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UK, Japan want a deal straight after Brexit - source

Friday, September 01, 2017 - 01:51

Britain and Japan are aiming to put in place a bilateral trade agreement ''pretty much immediately'' after Brexit according to a government source. Prime Minister Theresa May is in Tokyo on a three-day visit to reassure businesses and politicians the UK is still worth doing business with. Kate King reports.

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(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, THERESA MAY, SAYING: "To friendship between our two nations" Charm offensive complete. Britain's prime minister seemingly convincing Japan that the UK's exit from the EU won't make it a less attractive business partner. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, THERESA MAY, SAYING: "I want you and everyone in your country to know that Japan can count on the United Kingdom as a dependable and like-minded partner." For three days Theresa May has been touring Japan, but the centre piece of her visit was this. An audience with business leaders from both countries. In the crowd, representatives from Nissan and Toyota, who were reportedly treated to a one-on-one. Publicly they were also given clear direction by the Japanese Prime Minister. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER, SHINZO ABE, SAYING: "I will continue to trust in the post-Brexit U.K. economy. The fact that several Japanese companies are planning new investments in the U.K. even after Brexit is a sign of their expectations." On Friday a source told Reuters, the two countries plan to put in place a bilateral trade agreement immediately after Brexit. That could ruffle some feathers at the EU which is in the middle of negotiations for its own deal with Japan. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MARKET STRATEGIST BGC PARTNERS, MIKE INGRAM, SAYING: "You know I think the timing the sequence of it is is just all wrong. To some extent Japan saying well yes we want a trade deal but we have to know what sort of position the UK is going to be vis a vis the rest of the European Union. After March 2019 will what will there be a transition period. What will the eventual deal with trade relationship look like." Another question mark; just who will be leading those negotiations. May's leadership once again in the spotlight - but she insists her support hasn't gone flat.

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UK, Japan want a deal straight after Brexit - source

Friday, September 01, 2017 - 01:51