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04-07-2019 12:05 | Read 956 times

No-deal Brexit could end Japan investment boom

JAPAN cautioned the two candidates vying to replace Prime Minister Theresa May that a no-deal Brexit would be so disruptive for many companies that Japanese capital's 35-year bet on Britain could end.

No-deal Brexit could end Japan investment boom

In an appeal to both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, Foreign Minister Taro Kono said Tokyo did not want a no-deal Brexit, that some companies were already moving out and that more investment could go.

"I know Boris and I know Jeremy, both of them pretty well," Mr Kono said in Osaka where a G20 summit began yesterday.

"I have communicated with them that Japan wouldn’t want no-deal Brexit. So hopefully Brexit could be done through an ordinary and calm way."

Japan has long seen Britain as a pro-business, liberal gateway into the rest of the European Union and has around 1,000 companies based in the country, including major carmakers and technology firms. Japanese firms have invested over £60 billion in Britain.

But following the 2016 vote to leave the European Union, some Japanese firms have begun moving business out of Britain, with particular concern over the impact of a possibly disorderly exit on October 31.

"Please, no no-deal Brexit," Mr Kono said.

Both Mr Johnson and Mr Hunt have both said they would be prepared to take Britain out of the bloc without a deal, although it was not their preferred option.

No-deal means there would be no transition period so the exit would be abrupt, the nightmare scenario for many businesses and the dream of hard Brexiteers who want a decisive split.

Some pro-EU British lawmakers have said they will seek next week to block a new prime minister from taking Britain out of the bloc without a deal and against the will of parliament by trying to cut off some of the government's funding.

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