Foreign Secretary Says Brexit Delay Is Damaging At Home And Abroad

15 April 2019, 13:01

Jeremy Hunt met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Jeremy Hunt met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Picture: PA

The Foreign Secretary has said that the delay to Brexit is causing damage to Britain at home and abroad.

Jeremy Hunt has been in Japan, updating Japanese businesses "on EU exit developments, and reassure them that UK Government is focused on avoiding a no-deal Brexit and on agreeing a deal which that will ensure tariff-free frictionless trade between the EU and the UK," according to the Foreign Office.

During the trip Mr Hunt said that arranging Britain's exit from the EU was "difficult" but "we've got to do it and we need to do it quickly".

"The longer this process goes on, the more damaging it is for us both internally and externally."

Hunt said that Japan and Britain should work very closely together in what he describes as a "very unstable, unpredictable world." He added that bilateral ties have never been stronger.

According to Japanese broadcast NHK, Mr Abe had said he hoped the UK would not leave the EU without an agreement.

"We recognise that Japan has many investments employing hundreds of thousands of people in the UK We want strong cooperation to continue,” Hunt told Shinzo Abe at the Japanese leader’s residence in Tokyo.

Mr Hunt said that UK has always been an outward-looking, global power.  And, "that cannot change after Brexit."

"Many countries in the EU, their vision for the EU is they would like one day Europe to become one country like the United States of America and they think that Europe will become stronger that way,"  Mr Hunt said, addressing a group of students, attempting to explain Brexit.

"But Britain has a different vision of our own history, we always want to remain totally independent," he added.