May gets Japan deal

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UK Prime Minister May has just visited Japan, where Brexit dominated the talks.

Successful Brexit

If she is to be reelected, May needs to make Brexit a success.

Success means trade deals.

Because the UK will soon separate from its biggest trading partner, she needs to prove that the country can replace and enhance any lost commercial opportunities. This would be achieved through signing lucrative trade agreements with both the EU and other markets, like Japan.

Abe says yes

The EU and Japan are about to complete a trade agreement.

During the visit, Japanese Prime Minister Abe agreed to an interim cpopycat post Brexit deal with the UK. Many Japanese businesses have UK operations, so it’ll be reassuring to corporate Japan.

But he repeatedly warned the UK to conduct a “transparent and predictable Brexit.”

Happy May

This arrangement gives May a blueprint that she can offer other nations. And if it’s widely adopted, it may return a measure of confidence to UK business.

But be warned

Simply “copying and pasting” the EU-Japan deal after Brexit might be difficult because it’ll probably need tailoring.

And it’s interim. It doesn’t guarantee that a longer term agreement will be struck anytime soon: it has taken 7 years for the EU-Japan deal and it’s still not signed.

Also, the UK has a sizeable trade deficit with Japan.

So is May’s presentation of this as a commercial opportunity for the UK really fair?

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