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By Melissa Fares and Jing Wang NEW YORK/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - U.S. and Chinese online travel sites have reported a jump in queries about UK holidays since Britain voted to leave the European Union last week, a sign that "Brexit" and the resulting dramatic drop in the pound could boost tourism. Travel agents, hotel chains and airlines say it is too early to tell if the vote will impact bookings in the longer term, but inquiries jumped as travelers hunt for cheaper breaks. Britain's decision to pull out of the European Union leaves the world's fifth-largest economy facing deep uncertainty.
London mayor Sadiq Khan on Tuesday called for the city to be given more autonomy to allow it to ride out the economic uncertainty unleashed by Britain's vote to leave the European Union. While Briton voted 52 to 48 percent to leave the bloc last week, London was the only region in England to back remaining. Since then, more than 175,000 people have signed an online petition calling for London to become an independent city state.
Shell-shocked European leaders will on Tuesday put the screws on Prime Minister David Cameron to expedite Britain's EU exit after its decision to leave rocked global markets and shook the very foundations of the bloc. Piling on the pressure, Standard & Poor's stripped Britain late Monday of its top-notch debt rating following Thursday's Brexit referendum. Cameron, who had fought to remain in the European Union and has said he will step down, told parliament on Monday that he will not yet start the two-year countdown on leaving the EU by invoking the so-called Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.