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Brexit Driving a Wedge Between London and Local Governments

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Brexit - Sputnik International
A report released by leading UK academics is advocating that political power be devolved further to the level of Britain’s cities.

The British think-tank UK in a Changing EU released a report March 8 saying that the United Kingdom's impending exit from the European Union is exacerbating tensions between Westminster and local governments across the country. In response to these tensions the report advocates the government devolving unprecedented levels of authority to local metropolitan regions, giving them the authority to enact laws and policies called for by the people in their own locales.

READ MORE: 'Brexit: There Will Ultimately Be A Deal Suitable For Both Sides' – UK Economist

A demonstrator carries a Union Jack and a European Union flag as the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier visits Downing Street in London, Britain - Sputnik International
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The reports authors noted that the referendum on Britain's EU membership in June 2016 and the resulting Leave victory served to accelerate calls for greater local autonomy on both the Remain and Leave sides. The SNP-leader of the Leave Campaign argued that Brexit would in fact enhance efforts for further devolution of powers to Edinburgh, making Scotland more autonomous from London. On the Remain side, large numbers of Londoners responded to the outcome of the Referendum by calling for the British capital to become autonomous or even independent from the rest of the UK so as to remain within the European Union.

On February 27 proposals were put forward by the Mayors of Manchester and Liverpool for the convening of a first-ever "Convention of the North" as a means of applying the conception of devolution to the North of England, allowing it to be governed essentially as autonomously as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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