London Mayor Sadiq Khan has launched a new initiative, allegedly directly supported by the European Union (EU), which frames Brexit as harmful, as well as a cause of “division” and anti-migrant sentiment.
The ‘Common Future’ event organised by ‘My Life My Say’ (MLMS) was hosted in London City Hall, where the Mayor and London Assembly work, and “wouldn’t be possible” without the support of the European Commission, according to organisers.
According to attendees at the City Hall event on Twitter, the “initiative seeks to address anti-immigrant narrative and the divisions following the Brexit vote.”
Prominent Jeremy Corbyn supporter and former National Union of Students officer Shelly Asquith reported that Mayor Khan told the audience: “Real leadership isn’t about playing on people’s fears, but about listening to and addressing them,” as well as blasting: “Let’s stop playing on people’s fears and understand them.”
— EC in UK (@EUlondonrep) May 9, 2018
MLMS claims to be a “non-partisan” project aiming to “secure a better Brexit for young people.” The group’s “CEO” Mete Coban, however, is a Labour party councillor with links to the top of the party, and the group has have received public support from the European Commission’s office in the UK.
They also claim to create a “safe space” where young people and activists can talk about Brexit and organise and are hosting a series of meetings all over the country this year.
A prominent line-up of fiercely anti-Brexit campaigners also spoke at the London event, including Labour MP Stephen Kinnock and Alastair Campbell, former press chief and spin doctor to Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair and editor-at-large of the anti-Brexit New European newspaper.
Khan Tweeted after the event: “Proud to support the youth-led organisation @mylifemysay & see them continue to go from strength to strength. Young people are the future of our city and country – and @mylifemysay’s work to secure a better Brexit for young people is both crucial and inspiring.”
He added: “Together we sent a clear message to the thousands of young Londoners who are EU citizens: you are Londoners, you are welcome here and you deserve a say in your future.”
On the MLMS website, they write: “By ‘Better Brexit’ we mean one where those that will live with the outcome the longest – the youth – are placed central to negotiations, and Brexit works for them.”
“Launched in partnership with the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, this CFF Launch will showcase our upcoming projects which all center around the conversations this country needs to have to bridge the post-Brexit divides,” they add on the London event’s Facebook page.
Brilliant to host the Chair of our @APPG_Brexit Stephen Kinnock MP & Alastair Campbell at the launch of our Common Futures Forum aiming to build conversations across generations and communities to heal the divisions caused by the EU referendum #CommonFutures pic.twitter.com/hJxBIBiWCU
— My Life My Say (@mylifemysay) May 10, 2018