London Mayor Sadiq Khan said on June 28 the capital should be granted more autonomy to help it ride out the economic uncertainty unleashed by Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.
“On behalf of all Londoners, I am demanding more autonomy for the capital – right now,” Khan, who last month became the first Muslim mayor of a major Western capital, said in a speech to business leaders.
“London has to take back control too. Londoners, who voted for a different path to the rest of England, need more self-determination,” he said. “We need to control our own destiny.”
While the UK voted 52 to 48% to leave the bloc, London voted to remain, unlike most of the rest of England. Since then, more than 175,000 people have signed an online petition calling for London to become an independent city-state, reported the Reuters news agency.
Khan had campaigned for Britain to remain a member of the EU.
“Britain must remain part of the European single market,” he said. “Remaining in the single market needs to be priority one, two and three of our negotiation with the EU.”
He also argued that London, which is ranked as the EU’s largest and richest city, must have a seat in the negotiations with the EU over Britain’s future relationship with the bloc.
Meanwhile, more than 1,000 protesters rallied in central London’s Trafalgar Square on June 28 to show their opposition to Britain’s leaving the European Union.
According to Reuters, young protesters said they felt upset and betrayed by a vote that saw many older people turn their back on Europe after more than 40 years.