Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has called for a radical programme of devolution for cities and regions in the UK to boost the economy as Brexit approaches.
Khan has urged the UK government to grant additional powers and localised funding to London and other regional authorities, with the goal of supporting investment in housing, infrastructure, the environment and other sectors. By enacting greater levels of devolution for cities and regions, the Mayor argues, the UK as a whole would be better protected against the inevitable financial upheaval caused by its leaving the EU; with the differing needs of areas of the UK to be addressed with targeted regional action.
Mayor Khan said: “Westminster is either incapable or unwilling to get to grips with the challenges faced by cities and regions. It’s well established that London is a global city – but it’s also an English city and a British city too. I want to strengthen those ties, which we won’t achieve by making London poorer through cutting levels of investment. Instead, we’ll do it by helping the rest of the country become more prosperous and by developing our network of powerful cities and regions. The data clearly shows that the success of London and the rest of the UK is not – and has never been – a zero-sum game.
“Problems such as inequality, skills, pollution and housing are much better understood at a more local level, and that’s why Government needs to hand greater responsibility for solving these problems to cities and regions. We grow together and we succeed together. Each part of the country needs to have more power and retain more of the taxes they pay. This is a pivotal moment in our nation’s history – to ensure greater prosperity for London and the rest of the UK, we need to see an ambitious new devolution settlement for the English cities and regions.”