Goldsmith and Khan go to war over Brexit
2 March 2016, Blog
With the EU referendum date set for 23 June, Brexit has become a key issue in the London Mayoral Race. Despite London being one of the most pro-EU parts of the UK, Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith has confirmed his support for Brexit.
Labour’s Sadiq Khan has used this to his benefit and has incorporated his support for Britain remaining in the EU into his campaign. Speaking at the LandAid debate last week, Khan said the Brexit campaign was putting at risk the rights of around a million EU citizens in London to live and work here. Khan’s support for the ‘In Campaign’ also blunts the main Conservative attack line of the Mayoral election that Khan is a threat to London business community.
One reason for Europe being placed at the heart of the mayoral battle is the potential political force of Europeans living in London who make up around 10 per cent of the capital’s electorate. There are currently a recorded half a million citizens from other EU states that will have the vote. Although they are not entitled to vote in the EU referendum or in Westminster elections, they all have the right to vote for a new Mayor on May 5. Only time will tell just how critical the pending EU referendum will be in the contest for the capital’s new Mayor.