The Case for Giving London More Local Control
The city represents almost 30 percent of the U.K.’s tax base, but its own fiscal powers are puny.
FEARGUS O’SULLIVAN 11:24 AM
What will happen to London after Brexit? In the wake of last month’s U.K. vote to leave the European Union, the future direction of London’s capital has been hotly debated. The situation is so tense and surreal that in the aftermath of the referendum result, over 178,000 people have signed a petition demanding that London become an independent city-state.
Londoners had after all voted clearly in favor of remaining in the E.U., and are now marooned in a country to which its international outlook and connections are apparently anathema. Still, the suggestion of an independent London is, as commentators lined up to say, mostly ludicrous, an un-democratic fantasy that involves redrawing borders so as solely to include People Like Us.
But while the idea of breaking away from the rest of the country makes little sense, there are powerful arguments for giving London more local control—arguments that London Mayor Sadiq Khan has been voicing lately. The city is, after all, the powerhouse of the British economy, yet is possessed with a shockingly low level of autonomy.