London News & Search
Rahm Emanuel, now Mayor of Chicago, said the capital would “carve out its own future” despite the UK leaving the European Union. The American politician, who worked for President Obama until 2010, said he thought Sadiq Khan would be able to “tip the scales” in London’s favour by dealing directly with other world cities.
The Mayor of London has expressed concerns that the capital’s economy could be damaged unless it retains access to the single market and the ability to recruit skilled workers from overseas.
Mr Emanuel appeared to advocate London building its own relationships — including trading ones — after Brexit irrespective of what the country as a whole was doing.
He told the Standard: “I don’t think you should lose sight of the fact that today sub-nation contacts are as valuable as nation states were to us the last 20 years. Mayors today run a level of trade, economic investment and cultural exchange that they never would have done 15, 20 or 30 years ago.”
Asked how London could cope after Brexit, he said: “You can’t be totally separate, but you will carve out your own future because that’s the way the world is going. Today mayors can still put their thumb on the scale and tip it.”
However, American cities have significantly more control over taxes and public services than their counterparts in the UK. New York and Chicago control around half of the funds raised from businesses and residents in their cities, compared with just seven per cent controlled by the Mayor and London’s councils combined.
But Mr Emanuel said cities such as London, even with limited powers, retained a flexibility to make changes nation states sometimes struggled with. He added it was a “tremendous political and financial stabiliser” that local residents often felt their mayors were more in touch than national politicians.
“Mayors still have the confidence of the people they govern and the people who are governed still think they have the ability to influence the policies… this is not true of national government or international organisations.”
London News & Search