London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan accused the UK government of failing to engage with businesses during Brexit negotiations, thereby neglecting their interests in the United Kingdom’s economic future.
“Our national leaders should have had a clear idea of what they wanted to achieve before they started the clock ticking… This uncertainty has already come at a cost. Businesses are being forced to put time, effort and money into preparing for a no-deal Brexit, rather than into creating new jobs and growth,” the mayor said at the British Chambers of Commerce Annual Conference.
Khan also urged the UK government to immediately withdraw Article 50, revoking the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the European Union. In addition, he called for a public vote that would give UK citizens the option of choosing to remain in the bloc.
In 2018, the mayor published a detailed analysis of the potential impact on London and the United Kingdom of various Brexit scenarios. In a no-deal situation, meaning the United Kingdom and Europe would not have any binding agreements concerning various trade regulations, the report predicted that investment in the country would decrease by over 15 percent and around 87,000 people would lose employment by 2030.
The United Kingdom has been granted an extension to its original March 29 deadline on leaving the European Union. The European Council has given the United Kingdom until May 22 if the House of Commons can pass UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s twice-rejected withdrawal deal by March 29 and until April 12 if it cannot. Despite the extension, the UK government continues to be in crisis over an unsettled Brexit deal.