Sadiq Khan delivers speech

Mayor's Statement on Article 50

29 March 2017

The Prime Minister is today triggering a process that will last at least two years and have a profound impact on London, Britain and Europe’s future.

There could not be more at stake in these negotiations – from our economic prosperity and standard of living, to our security, air quality and workers’ rights.

I didn’t vote for Brexit, but I am optimistic about London's future. My conversations with European and EU leaders this week have left me in no doubt that there is a good Brexit deal to be done if the Government approaches it in the right way – a deal that is in the best interests of London, Britain and the EU.

However, striking this deal will be extraordinarily complicated and difficult – and like all Londoners, I am hopeful that the negotiators will act in good faith and agree a deal that works for everyone.

I'm pleased that the Prime Minister has today recognised the importance of reassuring EU citizens living in Britain who are understandably extremely concerned about their future. Today Theresa May has a huge opportunity to give them a cast-iron guarantee that they can stay here after Brexit as she triggers Article 50. This would start negotiations with a powerful symbol of goodwill – and both sides should give this assurance today.

I’m urging both sets of negotiators to make securing an interim deal their first priority – particularly for financial services. This will reduce economic uncertainty on both sides of the Channel while the negotiations unfold.

During this period I will continue to make the case for what Londoners need from the Brexit negotiations – and I’ll stand up for Britain’s business community and their ability to create jobs and prosperity.

I’ll work closely with the Government whenever possible – but I won’t be afraid to speak out when I believe their approach is putting our economy at risk – Londoners would expect nothing less.

Sadiq Khan