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28 Jun, 2016 08:54

London Mayor Sadiq Khan demands more autonomy for pro-EU capital after Brexit

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has demanded more autonomy for Britain’s capital in the wake of the UK’s vote for Brexit last Thursday. His statement comes after a petition to make the capital an independent city-state attracted 175,000 signatures.

Khan, who became London’s first Muslim mayor last month, told an audience of top business leaders that the city must “take back control.”

He said that he wants to protect the city’s “jobs, wealth and prosperity,” but dismissed the idea of making London an independent state.

“As much as I might like the idea of a London city state, I’m not seriously talking about independence today. I am not planning to install border points on the M25!,” he said.

“But on behalf of all Londoners, I am demanding more autonomy for the capital - right now.

“More autonomy in order to protect London's economy from the uncertainty ahead, to protect the businesses from around the world who trade here and to protect our jobs, wealth and prosperity.”

Khan is said to be looking into the devolution of fiscal responsibility, such as tax raising powers, as well as more control over business and skills, housing and planning, transport, health and policing and the justice system.

Speaking at the Times CEO Summit, he cited Chancellor George Osborne and former London mayor Boris Johnson’s support for devolution and the establishment of the London Finance Commission.

Khan said the government must “move fast” on devolution, adding “we can’t hang around for the outcome of the negotiations before we give Londoners more control.”