News | Published January 11 2019

Ryland Technology and IMI Hydronic Engineering weigh in on Brexit as Abe urges UK to avoid no-deal

During a trade visit to the UK, the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged the UK to reject a no-deal scenario. Speaking in Downing Street yesterday, Abe vocally supported Theresa May’s withdrawal deal and stated that it is the “wish of the whole world” that Britain leaves the EU with a deal. Abe has developed a close relationship with May over the last year, following her visit to Japan in August, and both leaders released a joint statement stressing their commitment to a strategic and trading partnership following Britain’s exit from the EU.

Abe stated that: “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 wish of the whole world.”

He added that “Japan is in total support of the draft withdrawal agreement worked out between the EU and Prime Minister May, which provides for transition to ensure legal stability for businesses that have invested into this country.”

The joint statement, released yesterday, stressed the strengthening of ties between the two countries. The statement begins with a vow that “As the UK leaves the EU, we will now deepen our strategic partnership further, looking ahead to the challenges and opportunities of the next decade. Together, we will build connectivity and strengthen security in Asia and beyond, enhance our economic partnership, and harness strengths in science and innovation to shape the technologies of the future.”

Although Abe may be cemented in his viewpoint, businesses across the UK are still divided over their opinion on a no-deal Brexit. The Parliamentary Review has conducted a review of the views of Review representatives and found significant differences in outlook and opinion.

Patrick Heighes is the managing director of Ryland Technology and the possibility of an indefinite Irish backstop has strengthened his support for a no-deal exit from the European Union. Discussing the impact on his own business, Heighes stated that: “Ryland Technology has minimal trade with the EU but I don’t think our chances of trade are in anyway diminished with Brexit. In fact, the way the pound has moved we are much more competitive than before the Brexit vote and I expect the movement in the pound has easily offset any tariffs or red tape that may be imposed.”

He added that, “As far as the vote is concerned I have grave concerns over the country being tied into an arrangement (the Irish backstop) with no get out clause so the current deal on the table seems a bad option to me… I am not a fan of a peoples vote, I just hope that MP’s will vote based on their constituents wishes and ignore party politics although at the moment that seems a faint hope.” When asked of his preferred scenario he replied that leaving with no-deal, and without paying the controversial £39 billion exit fee, was his chosen course of action.

Derek Brown, of IMI Hydronic Engineering, disagrees. Although he voted Remain, he argued that Theresa May’s deal was the best option currently on the table. Responding to the Review’s survey, he argued that: “I believe the deep-rooted division within the governing party is the cause of the chaos we have with Brexit and irrespective of the way we exit the European Union, the current governing party will in my opinion never resolve issues concerning the European Union.” He added that “Democracy is important to me and I must respect the vote of the people and with this I support Theresa May deal and will urge my MP Tom Blake to vote to accept the deal.”

Authored by

George Salmon
Business Editor
January 11 2019

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