Japanese PM backs Theresa May's Brexit plans and says 'whole world' wants to avoid no-deal

GettyTheresa May and Shinzo Abe
  • Theresa May receives a boost for her struggling Brexit deal as it is backed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
  • Abe says it is the “wish of the whole world” that Britain avoids a chaotic no-deal Brexit.
  • He says Japan supports May’s deal.
  • May has just days to win over MPs to her deal before it is voted on next Tuesday.

LONDON – Theresa May’s Brexit deal has received a boost after the Japanese prime minister said the “whole world” hopes that British MPs will vote for it when it comes before parliament next week.

The prime minister is struggling to gather support for her deal among Conservative MPs, with more than a hundred committed to voting it down when it comes before the House of Commons on January 15.

But in a rare boost for May, Shinzo Abe said that the deal has the “total support” of Japan and called on MPs to avoid crashing out of the EU without a deal.

“It is the strong will of Japan to further develop this strong partnership with the UK, to invest more into the country and to enjoy further economic growth with the UK,” Abe said through a translator.

“We truly hope that a no deal Brexit will be avoided and, in fact, that is the wish of the whole world,” Abe said.

He added: “Japan is in total support of the withdrawal agreement.”

Abe, one of May’s closest allies on the world stage, praised the prime minister for her hard work in securing a deal.

May welcomed his comments and urged MPs to get behind her deal, saying that “the only way to avoid a no-deal is to have a deal.”

Abe is concerned about the chaotic impact of a no-deal EU exit for the 1,000 Japanese companies which operate in the UK.

It comes as Theresa May suffered two further humiliating defeats in the House of Commons, with rebel Tory MPs joining forces with Labour to try and mobilise in a crunch vote on Wednesday afternoon.

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