Nearly 4 years later, Brexit continues to divide British society. London Mayor Sadiq Khan on Thursday (January 11) called on the United Kingdom to strengthen its ties with the European Union, accusing Brexit of having cost the British economy tens of billions of pounds.

In a statement, the Labor councilor underlines the need to establish “a closer relationship with the EU”, arguing that a new agreement “would boost our economy and help raise the living standards of the British”. This position contrasts with the reluctance of the main political parties, including his own, to discuss the repercussions of the 2016 referendum, a few months before the legislative elections for which Labor is largely in the lead.

“We have to be honest, Brexit is not a peripheral concern that we can leave in the past. It is a key factor in the cost of living crisis caused by inflation,” insists Sadiq Khan, candidate for a third term in the May municipal elections, in this press release which relays extracts from a speech scheduled for Thursday evening. .

To read also Nicolas Baverez: «Le naufrage du Brexit»

According to a study commissioned from Cambridge Econometrics by London City Hall, Brexit has already cost the British economy 140 billion pounds (162 billion euros), including 30 billion pounds (35 billion euros) for the capital. . Cambridge Econometrics also estimates that Brexit caused a loss of two million jobs in the country, including 300,000 in the capital. According to these same data, economic losses for the United Kingdom will amount to 300 billion pounds (350 billion euros) by 2035 if nothing is done, including 60 billion pounds for London.

A spokesperson for Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak responded that British economic activity had “experienced faster growth” than that of Italy and Germany since 2016. The government praises the opportunities offered by the exit from the European Union, touting the free trade agreements signed with countries like Australia or its membership in the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership.

In April, the budget forecasting body OBR (Office for budget responsibility) estimated, however, that the trade agreement concluded with the EU would reduce productivity in the long term by 4% compared to the time when the United Kingdom United was part of the EU. According to a poll carried out in December by the Opinium institute for the Sunday newspaper Observer, only 22% of Britons think that Brexit has had a positive effect on the country in general, a proportion which falls to 12% concerning the economy specifically.