British PM Theresa May reassures Japanese executives on Brexit

British PM Theresa May reassures Japanese executives on Brexit

British Prime Minister Theresa May will tell business leaders from major Japanese firms on Thursday that she is seeking to agree a transition period for Britain's exit from the European Union as soon as possible. Growth could be about 5 per cent less by 2033-34 than forecast at present if any deal resembled the free trade agreement with Canada.

"Nissan Europe Chairman Paul Willcox will join representatives from other Japanese companies in meeting the prime minister and chancellor on Thursday to discuss our operations and investments in the United Kingdom", the firm said in a statement. "This is all high stakes that I think all of us need to keep in mind", he said.

There are 879 Japanese companies employing 142,000 staff in Britain, including carmakers Honda and Nissan.

Quizzed on the Government's own Brexit impact assessment leaked to Sky News that showed regions in the United Kingdom could suffer a hit to GDP of up to 16% over 15 years, the Brexit Secretary played down the report. We are not expecting a no-deal scenario, ' they added.


May's meeting in Downing Street was attended by senior executives of Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Panasonic and Toyota, as well as Nomura and other banking giants.

With over 1,000 Japanese businesses in the United Kingdom, the country is the UK's 11th largest trading partner, with investment into Britain reaching £46.5 billion in 2016.

Other Japanese firms including Nomura Holdings, Daiwa Securities and Sumitomo Matsui Financial Group have said they are planning to move their main European Union bases from London to Frankfurt.

In a warning after the shock 2016 Brexit vote, Japan expressed fears about a cliff edge that could disrupt trade when Britain formally leaves the bloc in March 2019.

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