The Mayor of London has said Britain would be better off within the EU but has accepted that Brexit must now be fulfilled after the referendum result.
Sadiq Khan , who campaigned for the remain side, made the statement after the UK voted to leave the union by 52% to 48% in the ballot on Thursday, June 23.
Despite his disappointment, the Labour man was optimistic that London would continue to be “the successful city it is today” as long as the country remained part of the single market.
“I believe that Britain is better off within the European Union,” Mr Khan said, “but the British people have clearly spoken today, and their democratic will must now be fulfilled.
“I want to send a clear message to the British people and to businesses and investors around the world - there is no need to panic.
“I still believe that our country is better off within the European Union, but there is no doubt that London will continue to be the successful city it is today.
“Our city and our country will continue to be the best place in the world to do business. And we will continue to look outwards and trade and engage with the entire world - including the European Union.”
He also praised Prime Minister David Cameron, who announced his resignation after the result, and agreed that Britain could prosper outside the EU.
Mr Khan said: “We all have a responsibility to now seek to heal the divisions that have emerged throughout this campaign - and to focus on that which unites us, rather than that which divides us.
“I want to send a particular message to the almost one million Europeans living in London, who make a huge contribution to our city - working hard, paying taxes and contributing to our civic and cultural life.
“You are welcome here. We value the enormous contribution you make to our city and that will not change as a result of this referendum.”
London Assembly chairman Tony Arbour echoed the mayor’s sentiments and said the group would continue to work with Mr Khan for the benefit of the city.
“The country has spoken and we respect that,” Tony said. “The London Assembly will now work positively with the mayor to ensure that opportunities for London are maximised and any risks for our city are well managed. We will strive to ensure good relations with our European neighbours.
“The role of the London Assembly does not change - we will continue to work in cross-party cooperation for the best interests of Londoners and hold the mayor to account.”
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