A crown-wearing pro-Brexit demonstrator stands next to banners outside the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, in London on Thursday. Photo: REUTERS/Hannah McKay

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

By Kylie MacLellan

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 ($36.7 billion) 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.

Carmakers have warned that their factories, which rely on the constant delivery of parts to enter production cycles, would be severely damaged if Britain leaves the EU without a trade deal, forcing the need for customs checks at borders.

Truss met Japan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Toshimitsu Motegi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Isshu Sugawara, and Minister for Economic Revitalisation Yasutoshi Nishimura on Friday.

The two countries will also sign an exchange of letters to ensure UK certificates and inspections of technical regulations, currently covered by the EU-Japan Mutual Recognition Agreement, will continue to be recognized by Japan and vice versa.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Freedom of movement would be awesome. They're looking at doing that with Australia now.


-5 ( +0 / -5 )

“Carmakers” “severely damaged” talk about special pleading and selling fear, all the many business people I know and friends who own businesses have built in the possibility of a no deal brexit years ago, if the “Carmakers” haven’t then they are incompetent.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

+1 on allowing easier Japanese immigration to the UK.

-1 on allowing easier UK immigration to Japan.

Do we really wish more whingeing poms on Japan?

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

The EU and Japan recently signed a massive trade deal. I want exactly the same. The easiest way to achieve this is to revoke Article 50.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Liz Truss, on a publicly-funded salary, is here the day before England begin their rugby World Cup, by coincidence?

Even it it is by coincidence, didn't her government aides advise her not to make it look like she is on a rugby World Cup jolly.?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Toyota is one of the major employers in my old UK home town,maybe even the biggest. It's not like there are economic opportunities dropping out of the trees if Toyota is forced to pack up and leave. I'm sure the same applies elsewhere in areas of the country where Japanese and other foreign companies are major contributors to local - and national - economies.

Did none of the politicians who pushed the Leave agenda, or those who voted for them, foresee this as a potential consequence of voting the way they did?

5 ( +7 / -2 )


The crowned loon in the picture is just the sort we don't want here.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

For many years the UK and Japan have had a good business and trading relationship.

I don't really think that Brexit will change this.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

" Make Britain Great Again" ????.. What a pathetic bunch of clowns!!.. lol !!.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Did none of the politicians who pushed the Leave agenda, or those who voted for them, foresee this as a potential consequence of voting the way they did?

No, because they were either too rich to care or too stupid to realise. Sums up Brexit.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I don't really think that Brexit will change this.

oh itll change , majority of vehicles made in the UK are exported to the EU. when the UK leaves it highly unlikely the EU will give the UK free trade status since they wont abide by the requirements other EU members have to follow. The only logical step for any business that exports mostly to the EU would be to manufacture in the EU and not have to pay any tariffs. The EU will make being in the EU more advantageous than not.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )


The crowned loon in the picture is just the sort we don't want here.

Thankfully, they won't come to a place like Japan because it is full of foreigners. As in Japanese.

I'm met some of those sorts and, typically, they only go on holiday to English speaking former colonies or dependencies.

The vote was won by the xenophobia and racism of people who could not even read the text of a single international trade deal, and who have the most to lose when their jobs are moved overseas.

I actually have no idea what the current and future relationships will be. Does Japan at present have to do business with the EU as one at present (UK inc); and in the future will it negotiate two separate trade deals, one with the EU and one with the UK? Presumably falling back on a general WTO rules in the meanwhile.

Apart from the upmarket specialist vehicles, the car industry will die because vehicle these days are just no made by one company, many major parts like chassis are common and pass across a number of borders before assembled.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The UK cut its own throat, the EU is more important than what will be the little kingdom of England, all alone.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I hope UK joins TPP if UK really leaves EU, it will be beneficial for both UK and other member countries.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I really doubt it will be beneficial to anyone. A hard Irish border and customs between the UK and EU. The Brits are just trying to restore the empire and it will not work.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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