Staying in the European Union isn’t key to London being Europe’s most economically powerful city, according to a report published by Mayor Boris Johnson, the most prominent member of Britain’s ruling Conservative Party to advocate leaving the bloc.
“The future economic and financial success for London and the U.K. will not depend solely on whether the U.K. is in the EU or not,” Johnson’s economic adviser, Gerard Lyons, wrote in the report published Tuesday. “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.”
Johnson announced just over a week ago that he favors pulling out of the EU -- a so-called Brexit -- in the referendum Prime Minister David Cameron has called for June 23. That puts him in opposition not only to the premier but to all the other leading candidates to succeed Cameron as Tory leader and head of government when he steps down before the 2020 general election.
“If we stay in the EU, the key question is whether it will reform,” Lyons said. “The U.K. 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.”