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London Works

London in August – and every month – is a working city. Boris Johnson intends to keep it so. In his speech today he endorsed his chief economic advisor Gerard Lyons’s plan to enhance London’s pole position nationally and globally; and he also indicated his wish to return to the Commons for the next election.

London, the UK and Europe, says Lyons ‘need to ensure they position themselves in this changing and growing global economy’. Europe must reform or Britain should leave the EU, a message endorsed by the Mayor who added that a future ‘in’ a reformed Europe would be best, but if the EU is unwilling to change, a free trade relationship would secure London’s prosperity and its vast trading network globally as well as in the EU. There are four areas for reform within the EU, and if these are not secured, Britain can do extremely well in a new relationship, in a ‘win-win’ future.

Another new report echoes the outward-looking upbeat message from London’s City Hall. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research’s (NIESR) new analysis indicates that the world economy should grow by 3.5 per cent this year and 3.7 per cent in 2015. By contrast, growth in the Euro area will be poor and patchy; from today’s minus figure, -0.4 percent, it is forecast to grow by 1.8 percent in 2015. By contrast the two global giants, the US will grow by 3 per cent in 2015 and China will continue to grow by over 7 per cent.

The figures tell their own story. As Johnson put it this morning, Europe is a sclerotic economy, Commission-led and dominated; if the EU does not embrace reform, Britain should leave and embrace an independent free trade future with the EU and the world’s economies.

Johnson also added that he hopes to stand for Parliament in 2015. Putting his trust in London, its businesses, and the entrepreneurial instincts of its 8 million people, from all the UK and the wider world, has served the country well. As economies in Europe falter, London accounts for 22 per cent of Britain’s GDP. It is a working city. Gerard Lyons’s proposals would keep things that way as Britain negotiates with Europe for a ‘win-win’ future.

*Read Gerard Lyon’s blog, The UK and Europe: A Win-Win Situation, here.
*Dr Sheila Lawlor, is the Director of Politeia.

Dr Sheila Lawlor

Dr Sheila Lawlor is Politeia’s Founder and Director of Research. Her background is as an academic historian of 20th century British political history, having started her working life as research fellow at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge and Churchill College, Cambridge. Her academic publications include Churchill and the Politics of War 1940-41 and for Politeia she has written on social, economic and constitutional policy.

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