Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

United Kingdom accuses European Union of bad faith over Brexit transition plan

Prime Minister Theresa May Prime Minister Theresa May Search
Faye Gross | 09 February, 2018, 03:51

Mr Tsuruoka said Japanese companies would like to continue their "successful" operations in the United Kingdom, but added they were "watching very closely" and wanted to "see clarity and certainty".

But it comes amid fresh debate among business over Brexit negotiations.

Japan's ambassador to the United Kingdom has said Brexit is a high stakes issue and that no company would be able to stay in the United Kingdom if it was not profitable.

"This is all high stakes that all of us, I think, need to keep in mind", he answered.

May visited Japan in August previous year aiming to push forward with plans for a Britain-Japan free trade agreement.

"But there's no reason they shouldn't make a profit with a WTO [World Trade Organisation] deal", added Mr Mills, who is chairman of consumer products firm, JML.

He was speaking in Downing Street after attending a meeting at Number 10 between the Prime Minister and the heads of businesses including household names such as Mitsubishi, Honda, Nissan and Panasonic, which employ thousands of workers across the country.

"I am under the impression that the UK Government is very firmly united behind the Prime Minister's leadership in search and in pursuit of achieving the free, frictionless trade with the European Union in a most ambitious manner".

"Just today we have seen the Bank of England raise its forecast for United Kingdom growth compared with its estimates three months ago", Mrs May added.

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The talks, arranged following Mrs May's trip to Japan last August, came amid concerns over official estimates of the impact of Brexit on economic growth.

"As we look to the relationship between the United Kingdom and Japan we see already year-on-year trade between our two countries continues to increase, with Japans's investment in the United Kingdom reaching £46.5 billion in 2016".

Japanese firms as a whole have spent billions of pounds in the United Kingdom in recent decades, with governments encouraging companies from the Asian economic powerhouse with the promise of it being a business-friendly base from which to trade across Europe.

Carmakers Toyota, Nissan and Honda have invested billions in Britain since the 1980s with most cars manufactured in the United Kingdom exported to the European Union. The big majority of these are exported.

Britain's decision to leave the world's largest trading bloc has sent jitters through the industry because of concerns of the likely end of frictionless trade and the potential for new tariff barriers.

"Japanese companies have invested in this country, supporting more than 160,000 jobs, largely on the basis that it provides a bridge into a the wider European market".

And the Asian nation has made significant investment in The City of London, with Japanese banks treating the United Kingdom capital as a financial gateway to the rest of Europe.

Nissan bosses previously vowed to work with the Government to secure the long-term future of the firm's Sunderland plant after Brexit.

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