The EU will only hurt itself if it attempts to punish the UK with a bad Brexit deal, Sadiq Khan said on Tuesday (28 March). The Mayor of London issued the warning as he addressed a Politico event in Brussels just a day before Theresa May plans to start divorce talks with the EU.

"Now is the time to be confident...there's no need for the EU to send a message or instil fear by punishing the UK," he said.

Khan claimed that a so called "hard Brexit" would be "lose-lose" for the EU and Britain as jobs, particularly in the financial sector, move out of London and Europe to the likes of New York and Hong Kong.

"The UK may be leaving the union, but in London will always consider ourselves to be in the European family," the top Labour politician added.

"We will achieve remarkable things together as we go forward."

Khan, who channelled Dutch thinker Desiderius Erasmus, called on the EU and UK to be "bold" as two-year-long negotiations begin. "Fortune favours the audacious," he declared.

Elsewhere, the Mayor of London described the EU as a "force for good" and urged the UK government to guarantee the residency rights of the more than three million EU citizens in Britain.

"It would be a perfect gesture of goodwill," Khan argued. The Mayor of London met with EU security commissioner Sir Julian King and EU Council President Donald Tusk in Belgium on Monday evening. The Mayor will also hold talks with Matthias Fekl, France's Interior Minister, in Paris on Tuesday.