Friday, 25 May, 2018

Britain's PM Theresa May visits Japan with eye on Brexit fears

Theresa May Shinzo Abe Prime Minister Theresa May and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan Reuters
Debra Rodriguez | 05 September, 2017, 04:23

Grant Shapps said the Prime Minister is now "on trial" and should deliver Brexit before the party judges her performance. We are delivering a brighter future for the United Kingdom.

Speaking during the first of three days in Japan, the Prime Minister said that she was "not a quitter" and that she would be making efforts to "get the Brexit deal right" and "deliver the right deal for the people of the United Kingdom".

Mr Shapps said "I don't think there's an appetite for leadership elections right at this moment" and the Prime Minister should be judged on her performance in the Brexit negotiations but it was "probably the case" that nobody wanted Mrs May to face Jeremy Corbyn at the ballot box again.

After being bruised this year when May called an early election only to see her party lose its parliamentary majority, several said keeping the party in power was the main priority.

Meanwhile, Grant Shapps, the former Tory party chairman, said Mrs May could not "jump straight" from throwing away the Tories' majority to announcing an intention to remain as leader well into the next decade as he signalled she would have to prove herself.

"I think it is too early to be talking about going on and on, as Margaret Thatcher once said".

"We're going to ask for transparency and predictability so as to minimise the impact on (our) companies", a Japanese foreign ministry official in charge of European affairs said ahead of May's visit. "You can't go pretending it wasn't anything other than a disastrous result".

"The next leader of the Conservative Party - whenever that happens - is probably somebody who today is 60-1 against at the bookies", he said.

But some lawmakers have come out to defend the Prime Minister. Even those who think she was bounced into it believe that the Prime Minister was trying to quash speculation about having a precise leaving date.

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

But Ms May stressed, in comments to reporters on the way to Japan and in TV interviews, that she had far wider objectives than merely steering the country through the Brexit process.

"We need to get the Brexit deal right, deliver the right deal for the people of the UK", Ms May told Sky News.

Talks devolved this week into a brawl over how much Britain should pay to leave the European Union, an issue that must be settled before the parties discuss their future relationship.

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