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article imageJapan PM says post-Brexit Britain welcome to join Pacific trade pact

By AFP     Oct 8, 2018 in Politics

Japan would welcome Britain to the Pacific trade deal "with open arms" after Brexit, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said in an interview published on Monday.

Abe told the Financial Times that Britain would lose its role as a gateway to Europe after Brexit, but would still be a country "equipped with global strength."

Eleven countries circling the Pacific signed a slimmed-down version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP in March -- opting to proceed with the trade deal after it was left for dead when US President Donald Trump pulled out to pursue his "America First" agenda.

The US president has since sparked fears of a trade war by levying steep tariffs and denouncing unfair trading practices.

In the interview, Abe also urged Britain and the EU to make a compromise to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

"I hope that both sides can contribute their wisdom and at least avoid a so-called disorderly Brexit," Abe said.

"I truly hope that the negative impact of Brexit to the global economy, including Japanese businesses, will be minimised," he added.

Negotiations between Britain and the EU are currently gridlocked after Brussels rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's post-Brexit plan, with the clock ticking down until departure in March 2019.

Last month Japanese car giant Toyota warned that a no-deal Brexit would temporarily halt production at its plant in Derby, central England.

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