Dismore questions Mayor on Brexit

At today’s London Assembly Mayor’s Question Time Andrew Dismore AM, Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden, questioned the Mayor on the Prime Minister’s Chequers’ statement and Brexit White Paper.


Mr Dismore asked for a Mayoral update on the issue, the Mayor replied that the White Paper fails to meet the needs of 92% of London’s economy, based on services. It would throw up regulatory barriers across the EU, causing harm across London and the country. There is a grave risk we will crash out with “no deal”. He has instructed officers to step up preparations for a “no deal” scenario. He has written to the Prime Minister and it was his intention to respond to the White Paper, but it was increasingly unclear if there was now a White Paper to respond to. There was a real risk jobs and investment would go elsewhere, risking 90,000 jobs in London and 500,000 jobs across the UK.


Mr Dismore asked the Mayor:


‘Coincidentally, 4 days after the so-called ‘Chequers deal’ on Brexit, the Assembly Economy Committee held an evidence hearing on Brexit and its impact on London.


‘All the experts from whichever side of the debate agreed that Chequers was not the comprehensive plan we need to protect our capital’s economy and Londoners’ jobs, and there wasn’t a hope that Brussels would accept it anyway.


‘You clearly agree that the White Paper and this week’s deadlock from Parliamentary votes, with the Prime Minister in thrall to the Conservative Party’s Brexiteer extremists, put at risk the economic health of London and the country.


‘Isn’t the time coming for a People’s Vote – a second referendum – on the final ‘deal’ – if there is one- and with an option to remain. Then we can all make a properly informed choice- hopefully without fake news, without broken campaign spending limits, and without Russian (or President Trump’s) interference?‘


The Mayor said that he wished the new Secretary of State well in his visit to Brussels, but a negotiation involves two sides. Even if all the objectives of the White Paper were achieved, it would be catastrophic for London’s economy. The Mayor was devastated by the country voting to leave the EU and proud London voted to remain. If Parliament rejects any deal, then everything is on the table, including the possibility of another referendum or a General Election.