

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