EU referendum: London mayor Boris Johnson's economic adviser Gerard Lyons backs Brexit as CBI president Paul Drechsler praises the EU Single Market

The Mayor Of London Visits Businesses In Northern Ireland
London mayor Boris Johnson on a trip to Northern Ireland last month (Source: Getty)

London can still be “Europe’s world city” even if Britain leaves the European Union, mayor of London Boris Johnson has argued in a major new report from City Hall.

“London: The Global Powerhouse”, was first published yesterday and was written by the mayor’s economic adviser, Gerard Lyons, among others.

In the report, Lyons wrote that the “future economic and financial success for London and the UK will not depend solely on whether the UK is in the EU or not,” adding, “An important point is whether the institutional structures that propel our economy and attitudes evolve to become flexible enough to prosper in the challenging environment of the global economy.”

Lyons went on to endorse a so-called Brexit, writing, “The UK can only achieve serious reform if it is serious about leaving, and it can only be serious about leaving if it believes this is better than the status quo of staying in an unreformed EU. It is.”

Read More: Boris: London could be Europe's world city outside EU

Lyons’s comments come in sharp contrast to those of Confederation of British Industry (CBI) president Paul Drechsler, who will use a speech in the City tonight to argue that full access to the EU Single Market has benefited UK consumers.

“With the campaign heating up, we’re already hearing some equating the ‘uncertainty of staying’ with the ‘uncertainty of leaving’,” Drechsler will say at the Lord Mayor’s Trade and Industry Dinner at Mansion House. “Yes, there will likely be some degree of uncertainty around future Eurozone integration but that doesn’t come close to that generated by leaving.

“The potential risks surrounding the ‘uncertainty of leaving’ would be greater by an order of some magnitude,” Drechsler, who is also chairman of the Bibby Line Group, will add.

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