Japan Warns Against “No Deal” Brexit
The idea (well…) behind Brexit was that it would free the UK from Brussels’ bureaucracy and allow it to strike free trade deals with nations all over the world. The problem with Brexit is that virtually no UK based businesses were clamouring for such an opportunity. There was never a pent-up tide of British businesses waiting for a reduction in regulations that would allow them to release a tidal wave of exports on the rest of the world. Indeed, Brexit stands to make it harder for these companies to continue to service existing clients in Europe and the wider world.
The latest friendly nation to urge the UK against the madness of leaving the world’s most successful trading bloc without any deal is Japan. Foreign minister Taro Kono has urged both candidates for the Tory leadership: "please no no-deal Brexit". Speaking to the BBC ahead of the recent G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, he also appealed for clarity over Brexit, noting that Japanese firms in the UK are “very concerned” over the potential implications of a chaotic Brexit.
"There are over 1,000 Japanese companies operating in the United Kingdom so we are very concerned with this no-deal Brexit. That would have [a] very negative impact on their operations. So whoever wins, whoever becomes a new leader for the UK, [I hope] they would consider those foreign companies operating in the United Kingdom and take good care of it. So we've been asking the UK government, let the Japanese companies know what they can expect, and things should happen smoothly without any disruption".
Mr Kono cited the car industry as a concern in a “no deal” scenario:
"Right now they have very smooth operations. Their stock for each part is only for a few hours. But if there is no-deal Brexit, and if they have to go through actual custom inspection physically, those operations may not be able to continue. And many companies are worried about [the] implications because they don't know what's going to happen," this was leading to consideration of moving operations outside the UK to other EU countries.
He pointed out that a chaotic Brexit would cause discontinuities in UK trading relationships with non-EU states since new arrangements could not be put in place until after the UK left the bloc and inevitably, they would require time to negotiate.
Both Mr Hunt and Mr Johnson are talking up the prospects for a “no deal” exit from the EU as they vie to seek the support of Conservative Party members in the leadership contest.