Sadiq Khan announces London-Paris business partnership ahead of Article 50 declaration

Mark Sands
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Khan is visiting Paris and Brussels ahead of Theresa May triggering Article 50 tomorrow (Source: Getty)

London mayor Sadiq Khan has revealed a new agreement between Paris and the British capital to support start ups.

The “Paris-London business welcome programme” will help companies to jointly domicile in the cities, and provide support for entrepreneurs.

It will also aid in accessing to working space, the local tech ecosystem and discounted accommodation.

Eurostar will also provide entrepreneurs with preferential rates on their services.

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It comes just over seven months after Khan's deputy mayor for business Rajesh Agrawal told City A.M. that talks on collaborative deals between the two cities were underway.

Speaking to City A.M. in August, Agrawal specifically cited support for start ups as an example of a future tie-up between London and Paris.

Announcing the deal today alongside Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, Khan said: “London and Paris are two of the greatest cities in the world and we have so much to gain from joining forces.

“Never underestimate the incredible benefits to be found when major cities do business together. Our great friends in Paris and across the continent are well aware that working closely together remains to our mutual benefit.”

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It comes as part of Khan's visit to Paris and Brussels, with the London mayor set to meet European parliament president Antonio Tajani and European commission president Jean Claude-Juncker today.

Speaking at an event organised by Politico Europe earlier today, Khan reiterated his previous warnings that a bad Brexit deal would hurt the EU as well as Britain, and called on European leaders not to “punish” Britain for last summer's referendum.

“Now is the time to be confident in the European Union. And to act with confidence. There’s no need – as some have suggested - for the EU to send a message – or to instil fear – by punishing the UK. Because a proud, optimistic and confident institution does not secure its future through fear,” he said.

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