Macron: 'Brexit? I'd love to welcome you back'

And Macron renewed his warning that the United Kingdom would not be able to get full access to the Single Market without paying in money and accepting freedom of movement on Brexit.

The "preconditions" Britain would have to accept for full access would include freedom of movement, budget contributions and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice - all thing ruled out by Ms May in the long term.

Asked whether France would seek to "punish" Britain, by insisting financial services should not be included in a UK-EU trade deal after Brexit, Macron said, "I'm not here to punish or reward". "You can't buy, by definition, full access to the single market if you don't tick the box".

Mr McDonnell suggested Mr Macron was being "fairly hard-nosed" about the EU's approach to United Kingdom financial services as he predicted a "softening" once Brexit negotiations on a future relationship begin.

Mr Macron visited the United Kingdom earlier this week for a summit with Prime Minister Theresa May. "But this special way of settling the issue must remain true to the principle of maintaining the single market", warned Macron.

However, business groups have hit back at the idea, and have argued an equivalent scheme to passporting can be achieved as part of a free trade agreement with the EU.

"It's important not to make people believe that you can [have your cake and eat it]" he told Marr. City firms are concerned about new trade barriers, including the loss of so-called "passporting" rights, that allow them to operate throughout the European Union from headquarters in London. "I mean, I do respect this vote, I do regret this vote, and I would love to welcome you again".

He also suggested that the idea of a referendum on European Union membership was wrongheaded regardless of the national context, however, saying: "It's a mistake when you just ask "yes" or "no", when you don't ask people how to improve the situation and to explain how to improve it".

The Prime Minister has repeatedly outlined her wish for a post-Brexit trade deal including both goods and services.

  • Joey Payne