December 19, 2016 / 11:59 AM / 3 years ago

London's mayor appoints former EU commissioner Mandelson to advise on Brexit

British politician and former Business Secretary Peter Mandelson participates in a debate on the EU at the Institute of Directors convention in London, Britain, October 6, 2015. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - London’s mayor Sadiq Khan appointed former EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson to a panel of business and financial leaders advising on Brexit which also includes the City of London’s policy chief and the head of the London Stock Exchange.

Londoners overwhelmingly backed remaining in the European Union in the June 23 referendum and Khan, the most senior Labour Party politician to hold power in Britain, has vowed to defend the capital from any Brexit-related hit.

Fellow Labour Party politician Mandelson, a minister under ex prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, was in charge of EU trade policy between 2004 and 2008, including during fraught talks over textile quotas with China known as the “Bra Wars.”

Khan said the panel would provide insight and expertise as he pushes to protect key policy areas during monthly meetings with Brexit minister David Davis.

“Securing privileged access to the single market, maintaining a world-class financial sector and ensuring London can continue to attract global talent are all recurring themes from my conversations with business,” said Khan.

Just over a dozen members will advise the mayor including the British chair of Spanish bank Santander, the Chairman of the Canary Wharf Group and the City of London’s policy chief.

“London’s success is based on the incredible number of interconnected businesses and sectors that support each other,” City of London policy chairman Mark Boleat said.

“If one sector suffers, the knock-on effects to London’s whole economy could be substantial.”

Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Stephen Addison

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