Mayor at Davos: a hard-line approach to Brexit could rip Britain apart

18 January 2017

·        Sadiq Khan says privileged access to the single market is critical for London

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, will today use a keynote speech in Davos to warn that a ‘hard Brexit would be a lose-lose situation’. 

He will say that privileged access to the single market is ‘critical for London’ – nothing else will do.

Responding to Theresa May’s speech yesterday, he will say that ‘a hard-line approach …… could rip Britain apart’.

And he will warn that if we continue on this path - towards a ‘Hard Brexit’ – we risk having to explain to future generations why we ‘knowingly put their economy, their prosperity and their place on the world stage in such peril’. 

He will also issue a call to businesses and organisations across Europe to make the case to their political leaders for a Brexit deal that works for both the UK and the EU. 

Addressing top-level business people and political leaders from across the globe at an event hosted by Morgan Stanley, the Mayor will:

 

·         Say that privileged access to the single market should be the top priority for negotiations with the EU, and set out why it is critical for London.

 

·         Call on businesses and organisations across Europe to make the case to their political leaders for a workable Brexit deal – because a hard Brexit would be a lose-lose situation.

 

·         Deliver a stark warning that communities across the world are feeling left behind or side-lined, as recent decades have only brought them job losses, lower wages and growing inequalities.

 

·         Urge global cities to take urgent pro-active steps to build stronger and more integrated communities, to tackle the rise of populism and the threat of more countries leaving the EU.

 

·         Declare that London will remain Europe’s leading business hub post-Brexit, remaining open to talent, trade and investment from across the globe.

While in Davos, Sadiq will also meet heads of state of a range of countries, from Belgium to Norway, along with global chief executives from companies as diverse as Mastercard and Siemens. 

On his first visit to the W.E.F. he will take his message to the world’s top business leaders and politicians that London remains open for business and a key destination for investment, despite the Referendum result.

The World Economic Forum works to engage business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industrial agendas. More than 3,000 of the world’s top leaders are expected to attend this year’s annual meeting in Davos, including heads of state and central bank governors.

As well as delivering his keynote speech, the Mayor will also take part in a private World Economic Forum Session with heads of Government and senior chief executives to discuss the implications of Brexit, security and a vision for the future.

He will meet with a range of people including His Majesty, King Phillipe of Belgium, the Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Lofven, the Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, the CEO of Siemens AG, Joe Kaeser, President and CEO of Hitachi Ltd Toshiaki Higashirhara and Ajay S Banga, Mastercard Chief Executive to discuss global investment opportunities for London, as well as Brexit.

On banging the drum for London in Davos and working with Europe post-Brexit, Sadiq Khan will say:

“I’m confident that London will remain as Europe’s leading business hub. London is – and will always continue to be – open. 

“Despite Brexit – London will always remain a European city – the cultural, social and economic capital of Europe.”

On the prospect of leaving the single market, Sadiq Khan will say:

“Securing privileged access to the single market must be the top priority for the negotiations. It’s critical for London. Nothing else will do. It can’t be brushed aside – as it was yesterday.

“A hard-line approach to Brexit ……. could rip Britain apart.

“And if we continue on this path - towards a ‘Hard Brexit’ – we risk having to explain to future generations why we knowingly put their economy, their prosperity and their place on the world stage in such peril.” 

On calling on businesses and organisations across Europe to make the case to their political leaders for a workable Brexit deal, Sadiq Khan will say:

“A ‘Hard Brexit’ would cut Europe off from its only truly global financial center. This would be bad news for Europe as well as Britain. So a hard Brexit really would be a lose-lose situation.

“Tell your political leaders that a ‘Hard Brexit’ deal is not in the best interests of your company. This won’t be easy. But I’m confident that despite the Prime Minister’s rhetoric, there is still a sensible deal to be done.”

On his stark warning to Europe about the consequences of people across the world feeling left behind or side-lined, Sadiq Khan will say:

“Many people who voted to leave the EU did so because of unease about the change they’ve experienced in recent decades.

“This economic and social divide is not unique to Britain. We see it in the growing strength of populism. And without a concerted response it will spread further.

“My warning is this: if many of your countries held an EU referendum tomorrow, it could go the same way as ours. This is an existential threat to the EU – that we must combat together.

“One of the most crucial tasks for us now is to take pro-active steps to build stronger and more integrated communities. And to ensure that everyone benefits from our globalized economy. The alternative is division, protectionism and isolationism.” 

 ENDS