February 8, 2018 / 4:07 PM / 3 years ago

Japan tells UK on Brexit - If there is no profit, we cannot continue

Koji Tsuruoaka, Japan's ambassador to Britain, speaks outside 10 Downing Street after a meeting between Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and senior members of Japanese companies, in London, February 8, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

LONDON (Reuters) - Japan’s ambassador said on Thursday that no firm would be able to continue to operate in Britain if they are not profitable due to Brexit-related trade barriers.

Speaking outside Number 10 Downing Street after meeting Prime Minister Theresa May along with 19 Japanese business leaders, the ambassador had a clear message for Britain.

“If there is no profitability of continuing operations in the UK - not Japanese only - then no private company can continue operations. So it is as simple as that,” Koji Tsuruoka said when asked how real the threat was to Japanese companies of Britain not securing frictionless trade.

“This is all high stakes that all of us, I think, need to keep in mind,” he said.

May met the bosses of companies in areas such as banking, life sciences, technology and the manufacturing sector which have poured billions of pounds into Britain but are worried about future trading arrangements.

Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Guy Faulconbridge

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