Friday, 24 June 2016

Independence not Autonomy

Already many Londoners feel strongly about London becoming independent from the UK, but London Assembly member Tom Copley's idea of "autonomy" for London, although an understandable reaction, is both impractical and doesn't go far enough;

The problem with "autonomy" is simply this; it does not allow London to remain within the EU, and without that London will not prosper, as this, from one of London's large employers, demonstrates;

London's largest employment sector is financial services and these will move, to places like Dublin and Frankfurt very quickly, if London cannot be part of the EU.

No, Tom Copley, full independence is the way forward, and the only way to secure a prosperous and inclusive future for the people of London.

Media: Londoners start thinking of independence

The media has already run a number of articles on London independence as Londoners react to the disaster that is the UK EU referendum;

The first was Huffington Post; EU Referendum Results See Londoners Call For Independent Capital After Brexit Vote which quoted a lot of people on Twitter.

Now the Evening Standard is following; London referendum results: Twitter users call for capital to become independent state after Brexit vote

And the BBC; EU Referendum: Would Brexit prompt London to go it alone?

It is clear that this is more than a few instant, knee-jerk reactions. Londoners want this to happen...

And the Indy100 is now suggesting not only London by some other UK cities could also secede from the UK;  The UK's 10 most pro-Remain cities that now need their own independence referendum

PS; don't forget to follow us on Twitter;


New Facebook Group

I have now set up a Facebook group for those wishing to work for London Independence. Please join and help; we need people to work together on this and make a referendum on independence for London a reality.

Please join and help getting things going in a way that will be truly inclusive, diverse and progressive, building the kind of London we all want to live in...

This is to start things off and get ideas and to organise initial face-to-face meetings to get the ball rolling, please join in...

Inclusiveness and Diversity

One of the visions for an Independent London is that it will be vastly different from the Ukip vision for an "independent" UK. The London Independence Campaign is intended to preserve the multicultural, diverse, inclusive and varied beauty of London.

London os a great city and our diversity is our strength. Unlike Farage I delight in hearing different languages spoken on trains, buses and the tube, and this is a sentiment I share with almost every Londoner I know, it is why I love living here and have made this wonderful city my home. London is not just a centre for finance it is a centre for culture, for the arts, for international trade and for education with two of the world's top 25 universities.

Londoners value this diversity and it is what makes us tick as a city. Leaving the UK and rejoining the EU is not only good for the people of London, it will be good for the EU and protect our citizens against the inevitable rise of the far right in parts of England.  The aftermath of the EU referendum in the UK is going to be chaotic and damaging to the UK. Londoners have the opportunity to protect our city and provide a safe haven for our citizens and an open forward-looking country that will provide all our people with a safe and genuinely happy future. A prosperous and inclusive London is the only way forward now.

Leaving the UK should be first and foremost regarded as rejoining the EU, it is not about division but about unity and diversity.

Independence for London

The rest of the UK  has voted (apart from Scotland and Ulster) to leave the EU,  London, in contrast  has voted strongly to remain in the EU, with majorities in many London boroughs at 70%+.

So today, I am starting the Campaign for London Independence within the EU.

London is now not just economically different from the rest of the UK but politically, culturally and socially very different. London relies on business with the EU, as the EU's financial centre and will suffer greatly if this financial centre is moved to Frankfurt. London is also a tolerant, inclusive and multicultural city and its strength as a vibrant global trading centre relies on this.

London and the rest of the UK are as different as chalk and cheese, and have been functioning as different countries for a long time. The Leave vote outside London has thrown this into sharp relief and it must be remembered that London stands to lose most from leaving the EU; around 650,000 jobs are under threat.

So the solution is for London to leave the United Kingdom and rejoin the EU, as a full member, and this is what I am proposing. London can then retain its status as financial centre and continue to build itself as a vibrant, tolerant and prosperous city. Scotland will have a new referendum and is likely to vote to leave the UK even though the majority in favour of remaining in the EU are much lower there than in London.

This blog marks the start of a campaign to get the mayor of London to hold a referendum on independence for Greater London, for London to be a separate state, independent of the UK.

There are plenty of examples of successful city states both now and in the past. Singapore, Luxembourg, Hong Kong, Venice, Athens, Rome, Shanghai, Bremen, Bahrein, Monaco, Basel, Geneva, Tangier, Lubeck...

An independent London would be able to govern itself, and allow the rest of the UK, now obviously very different from London politically, socially and economically to follow its own path, choosing its own route, although obviously with close links; London would still be part of the commonwealth and her majesty the Queen would still be able to retain her residence here. London would then be free to join the Euro, have a separate London Pound or use the UK Pound whichever was most beneficial to us. We would be free from political interference from those outside London who wish to live separately from Europe. They would be free to pursue their dreams of separateness while London retains its unique European character as a full member of the EU.

London would be the 13th or 14th Largest nation in the EU, at around the same population as Austria, and bigger than Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Slovakia, Ireland, Croatia, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovenia, Estonia, Cyprus, Luxembourg and Malta.

I will be organising meetings soon and proposing to inaugurate a Campaign for London Independence shortly to start the push for an independent, tolerant, vibrant, diverse, unique and prosperous city separate from the UK and rejoining the EU. Watch this space.

Natacha Kennedy