Top Japanese official issues ominous warning to Theresa May’s Government over Brexit

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Looking ahead: The EU


Top Japanese official issues ominous warning to Theresa May’s Government, saying ‘no-deal’ Brexit would be ‘impossible for us to accept’

  • Shinichi Iida says potential new investors are steering clear of Britain
  • Iida represents 1,000 Japanese firms with British operations 

William Turvill, Financial Mail On Sunday

A top Japanese official has issued an ominous warning to Theresa May’s Government, saying a ‘no-deal’ Brexit would be ‘impossible for us to accept’.

Shinichi Iida, a minister in the London embassy, said Japanese manufacturers are holding off on committing to the UK with new investments due to the uncertainty – and that potential new investors are steering clear of Britain.

Iida – who represents 1,000 Japanese firms with British operations including car giants Nissan, Toyota and Honda – said it was ‘imperative’ that the UK and EU reach an agreement on Brexit before a meeting of the European Council in October.

Looking ahead: The EU's chief negotiator dismissed large swathes of Theresa May's proposals on Brexit

Looking ahead: The EU’s chief negotiator dismissed large swathes of Theresa May’s proposals on Brexit

The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, last week dismissed large swathes of the Government’s proposals on Brexit, as set out in a White Paper.

‘Japanese manufacturing companies, including automakers, are seriously concerned with the current circumstances,’ Iida told The Mail on Sunday. 

‘They have been avoiding expansion and investment for the future because of the uncertain circumstances surrounding Brexit. That needs to be lifted.’

On the prospect of a ‘no-deal’ scenario, he said: ‘The bottom line for us is clear. There are some people who claim – including the Prime Minister – that no agreement is better than a bad agreement. That would be impossible for us to accept.’

Iida said it was ‘a disappointment’ that little progress was made on Brexit at a European Council meeting in Brussels last month.

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