G20 sum­mit was ‘pro­duc­tive’ says May as lead­ers end talks

Western Morning News - - UK And World News - BY AN­DREW WOOD­COCK

Theresa May has said she will be the Prime Min­is­ter to take the UK out of the Eu­ro­pean Union but she in­di­cated she does not be­lieve her pre­mier­ship will end with Brexit, in­sist­ing “there’s a lot more for me still to do”.

Mrs May was speak­ing at the end of a G20 sum­mit in Ar­gentina at which she said world lead­ers had ex­pressed their de­sire for “cer­tainty” about the UK’s fu­ture position.

She set the scene for an in­tense week of ef­forts to shore up sup­port in Par­lia­ment for her Brexit deal ahead of the cru­cial De­cem­ber 11 vote.

“The next nine days are a re­ally im­por­tant time for our coun­try, lead­ing up to the vote on this deal,” she told a press con­fer­ence in Buenos Aires.

“I will be talk­ing with Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment ob­vi­ously and ex­plain­ing to them why I be­lieve this is a good deal for the UK, why it is a deal that de­liv­ers on Brexit but it is also a deal that pro­tects jobs and the econ­omy, and why pass­ing this deal in the vote that takes place in the House of the Com­mons will take us to cer­tainty for the fu­ture, and that fail­ure to do that would only lead to un­cer­tainty. I think what peo­ple want, and what I’ve been hear­ing here at the G20 is the im­por­tance of that cer­tainty for the fu­ture.”

Asked what she would like her legacy to be if she is forced out of her job as a re­sult of Con­ser­va­tive divisions over Brexit, Mrs May replied: “There is a lot more for me still to do, not least de­liv­er­ing on Brexit and be­ing the Prime Min­is­ter that does take the United King­dom out of the Eu­ro­pean Union.”

Op­por­tu­ni­ties for trade in the wake of Brexit were at the top of Mrs May’s agenda for the two-day sum­mit in which she held face-to-face talks with lead­ers of key tar­gets for deals, in­clud­ing Aus­tralia, Canada, Ja­pan, Turkey and Chile. The Prime Min­is­ter said the sum­mit had been “pro­duc­tive”, with “friends and part­ners mak­ing clear that they are keen to sign and im­ple­ment am­bi­tious free trade agree­ments with us as soon as pos­si­ble.”

Ja­panese PM Shinzo Abe is­sued an ap­peal to avoid a nodeal with­drawal from the EU, urg­ing her to “en­sure trans­parency, pre­dictabil­ity as well as le­gal sta­bil­ity in the Brexit process”.

His plea follows warn­ings from Ja­panese com­pa­nies with op­er­a­tions in the UK, such as Honda and Nis­san, of the ad­di­tional costs and bu­reau­cracy they would face from a no-deal out­come.

Asked whether she had been able to re­as­sure Mr Abe that she would not al­low no-deal to hap­pen, Mrs May said only that she be­lieved she had ne­go­ti­ated a good deal which would al­low UK-based Ja­panese firms to main­tain trade re­la­tions with Eu­rope.

She said she had spo­ken with Ja­panese in­vestors in the UK, adding: “One of the key mes­sages they have given is about the im­por­tance of be­ing able to main­tain a good trade re­la­tion­ship with the EU when we have left.

“That’s what the deal that has been ne­go­ti­ated de­liv­ers.”

in Buenos Aires

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