London’s Labour mayor is trying to increase the scope of what urban mayors can do in and for the UK generally
Speaking to Sky News, Sadiq Khan has urged Theresa May to delay pressing the Brexit button – triggering Article 50, which starts the formal process of withdrawal from the EU – until next autumn, arguing that this would improve the UK’s chances of getting a decent deal. By way of Square Mile free sheet City AM, Khan’s deputy mayor for business, Rajesh Agrawal, has said that City Hall officials are talking to counterparts in Paris and other cities beyond Europe about building their own business relationships for the Brexit age.
This is a developing theme. Within days of the referendum result in June, Khan joined with the City of London in calling for UK-regulated banks to retain their existing “passporting rights”, the system that allows them to operate in the EU nations. Anything less would be “a disaster”, he said. More recently, he has reactivated the London Finance Commission, asking it to come up with further proposals for making London more autonomous, in the interests of the UK as a whole. He’s telling anyone who’ll listen that London Is Open.