Mayor issues strongest warning yet to Hard Brexit zealots

04 July 2018

• Sadiq tells Government it is in ‘last-chance saloon’ if it wants to preserve jobs and growth

• Prime Minister ‘held hostage’ by warring factions in her own party

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has issued his strongest warning yet to the Government’s Hard Brexiteers that the country will never forgive them if they continue to hold the Prime Minister hostage over the Brexit negotiations and put ideological obsession ahead of the nation’s interests.

Ahead of this week’s crunch meeting at Chequers, where the Cabinet will thrash out a final agreement on its Brexit position, the Mayor has warned Brexiteer ministers such as Boris Johnson, David Davis and Michael Gove that the Government is in the ‘last chance saloon’ if it wants to strike a deal that preserves jobs, prosperity and growth across the country.

Speaking last night, Sadiq accused some ministers of becoming ‘Hard Brexit zealots.’

The ministers are refusing to acknowledge the overwhelming economic evidence, and stark warnings from business, that have emerged since the referendum, the Mayor argued.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “It’s been more than two years since the Brexit referendum and this Government is more divided and dysfunctional than ever.

“At the very heart of the Cabinet are Hard Brexit zealots who are hell-bent on crashing the UK out of the Single Market and Customs Union without any plan to protect trade, investment and jobs.

“It is high time that these Ministers face up to reality and realise that we are now in the last-chance saloon if we want to reach a Brexit deal that won’t badly damage our country.

“The Prime Minister appears to understand what is at stake, but is being held hostage by the hard Brexiteers. If ministers do not sort themselves out, and secure a sensible Brexit deal that is in the best interests if the entire country, then they may never be forgiven.”

The Mayor believes that continued UK membership of the Single Market and Customs Union is the only deal that will secure ongoing prosperity in London and across the country.
According to expert independent economic analysis that he published earlier this year from Cambridge Econometrics, a no-deal hard Brexit could lead to a lost decade – or even longer - of significantly lower growth, with the country potentially having 500,000 fewer jobs in the worst-case scenario, and nearly £50bn less investment by 2030, than would otherwise have been the case.

In London alone, there could be as many as 87,000 fewer jobs and the capital’s economic output could be two per cent lower by 2030 than predicted under the status quo.

Last week, speaking before the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee investigation into Brexit, Sadiq accused the Government of ignoring service industries in the Brexit negotiations and risking significant job losses, not just in the capital but across the United Kingdom.

Notes to editors

The Mayor was speaking last night to an audience of around 120 businesswomen at the Financial Times’ Women’s 125 Forum.

Mayor’s press release on Cambridge Econometrics research

Mayor’s press release on Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee

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