LONDON: Japan warned Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday that its companies would have to leave Britain if trade barriers after Brexit made them unprofitable.
Japanese firms have spent more than £40 billion in Britain, encouraged by successive governments since Margaret Thatcher which promised a business-friendly base from which to trade across the continent.
After May and several of her top ministers met bosses from 19 Japanese businesses, including Nissan, SoftBank and bank Nomura, Japan’s ambassador to Britain issued an unusually blunt warning on the risks of trade barriers.
“If there is no profitability of continuing operations in the UK — not Japanese only — then no private company can continue operations,” Koji Tsuruoka told reporters on Downing Street when asked how real the threat was to Japanese companies of Britain not securing frictionless trade.
“So it is as simple as that,” he said. “This is all high stakes that all of us, I think, need to keep in mind.”
Japan has expressed unusually strong public concerns about the impact of Brexit on the UK. — AFP