Whole world against no-deal Brexit, says Japanese PM

Whole world against no-deal Brexit, says Japanese PM

January 11, 2019

Theresa May welcomes Shinzo Abe to Downing Street.Credit:AP

‘‘We truly hope that a no-deal Brexit will be avoided and in fact, that is the whole wish of the whole world,’’ Abe said at a press conference in Downing Street on Thursday evening, London time.

A no-deal Brexit remains the default option if the Parliament doesn’t back May’s agreement on January 15, even though a majority of legislators supported a motion on Tuesday designed to reduce the chances of Britain tumbling out of the bloc on 29 March.

Such a scenario could trigger a recession with the pound falling by as much as 25 per cent, official analysis suggests.

‘‘There is a good deal on the table and for those who want to avoid no deal, backing the deal is the thing to do,’’ May said at the press conference.

But the support of May’s Japanese counterpart isn’t likely to be enough to get her deal over the line. Even as two of her Tory lawmakers who had previously signalled opposition to her deal, said they would now support it, May is set to lose by a record next week.

Theresa May and Shinzo Abe, hold a press conference in 10 Downing Street.Credit:AP

Almost two-thirds of parliamentarians are expected to vote against her deal, according to analysis by the BBC published on Thursday.

Cabinet ministers are also starting to raise their head above the parapet. Business Secretary Greg Clark has said no deal ‘‘should not be contemplated’’ and reiterated that on Thursday.

‘‘We need to act to avoid a no-deal because I don’t think there is anything remotely like a majority in Parliament that will tolerate this,’’ he told BBC radio.

As politicians held the second of five days of debate on the Brexit deal on Thursday, former heads of Britain’s foreign intelligence service and the armed forces claimed the agreement would threaten the country’s security.

Ex-MI6 chief Richard Dearlove and former chief of the defence staff Charles Guthrie wrote to local Conservative Party associations saying the agreement would ‘‘place control of aspects of our national security in foreign hands’’.

The two said the deal – which calls for the EU and the U.K. to maintain close security ties – ‘‘cuts across the three fundamentals of our national security policy’’: membership in NATO, relations with the US and membership in the Five Eyes intelligence alliance with the U.S, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Washington Post, Bloomberg, AP

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