London Mayor Sadiq Khan is urging the UK government to allow Londoners and other British nationals who are upset over Brexit to retain "associate citizenship" of the EU, provoking both anger and praise on social media.
Ahead of his visit to Brussels on Tuesday to discuss the issue with senior EU officials, Khan claimed he could not think of a better way of resolving differences between 'Leavers' and 'Remainers' than to allow UK citizens who still feel European to keep their link to the EU.
Its no secret I wanted to remain in the EU, but Im determined to ensure London thrives after Brexit. Today Im in Brussels, meeting senior EU leaders to fight for a deal that protects Londons economy, and the rights of all Londoners. #LondonIsOpen <�<�https://t.co/pk17Dx8gHM— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) February 18, 2020
The idea of associate citizenship – which has been earmarked by several high-profile EU officials – could involve individuals paying a fee in order to retain many bloc "benefits" after Brexit, including the right to move freely between member states.
The London mayor's comments have riled many Brexiteers online, with many suggesting he was in fact doing the opposite of bringing the country together by attempting to keep Londoners within the EU. One annoyed Leaver tweeted: "This guy is a joke. We are out and that means all of us."
Others on Twitter questioned why Khan was involving himself in any post-Brexit negotiations with Brussels, suggesting that he should instead be focusing on the knife crime epidemic currently blighting the UK capital.
Weve left the EU ... hasnt he got more pressing things to do? dealing with #knifecrime in London for one— Robert Jobson (@theroyaleditor) February 18, 2020
There were also those who took a swipe at the mayor's emotive rhetoric, and accused him of being anti-democratic. One person sarcastically tweeted: "Breaking democracy to heal broken hearts. How romantic."
However, amongst the negativity there was some support for Khan's intervention from ardent Remainers. In a somewhat backhanded compliment, one EU cheerleader tweeted: "This could be Sadiq's first great idea." Another commented: "Awesome! Where do I sign?"
This could be Sadiqs first great idea. The leavers want everyone to suffer with them. If leaving the EU is such a good idea they should have no problem with those of us who want to continue to enjoy our close relationship whilst they continue to enjoy the benefits of leaving— <�<�i href="https://twitter.com/AndyBowers11/status/1229679899448872966?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 18, 2020
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