Japanese ready to leave UK: envoy

Japanese ready to leave UK: envoy

Japan’s ambassador to the UK has said Brexit is a high-stakes issue and that no Japanese employer would be able to stay if it became unprofitable.

Koji Tsuruoka, speaking after meeting Prime Minister Theresa May along with 19 bosses from Japanese firms including Mitsubishi, Honda, Nissan, Toyota and Panasonic, told journalists: “If there is no profitability of continuing operations in the UK – not Japanese only – no private company can continue operations. So it is as simple as that.”

When asked about what would happen if UK failed to secure a frictionless trade deal with Brussels, he said: “This is all high stakes that all of us, I think, need to keep in mind.”

May promised them that Brexit would allow her to strike a free-trade deal with Japan, claiming that her industrial strategy made Britain “more attractive”.

The enfeebled prime minister told the Japanese delegation that Brexit was “no small undertaking”.

“Just today we have seen the Bank of England raise its forecast for UK growth compared with its estimates three months ago,” the embattled premier said.

Brexit “bulldog” David Davis has accused Brussels of displaying bad faith over its leaked position paper that suggested the remaining EU members could punish Britain with sanctions during a proposed two-year transition period.

Davis said the leaked documents, which suggested if London failed to comply with EU law during the transition period then it could be sanctioned, including losing access to the single market.

The former part-time member of the SAS said: “What we’re about is building an implementation period; which is to build a bridge to a future where we work well together. I do not think it was in good faith to publish a document with frankly discourteous language and, actually, implying that they could arbitrarily terminate in effect the implementation period.

“That’s not what the aim of this exercise is; it’s not in good faith and it’s unwise to publish that,” the combative Davis said.

Meanwhile, George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist, is backing a campaign to scrap Brexit.

The Jewish-Hungarian investor is one of three senior figures linked to the remain-supporting campaign group Best for Britain, which plans to launch a nationwide advertising campaign this month. The grass-roots group is hoping for another referendum to keep Britain in the EU.

The campaign is trying to recruit major Conservative donors in an attempt to undermine the weakened May.

It also plans to target MPs and convince them to vote against any final Brexit deal to trigger another referendum or general election, according to a leaked document.


Pro-EU protesters in London last year. Picture credit: Eurasia Times

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