I've always had an inclination to believe that London would benefit from Scotland-style devolution or outright independence - the latter of these having today been coined 'Londependence'.
The first thing to clarify is that this 'Londependence' movement is not moaning about the referendum result, nor disobeying the democracy of the British people. I do not support Londependence because I was supporting a 'Remain' vote and am unhappy about the results; I support a referendum on Londependence because I now believe that London should have an honest and open discussion about its future in the United Kingdom and the European Union - and may find that secession is in its long-term interest.
I support a referendum on Londependence far more than I support Londependence itself because it would spark discussion and debate. The first step of this process, however, is to convince people that this is not a deluded movement - and can be made possible. The best way to do this is to compare Londependent arguments with Brexiteer arguments, I think.
Many banks have headquarters in London because they see it as the gateway to the Single Market. If the UK leaves the Single Market, as many Leave campaigners wanted, banks will lose this access and, in turn, London will lose its title as the financial capital of Europe - because banks will move to German and French capitals in order to retain access to the Single Market. JP Morgan has reportedly begun this process today. This will ultimately mean that the City will suffer from Brexit very, very badly - possibly more than any other region in the UK.
People of London, it is time for an honest and open discussion about our internationalist city's future in the European Union and the United Kingdom. London needs a referendum to decide what is best for herself - to make the arguments come to light so that we can have an honest and open discussion about our future.
[Of course, the pound versus the euro is the first major problem of Londependence. I haven't thought about it too much yet.]
Here are the similar arguments between Brexiteers and 'Londependents' that would prop up:
1. Cost of membership
Brexiteers said: "We give £350m a week to the European Union!"
Londependents say: "Londoners give £1 of every £5 they earn to the United Kingdom - that's up to £20bn a year, or £385 per week! Let's leave and take back control of this money - investing it in a massive housing rejuvenation programme!" (secondary source)
2. Democratic deficit
Brexiteers said: "We did not elect the European Union!"
Londependents say: "We have an unelected upper house and our Greater London Authority, with its additional member system, is far more democratic! Whilst London voted for Labour in 2015 and for the EU in 2016, the countryside denied us a Labour government and a pro-EU vote. The UK no longer supports the interests of Londoners and has voted against their interests twice in two years now! Let's leave and take back control of our democracy!"
3. Burdensome regulations
Brexiteers said: "Let's get rid of the EU's burdensome trade regulations!"
Londependents say: "Let's scrap the useless Westminster regulations discouraging London councils from building houses. When we take back the £385 we give to the UK per week, let's invest in a massive house rejuvenation programme to build up our city! Let's take back control of our city's regulations from the countryside!"
4. We're strong outside the Union
Brexiteers said: "BeLEAVE in Britain! We're the fifth-largest economy!"
Londependents say: "We elect 11% of the UK's MPs yet Londoners make over twice that percentage of the UK's economy! Our GDP is the size of Sweden or Iran at the moment without the rest of the UK anyway, and by 2025, we'll have the fourth-highest GDP globally and the highest GDP in the Europe! BeLEAVE in London; let's LEAVE the UK!" (source; source)
5. There are benefits for both sides
Brexiteers said: "This is the liberation of the European Union! There are advantages for everyone!"
Londependents say: "The moment we leave the UK, Westminster will stop bribing our voters with expensive projects like Crossrail and HS2 whilst shelving projects costing a fraction of the sum in the rest of the UK. If we leave the UK, we promote growth in all of the cities in the rest of the UK - we've got enough money to invest in London on our own and they can start investing in their own cities! Let's LEAVE not just for London but for the North, the South, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and every other region of the UK!"
6. Immigration control
Brexiteers said: "Let's leave and take back control of our borders!"
Londependents say: "Let's leave and take back control of our borders! We'll create an Australian-style points system for non-EU immigrants whilst constructing borders for non-London citizens at the M25, with priority crossing for dual-nationals living in the UK and working in London. We'll invite the Home Counties in our commuter belts to join us and we'll run frequent commuter Eurostar services. All EU citizens will be welcome to come to London, enjoying the freedom of movement which has fuelled this city's prosperity since it joined the EEC. We will no longer have our borders controlled by Westminster and the countryside who don't understand how beneficial multicultural society and immigration are to our city; we will take back that control from them!"
7. The Union is a sinking ship
Brexiteers said: "The European Project is doomed!"
Londependents say: "As the EU referendum results showed, it is the UK that is a failed political union project - and not the EU: Scotland, Northern Ireland, Gibraltar and London did not vote for the EU and British society was split down the middle! Now the SNP has called for a second Scottish independence referendum and Sinn Féin has called for an Irish Unity referendum - it is the UK, and not the EU, which is doomed to the history books!"
Brexit Arguments versus Londependence Arguments watch
View Poll Results: Would you support a referendum on London's membership of the United Kingdom?Yes675.00%No225.00%Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll
- Thread Starter
Last edited by Southwestern; 24-06-2016 at 18:37.
- 24-06-2016 18:18
- 24-06-2016 18:20
Not gonna happen.
- 24-06-2016 18:25
I am from London and I am British. No leaving
- 24-06-2016 18:30
That would be a fun thing to see in practice (or very scary, depending on whether you live in or outside of the M25). Won't happen, but a nice thought experiment nonetheless.
- Thread Starter
- 24-06-2016 18:44
I suppose one advantage of holding a referendum would also be discussions and promises regarding further devolution to City Hall from Westminster, similar to those secured by the Scottish Referendum.
Whether you support or oppose London as an independent state, the idea of a referendum has many advantages to bring in opening the discussion. I know that line is dangerous because it's how Corbyn became leader of the Labour Party, but it holds some truth.
- Thread Starter
- 25-06-2016 08:29
Are there any serious groups which have been established to forward the idea of a Londerendum?
All joking aside, it's time to rally together under a banner.
"Rise, like lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number!
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you:
Ye are many—they are few!"