UK appeals for public help in setting post-Brexit trade with Japan

picture UK post-Brexit trade with Japan

The British government said on Friday it wanted to hear from businesses and members of the public what their priorities were for a post-Brexit trade deal with Japan.

Japan is one of Britain’s biggest foreign investors, encouraged by successive British governments who have promised a business-friendly base from which to trade across Europe.

Britain’s decision to leave the European Union has raised concern that Japanese firms will shift operations elsewhere if tariff-free trade ends with the rest of the European bloc.

The government said its “call for input” to help it prepare for post-Brexit trade negotiations with Japan, would be open until Nov. 4, with anyone able to take part online.

“Businesses should be reassured that there is huge political will on both sides to begin negotiating a new free trade agreement with Japan as soon as possible,” British trade minister Liz Truss said in a statement during a visit to Tokyo.

“Launching our call for input today will allow us to begin these formal negotiations rapidly and will give people throughout the UK the opportunity to have their say on the new agreement.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is seeking to renegotiate the Brexit deal his predecessor Theresa May reached with the EU but has vowed to take Britain out of the bloc at the end of October without an agreement if necessary.

Some of Japan’s leading companies in Britain have warned of the impact a disorderly exit from the EU could have on their businesses and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has repeatedly urged Britain to avoid leaving without a deal.

Trade between Britain and Japan was worth 29.5 billion pounds last year, the government said, with nearly 1,000 Japanese firms based in Britain employing more than 150,000 people.

Japanese carmakers Nissan, Toyota and Honda built roughly half of the just over 1.5 million cars produced in Britain last year.

 

Published by ” Reuters “

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