Dismore proposes Special Economic Zone for London to Mayor

At today’s Mayor’s Question Time Andrew Dismore AM , Labour London Assembly Member  for Barnet  and Camden suggested  the Mayor should consider  a Special Economic Zone for London, if Brexit negotiators did not address  London’s needs. Video: https://vimeo.com/175557799


Mr Dismore questioned the Mayor:


‘Will you consider the opportunities for London after Brexit of becoming a Special Economic Zone within the United Kingdom to give continuity and certainty to businesses within London, that would otherwise be tempted away by cities in the EU to enable London to have its own arrangements within the EU, EEA and EFTA?’


The Mayor indicated his priority was protecting London’s jobs and prosperity , that Whitehall should be more ambitious re devolution, and that London must remain in the single market.


Mr Dismore added


‘You have rightly said that you want London to have a voice at the table in the Brexit negotiations, that it is vitally important to reassure investors that London remains open for business, and that the single market is essential to London’s economy, which if it was an EU country would on its own  be bigger than that of many EU states. Will you negotiate with Government and EU partners to ensure the single market continues to apply in London?


‘The EU have made pretty clear that to remain in the single market. will only happen if the ‘4 freedoms’ are maintained, including freedom of movement, which of course is also vitally important to London’s economy at all levels  and to keeping the capital  functioning.  Will you negotiate with Government  and EU partners   to ensure that the single  market continues to apply in  London? ‘


The Mayor  said that more devolution to London was needed, and that nothing was ‘off the table’ to preserve the single market for London.


In agreeing with the Mayor that we did not want a border round the M25, Mr Dismore also asked:


‘If the Conservative Government’s Brexit ministers  let London down in their  negotiations, do you think there could  come a time when more radical solutions  to defend  London and London’s  economy become needed, with London, as part of the UK, having an exemption that allows us  to  remain in the single market and  comply with the 4 freedoms?  One country, two systems, to coin a phrase?’


Whilst the Mayor said he was not negotiating in public, he repeated nothing was off the table in protecting London.