×

Brexit: London needs special role, says mayor

London needs to have a special role in negotiations over the U.K.'s exit from the European Union, Sadiq Khan, the Labour Party politician who became Mayor of London earlier this year, told CNBC Friday.

Khan, who unlike his predecessor Boris Johnson supported the campaign to stay in the EU, said: "When it becomes to negotiations with the European Union, London needs to be on the other side of the table. We are the only region in the U.K. that voted to remain in the EU decisively. We have got special interests."

"There are investors, business people and talent who are thinking about going elsewhere...we have to say to them London is very much open."

Labour's London Mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan and member of Parliament for Tooting walks through East Street Market in Walworth on May 4, 2016 in London, England.
Rob Stothard | Getty Images
Labour's London Mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan and member of Parliament for Tooting walks through East Street Market in Walworth on May 4, 2016 in London, England.

The capital, where 60 percent of those who voted in the referendum wanted to remain in the European Union, may find its status as a financial center threatened by the departure of the U.K. from the trading bloc.

Khan also called for greater autonomy for the capital, which generates a quarter of the U.K.'s total national tax take, but lags behind in terms of spending per head of population.

One of the most important facets of the negotiations over the U.K.'s exit is likely to be whether banks operating in the country can continue to use "passporting", which allows them to trade with EU countries without having a branch there.

The London property market has already been affected by the referendum, according to the capital's dominant estate agent Foxtons, which reported a 42 percent fall in profits for the first half of 2016 on Friday and warned that the rest of the year would remain difficult.

Khan pledged to build more affordable housing in the capital, rather than what he called the "gold bricks" of more expensive investment properties.