The UK government will push for an "orderly" divorce from the EU, British financial firms were told this morning (11 October).

City minister Simon Kirby, speaking at a Brexit summit at London's Guildhall, also urged the sector to continue to engage with the Treasury and other departments.

"You've also told us you're worried about market disruption and the risks to financial stability when we leave the EU," he said.

"And so we will push for a solution that means an orderly transition – that neither disrupts how financial services are delivered, nor importantly drives up costs.

"So my message to you today is to keep talking to us, to keep sharing your views, and to keep working with the government in this spirit of constructive collaboration."

Kirby addressed the sector's concerns over an immigration crackdown, following Home Secretary Amber Rudd's U-turn over a plan to make businesses list the number of foreign workers they employ.

The government has also recommitted to the "tens of thousands" net migration target first promised by former prime minister David Cameron.

"Concerning the rights of EU nationals already here within the industry. We fully expect that the legal rights of EU nationals already in the UK will be properly protected," Kirby said.

"Because they make a huge contribution to our country, as well as our financial services industry. And we're confident that we'll be able to reach an agreement protecting the rights of EU nationals here, as well as our citizens in Europe."

The speech came hours after news that the UK could lose out on £66bn ($81bn, €72bn) per year in tax revenues and see its GDP slashed by up to 9.5% as part of a "hard Brexit".

Prime Minister Theresa May has ruled out providing a "running commentary" on her government's negotiations with Brussels.

But the Conservative premier has promised to trigger Article 50, the official mechanism to split with the EU, by March 2017.

Labour's Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has warned losing access to the single market would be "devastating" to jobs, livelihoods and public services.

"The British people voted to leave the EU and all sides must respect that decision, but what they certainly didn't vote for was economic misery and the loss of jobs," he said.

"The Tories should be sticking to their manifesto promise and fighting tooth and nail for access to the single market. Instead they are abandoning Britain's clear national interests by putting narrow party political concerns first.

"It's time for Theresa May's government to show some responsibility and stop playing political games when our future as a country is at stake."