According to the Shinzo Abe, the Japanese Prime Minister, the “whole world” would want to see a ‘no deal’ Brexit avoided.
Flanking Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, at a press conference that was held in Downing Street on Thursday evening, Abe turned up the pressure on the MPs who were planning to vote against the Brexit agreement.
Approximately 1,000 firms in the United Kingdom are funded with Japanese money, employing 142,000 people, and in April 2018, the ambassador of Japan warned PM May that firms such as Toyota, Honda, and Nissan could leave that country if Brexit affects its profits.
May has repeatedly claimed that her deal with the European Union would enable trade with the bloc to continue to be as near to frictionless as possible and would see that no tariffs will be imposed.
If her Brexit agreement is defeated by the MPs in parliament this coming Tuesday, the prospect of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union without a deal – and therefore incurring tariffs – will greatly increase.
After praising the economic links between the United Kingdom and Japan, Abe stated: “It is the strong will of Japan to further develop this strong partnership with the UK, to invest more into your country and to enjoy further economic growth with the UK.”
He added: “That is why we truly hope that a no deal Brexit will be avoided and in fact that is the whole wish of the whole world.”
The intervention from PM Abe came as a two Conservative MPs who had previously promised to vote against the deal announced that they would now support the agreement.
Trudy Harrison of Copeland and George Freeman of Mid Norfolk informed the parliament that they would be voting with the government next week, with Harrison saying that the threat of no deal was too big to ignore.
However, with over 100 Tories still opposed to the of the Prime Minster, May made phone calls to leaders of the trade union on Thursday in an attempt to win their support.
Downing Street confirmed that May spoke to Len McCluskey of Unite and the Tim Roache of GMB for approximately 10 minutes each in what were described as “constructive” phone calls.
Her attempts to woo the union leaders appears to have failed, with Roache saying: “After nearly 3 yrs, glad PM finally picked up the phone. I was crystal clear about GMB’s position – her deal is a bad deal and flaky assurances on workers’ rights won’t cut it.”
Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party, used a speech in Wakefield on Thursday morning to reemphasise that his MPs will be instructed to vote against the deal.