Dismore questions Mayor on Brexit impact on London

At today’s London Assembly Mayor’s Question Time Andrew Dismore AM, Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden, questioned the Mayor on Brexit and what he is doing to mitigate the impact on London and Londoners (video here).

Mr Dismore asked the Mayor:

‘It has been two years this month since the referendum to leave the EU. Can you update us on your work to champion London through Brexit?

‘Would you agree that the Prime Minister has shown herself to be more concerned about managing the deep euro splits in the Conservative Party than she is in obtaining a good deal from the EU?

‘As it looks like we are heading for a hard Brexit by default as the Government can’t agree on anything, what contingency plans are you putting in place bearing in mind that the UK is scheduled to depart the EU in just 9 months’ time?

‘The 14th YouGov poll in a row, going from now back to last Summer, has found that a majority of people in the country now believe it is wrong to leave the EU. Do you think the time is coming when there should be a second referendum to either approve or reject any agreement (if there is one), and to allow the option of staying in the EU?  And will you support the March for a People’s Vote this Saturday afternoon?

The Mayor said that London faced significant challenges after the referendum. It is damaging our competitiveness and 1 million EU London residents worry about their future situation. The Deputy Mayor has met businesses across London. The Mayor has set up a panel of expert advisors. He is meeting the Secretary of State David Davis to ensure the Government does not shy away from these issues. We need continues access to EU programmes. Brexit will hit the economy with 90,000 fewer jobs in London. We should stay in the Single Market and the Customs Union.

The Mayor was concerned that the Prime Minister was putting her party ahead of the national interest. We face a cliff edge. The powers are all with central Government and he will lobby re London’s needs. He campaigned to remain in the EU. The referendum result was close and he stands by the result but nobody voted to become poorer. He would continue to lobby for a good deal for Londoners.