UK: Autonomy for London Following Brexit?

On 23rd June 2016, whilst a majority of the British Public voted to leave the EU, 56% of London voted to remain. These high figures have reportedly prompted a campaign to declare the capital a separate state to the rest of the UK. Such calls have not previously been taken too seriously until Sadiq Khan, the London Mayor, suggested in an interview with Sky News that he is interested in a special deal for the country”s capital.

Mr. Khan has been a key figure and voice of London throughout the Brexit Campaign, making it very clear that he will be seeking every opportunity to be involved when it comes to the Prime Minister”s Brexit negotiations. Speaking to Sky News, Mr. Khan claimed a group of business representatives were “working on a model that will ensure we can carry on recruiting and attracting talent”. Mr. Khan further suggested that they were talking to business leaders, businesses and business representatives to see what negotiations can be made to ensure “London doesn’t lose out on the talent, the innovation partnership that has let us be the greatest city in the world”.

A number of reports have suggested that City Hall is currently working on proposals for a separate work permit system for London, as the capital looks set to try and negotiate a separate work visa system.

Such reports of separate work visa systems have led a small minority to petition for London to be treated independently from the rest of the UK. However, Mr. Khan responded by claiming that as much as he  might like the idea of a London city state there are no plans to blockade the M25.

However, it is possible that Mr. Khan will be pushing for London to have more autonomy and has already stated that he will demand a seat at Ms. May”s Brexit negotiation table.

There have also been talks regarding separate work visas for the capital; Mr. Khan has already expressed his support for helping businesses grow and expand, and this would certainly be a step towards helping them achieve this.

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