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Sunday 4 September 2016

Japan’s Grim Brexit Warning

Those who advocated for Britain to leave the EU, and campaigned for a Leave vote in the referendum, have maintained all along that stories of investment leaving our shores and relocating in mainland Europe in the event of Brexit not maintaining the current level of access to the Single Market are mere scaremongering, part of “Project Fear”, and typical of those hell-bent on talking down the economy.
Instead, Brexit backers within the Fourth Estate, like the Sun, Mail, Telegraph and Express, have seized upon every scrap of optimistic economic news to show that their view is right and the nay-sayers are wrong. There was no sign of foreign investors taking their factories and jobs elsewhere. Or rather, not until the Japanese bombshell that was detonated at the start of the G20 meeting in Hangzhou.

As Faisal Islam, now Political Editor at Sky News, has told, “At the start of the G20 Summit, the Japanese government has taken the unprecedented step of warning of a series of corporate exits, ‘great turmoil’ and harmful effects if Brexit leads to the loss of single market privileges”. The Japanese are not given to hyperbolic or pejorative language. This is serious advice which our Government is expected to take on board.

There is more in the report: “An official Japanese government task force on Brexit, has collated views of big Japanese companies from car companies to banks and pharmaceutical companies that invest in the UK … It has produced a 15-page list titled ‘Japan's message to the UK and the EU’, detailing requirements from Brexit negotiations … It lists the consequences if the requirements are not delivered”.

And it concludes “Japanese businesses with their European headquarters in the UK may decide to transfer their head-office function to Continental Europe if EU laws cease to be applicable in the UK after its withdrawal … In light of the fact that a number of Japanese businesses, invited by the Government in some cases, have invested actively to the UK, which was seen to be a gateway to Europe, and have established value-chains across Europe, we strongly request that the UK will consider this fact seriously and respond in a responsible manner to minimise any harmful effects on these businesses”.
So what does the pro-Brexit side have to say to that? Well, one of their fine and indeed upstanding supporters went on the BBC last week to put us all straight: “Jacob Rees-Mogg tells #WATO any effort to keep Britain in the single market after Brexit is ‘code for rejecting the referendum result’”. Fortunately, he is not in Government.

Theresa May has already had the hard word from all around the G20 over Brexit. Now she has the sound of the Japanese warning ringing in her ears. Access to the Single Market could be a deal breaker for investors, and the Free Movement corollary is not their problem. Or does she have to wait until someone decides to walk before acting?

It was all going to be so easy. Until the real world intervened.


Arnold said...

"UK officials reacted with astonishment that Japan had chosen to publish this list of concerns and demands"
I don't see why, as it surely came as no surprise. And how can Japan demand that the UK not shoot itself in the foot?

Anonymous said...

And it followed Barack Obama's statement that Britain will be at the back of the queue. And although he's only a few months left he would be echoing the sentiments of Big Business which will always go where the deal is best.

The Brexiters have conned themselves -or allowed themselves to be conned- that a glorious Britain from what- the 50s, 60s 70s?.. will return.

The UK needs to join a powerful trading bloc as that is the way of the world for the next 100 years. There is a vacancy coming up in one called the EU.

anubeon said...

“Jacob Rees-Mogg tells #WATO any effort to keep Britain in the single market after Brexit is ‘code for rejecting the referendum result’”

Odd, I thought one of the arguments this lot advanced during EURef was that we could have Brexit and access to the single market? Now they seem scornful of the very idea. Is the aim of these dishonest manipulators a return to the Tory party of old? Next step, a referendum on the return of the Corn Laws whilst Jacob 'Nannys Boy' Rees-Mogg, BoJo the Affable Racist Clown and Gove the Gossiping Destroyer reassure the public it definitely won't lead to food shortages and/or a precipitous rise in the price of bread and corn flakes? What sort of brainless dolt votes these people in? I would have thought that the age of the deferential surf and the chinless aristocrat too blind drunk and inbred to see through these twerps would've been long over by now.

pete c said...

Out there in the world of making and selling things.

Hitachi now own an Italian factory for making trains, so the Teesside plant is no longer the European entry point for them.

Afaik, Nissan still are not making any comments that commit them to a long-term future up near those jubilant Sunderland voters.

No problem most weeks finding reports of firms gradually moving staff to European mainland offices. And said staff apparently pleased to make the move.

rob said...

Well there is a crumb of comfort for us from Australia. Instead of exporting Japanes cars, with our rejuvenation in cricket circles, we can now export a few cricketers instead of importing them.

And we tell Europe that we don't want any of their Double Dutch cricketers!

Seriously though............................. you have to laugh. Arron Banks has tweeted SkyTV to eff off just for reporting it.

Anonymous said...

Oh I wouldn't worry about it.

Home grown "entrepreneurs" and "creators of wealth" will take up the slack and save us, as they have since 1979.

Or something.

Meanwhile, Corbyn proposes to put £30 billion into the south east while the rest of Britain continues to rot. Nice one, Jeremy. New Labour, the tories and you done us proud all these years.

Or something (part 2).

Unknown said...

It's not a joke. The government is abdicating its responsibility. People with decent jobs, and Lord knows there are few of them around nowadays, will lose them and never work again. Nobody will invest in the UK post-Brexit. And all for what? So Theresa May and her constituents won't be disturbed by foreigners or ghastly "skivers".