The whole world wants the UK to avoid a no-deal Brexit, Japan's PM has claimed, after talks with Theresa May. Shinzo Abe pledged total support for the withdrawal agreement she has negotiated with the EU, which faces a crunch vote in the Commons on Tuesday.
Mrs May has been speaking to Labour MPs and union leaders in a bid to try to get her deal through the Commons, where scores of her own MPs oppose it. It comes as Honda UK announced a six-day post Brexit shut down. The Japanese-owned car giant said the move was to ensure it could adjust to all possible outcomes caused by logistics and border issues.
Mrs. May said leaving the EU provided an unprecedented opportunity for the countries to strengthen relations. Next to Mr Abe she pledged to build on the trade agreement between Japan and the EU to secure an ambitious bilateral arrangement between Japan and the UK after Brexit.
Mr Abe said: 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.
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. apan is in total support of the draft withdrawal agreement worked out between the EU and Prime Minister May, which provides for a transition to ensure legal stability for businesses that have invested into this country.
Under the terms of the agreement reached by Mrs. May, UK is set to leave the European Union on 29 March. It covers things like the divorce bill, expat citizens' rights and a 20-month transition period - will only come into force if MPs back it in a vote.
A no-deal Brexit would see the UK leave without a withdrawal agreement and start trading with the EU on the basis of World Trade Organization rules, an outcome favored by some Brexiteers.
However the deal negotiated between the UK and EU looks set to be rejected by MPs next Tuesday, with 110 Conservative MPs having said they will oppose it, Labour set to vote against it and Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn calling for a general election at the earliest opportunity - should it be voted down.
A government that cannot get its business through the House of Commons is no government at all, he said.
We're going to get smashed - one government insider's apocalyptic prediction about one of the most important votes in recent political history. As things stand, MPs are on course to kybosh Theresa May's long-argued-over Brexit deal, with a very heavy defeat.
Speaking alongside Prime Minister Abe, Mrs May repeated her call to MPs to support her plan in next Tuesday's crunch vote, saying: The only way to avoid no deal is to have a deal and to agree a deal, and the deal that is on the table...the EU has made clear, is the only deal.”