Tokyo: Britain will be welcomed into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal with “open arms” after it leaves the EU, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said.
While the UK would lose its role as a gateway to Europe after Brexit, it would retain its “global strength”, the BBC quoted Abe as saying. He also urged the UK and EU to use “wisdom” to avoid a no-deal scenario.
The TPP is a trade agreement between 11 countries, including Japan, Canada, Australia and Malaysia. US President Donald Trump withdrew his country from the agreement in 2017, soon after entering the White House.
Abe’s comments were likely to be welcomed by Brexit supporters, who argue Britain would be able to strike trade deals more easily outside the EU.
The UK is due to leave the EU on March 29, 2019. It would only be able to join the TPP bloc if it left the EU customs union and was able to set its own tariffs.
Abe, speaking to Financial times, hoped that the negative impact of Brexit to the global economy would be minimised.
Japan is a major investor in the UK, where more than 800 Japanese businesses employ more than 100,000 people, the BBC said.
In the run-up to Brexit several Japanese financial firms have said they intend to move their main EU bases away from London, including electronics giant Panasonic who would move its European headquarters from the UK to Amsterdam.