London Mayor Sadiq Khan warned the European Union on Tuesday that “punishing” the United Kingdom during the Brexit negotiations would have harmful consequences for both sides.
“It is not necessary for the EU to send a message or instill fear by punishing the United Kingdom”, Sadiq Khan said at a conference in Brussels organised by the newspaper Politico Europe.
“A bad deal on the Brexit that penalises London will also penalize the EU”, he said.
Sadiq Khan is scheduled to meet with several senior European officials, including the presidents of the Commission and the Parliament.
If companies were to leave London, one of the main financial centers in the world, they would look to New York and Singapore, not to the rest of Europe, Khan said.
The municipal executive, on his visit to Brussels on the eve of the official separation of the Union and London, also urged British Prime Minister Theresa May to commit to the rights of EU citizens living in the UK.
“This would be the sign of goodwill par excellence, providing a concrete guarantee of their rights to remain in the UK,” he said.
The British capital, home to one third of the three million European citizens living in the country, voted largely to remain in the EU in the June 2016 referendum.
European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said he would “work hard to get a fair and orderly divorce between the European Union and the United Kingdom.”
The MEPs will have the last word on the European side on any agreement reached on the Brexit, and must also vote next week in Strasbourg on a resolution affirming their objectives in the negotiation.
Germany’s Manfred Weber, leader of the EPP (right, majority) in the European Parliament, warned Tuesday that the Brexit’s bill would be “very expensive” for the British.
The EU has already warned London that a number of financial commitments, that were made as a Member State, should be paid at the time of the divorce.