nsucurrent.com February 22, 2018

UK, Japan aim for trade deal straight after Brexit

02 September 2017, 12:52 | Ruby West

May: UK stands 'shoulder to shoulder' with Japan in face of North Korea threat

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May is welcomed by officials upon her arrival at Itami airport in Osaka western Japan in this

The Global Times, a nationalist, Communist party tabloid which sometimes reflects official views, went further, attributing the prime minister's comments to this summer's botched election in which her party squandered its parliamentary majority.

Mrs May said: "I'm in this for the long term because there's a long-term challenge for the UK".

"And it's crucial. What me and my government are about is not just delivering on Brexit".

Number 10 dismissed the claims as "peak silly season".

'It's about getting the Brexit deal right, it's about building that deep and special partnership with the European Union, but it's also about building global Britain, trading around the world.' Pressed to rule out stepping down before the next election, due in 2022, she replied: 'I'm not a quitter'.

The idea that she now wants to spend another five years as party boss will come as a surprise to some of her MPs.

The British Prime Minister was speaking in Japan during a trade visit and called the most recent missile test over Japan "illegal and provocative".

Asked if that means she is not going to quit before the next election, she replied: "I'm not a quitter".

"May's Conservative party lost many seats, turning her into a vulnerable prime minister", argued an editorial in its Chinese language edition.

Mrs May's hopes of remaining as Conservative leader have appeared doomed since her gamble on a snap election backfired.

She will also seek agreement from Mr Abe that the United Kingdom and Japan should work to ensure that this deal can form the basis of a bilateral arrangement "quickly after Brexit".

"They should get behind Theresa May and help her to do a good job in these exceptionally hard circumstances of having to deliver Brexit and keep the economy going at the same time without a majority in the House of Commons".

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