London Mayor appoints former EU Commissioner to Brexit think-tank

Former EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson will be advising London Mayor Sadiq Khan on how best to mitigate the effects of Brexit. [Arbeiderpartiet/ Flickr]

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has appointed former EU Trade Commissioner and Labour grandee Peter Mandelson to a panel of business and financial leaders advising on Brexit that also includes the City of London’s policy chief and the head of the London Stock Exchange.

Londoners overwhelmingly backed remaining in the European Union in the June 23 referendum and Khan, the most senior Labour Party politician to hold power in Britain, has vowed to defend the capital from any Brexit-related hit.

Fellow Labour Party politician Mandelson, a minister under ex leaders Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, was in charge of EU trade policy between 2004 and 2008, presiding over fraught talks over textile quotas with China known as the “Bra Wars”.

Mandelson: Brexit renegotations would take ‘up to 10 years’

Former EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson has warned eurosceptics that a British renegotiation of its relationship with Europe after a ‘Brexit’ would take up to a decade.

Khan said the panel would provide insight and expertise as he pushes to protect crucial policy areas during monthly meetings with Brexit minister David Davis.

“Securing privileged access to the single market, maintaining a world-class financial sector and ensuring London can continue to attract global talent are all recurring themes from my conversations with business,” said Khan.

Just over a dozen members will advise the mayor including the British chair of Spanish bank Santander, the chairman of the Canary Wharf Group and the City of London’s policy chief.

“London’s success is based on the incredible number of interconnected businesses and sectors that support each other,” City of London policy chairman Mark Boleat said.

“If one sector suffers, the knock-on effects to London’s whole economy could be substantial,” he warned.

Post-Brexit UK will broker Swiss-style deal with EU, investors say

Once the United Kingdom has left the EU, it will most likely implement a bilateral ‘Swiss model’, according to a survey of institutional investors, which also showed financial passporting rights are of greater concern to them than restrictions on immigration.

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