Published: Fri, February 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Nissan and other Japanese investors to meet with United Kingdom leader

Nissan and other Japanese investors to meet with United Kingdom leader

Prime Minister Theresa May spoke of the "opportunity" of Brexit but acknowledged it would be "no small undertaking" as she met Thursday with Japanese companies investing in Britain. There are more than 1,000 Japanese companies doing business in the country, employing more than 140,000 people.

Britain and Japan have established deep rooted trade ties spanning a breadth of business sectors, from the automotive industry and machinery, to pharmaceuticals and retail.

According to commentators, the best possible trade deal between the United Kingdom and U.S. would provide around half of any gain from all non-EU deals, which would increase pressure on Theresa May to strike an agreement with Donald Trump as quickly as possible after Britain leaves the EU. "This is all high stakes that I think all of us need to keep in mind", he said.

In the first major bust up over the next stage of negotiations, the Brexit Secretary complained proposals to sanction Britain were "not in good faith".

European officials have made clear that Britain's plan to leave the EU internal market and customs union will inevitably mean new barriers in some of those areas.

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May and her ministers assured Japanese businesses of the importance of maintaining free and frictionless trade after Brexit during the meeting but said nothing firm on the matter, a source familiar with the discussions told Reuters.

A spokesman at May's office said she had agreed with them on the need to move on quickly in the Brexit talks to secure a trading relationship with the European Union that is as tariff-free and frictionless as possible after the transition period.

"What we're about is building an implementation period, which is to build a bridge to a future where we work well together", said Brexit minister David Davis.

Collectively the three carmakers build almost half of Britain's 1.67 million cars.

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