Sadiq pledges closer joint working between London and Paris
Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, today pledged closer collaboration with Paris following the EU referendum result, as he met Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris, on a visit to the French capital.
Sadiq is in Paris today on his first international trip as the Mayor of London to foster a close working relationship between the two capitals to help tackle the joint challenges they face – including boosting post-Brexit trade and business opportunities, tackling the growing problem of air pollution and common security issues.
During a meeting with leading French business people at Halle Freyssinet, Europe‘s largest new tech start-up campus that will promote London and Paris joint innovation opportunities, the Mayor made it clear that he is lobbying the Government for greater devolution to help London continue to work closely with the rest of Europe on business, skills and growth sectors, like tech.
Sadiq Khan said: “London and Paris are two of the greatest commercial and cultural cities in the world and we have much to gain from working even closer together post-referendum.
“We have a thriving French community in London, who make a massive contribution to the economy and the vibrancy of our city, and I want to reassure them that they’ll always be welcome.
“I’m here in Paris to make it clear that London is open – open to the world, open to trade, open for new business ventures and collaborations, open to new ideas, new talent and people.
“Following the EU referendum result, I’m working to ensure London remains the best place in the world to do business and that we have the powers we need to protect jobs, wealth and prosperity.
“London stands firmly with Paris in the aftermath of the horrendous attacks the city suffered. We will do everything we can to support Paris and all our European counterparts in the continued fight against extremism and those who wish to divide and harm us.”
The two Mayors also discussed their ambitious plans for tackling pollution and improving public health as they visited the popular pop-up ‘beach’ at the Paris Plage, an artificial beach which runs along the river Seine. Mayor Hidalgo has been instrumental in banning traffic along nearby roads to enhance the enjoyment for pedestrians and improve air quality. This is one of many measures Paris is introducing to tackle pollution.
In London, Sadiq is overseeing hard-hitting proposals to clean up London’s toxic air, which include new charges for the most polluting vehicles, the expansion of the world’s first Ultra-Low Emission Zone in central London and the pedestrinisation of the one of the UK’s most popular shopping streets and tourist destinations, Oxford Street.
Sadiq is determined to tackle air pollution in London and to work closely with major world cities on co-ordinated action. The Mayor has just closed the first stage of his consultation on air quality proposals, which attracted a record number of responses.
Sadiq was invited to Paris by Mayor Hidalgo as a special guest of honour to help mark the anniversary of the liberation of Paris at Hotel de Ville, Paris City Hall. Both Mayors laid wreaths in remembrance of the people that died in the Battle of Paris during the Second World War.