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Japan Goes Public With Brexit Demands, Says Data Flow Deals Must Be Protected (arstechnica.com) 315

Kelly Fiveash, writing for ArsTechnica:UK Prime minister Theresa May said at the weekend that she wanted to take her time to secure the best trade deals for a post-Brexit Britain, and reiterated -- in her trademark vague terms -- that the so-called Article 50 won't be triggered this year. But political pressure from governments as far away as Japan continues to mount. On Sunday, in a bold move, the Japanese government published a 15-page memo setting out a number of demands it wants the UK to adhere to, once it leaves the European Union. It underscored that Britain faces a torrid time of negotiations -- not just with member states in the EU, but further afield, too. Japan, which has close economic ties with the UK, listed its demands based on requests from businesses in the country. It said; "It is of great importance that the UK and the EU maintain market integrity and remain attractive destinations for businesses where free trade, unfettered investment, and smooth financial transactions are ensured." It's brutal stuff from Japan, and could well lead to other countries making similarly robust demands. On tech specifically, the Japanese government called on the UK and EU, post-Brexit, to maintain cloud agreements between businesses at an international level, by safeguarding the "free transfer of data."
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Japan Goes Public With Brexit Demands, Says Data Flow Deals Must Be Protected

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  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Monday September 05, 2016 @11:09AM (#52829471)
    ... invoke Article 50 first, leave, and then we will talk about special trade deals. You voted to leave, so leave already.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Baloroth ( 2370816 )

      I don't follow European news, but I doubt that very much. The UK is ~14% of the total GDP of the EU (second largest in the EU): it dropping out without replacing the existing trade deals would be a massive economic blow to the EU. The EU may want to punish the UK for leaving, but I doubt they'd do it at the risk of collapsing the EU economy.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 05, 2016 @11:37AM (#52829589)

        The EU are saying "you voted leave, and this period if instability is good for no one, including the rest of the EU".

        Not a bad point, on the whole. I mean, it's almost like we went into a referendum to leave the EU without having any idea about what this means, or any plans to achieve it.

      • "The EU" doesn't want to punish the UK, a few eurocrats in Brussels and guys like Drunker might want to in order to scare others into staying, but a couple of leaders like Merkel and Hollande have already sat them down hard.
        • I don't follow European news, but I doubt that very much. The UK is ~14% of the total GDP of the EU (second largest in the EU): it dropping out without replacing the existing trade deals would be a massive economic blow to the EU. The EU may want to punish the UK for leaving, but I doubt they'd do it at the risk of collapsing the EU economy.

          "The EU" doesn't want to punish the UK, a few eurocrats in Brussels and guys like Drunker might want to in order to scare others into staying, but a couple of leaders like Merkel and Hollande have already sat them down hard.

          You can bet your bottom dollar that: the UK will be significantly worse off than the EU when brexit is finally realised for the simple reason that you cannot expect to leave the country club and retain all of your member rights. Furthermore the EU will not collapse as a result of this, there will be no 'hard Brexit' (unless the UK leadership has been beaten over the head with a stupid stick) and eventually, however much May denies it, the UK will end up with some equivalent of the 'Norwegian model'. That la

        • by Noryungi ( 70322 )

          I think you are naïve. Some people will want to punish the UK, some may not.

          But it ultimately comes down to this: the British people chose to leave. Fair enough.

          It is now in the interest of the entire EU to negotiate as hard as they can with the UK and get the best deal out of Brexit FOR THE EU. And NOT for the UK.

          Here is a very simple example: why should "we" (I am a European) accept a country where banks and financial institutions run amok and without any supervision? Where these same banks can laund

          • That'll teach the Angles and the Saxons! Feel free to try reenacting the Battle of Hastings while we sit here and giggle.

      • You can doubt it all you want, but that's what the EU has said simply because that's what EU law says: invoke article 50, then negotiations for exit will take place.
      • by TFAFalcon ( 1839122 ) on Monday September 05, 2016 @11:53AM (#52829691)

        What the other governments are saying is that they want to follow the rules for the exit, which spell out a 2 year deadline. What they want to avoid is endless negotiations, so forcing the UK to actually (legally) declare they are leaving the union before any negotiations begin.

      • It would not be the end of trade + just the UK having the same tariff barriers imposed on their products as the rest of the world. Many products will then become cheaper to produce inside the EU without those tariffs, so expect a transfer of jobs and production from the UK to the EU. You asked for it, you got it, now deal with it and let it be a lesson to others to look before you keep, and do your own thinking instead of accepting politicians lies uncritically. You really did get the government you deserve
        • If tariffs are introduced on tea (or whatever it is that the UK makes) then the UK will introduce them on cars & cheese.

          If they did that, there'd be leadership elections in Germany & France before you could say "fuck shit, the whole country is on strike and rioting".

          • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Monday September 05, 2016 @02:05PM (#52830339)

            Congratulations you just described trade barriers. But the interesting part is a that when two major economies who trade with each other each impose tarrifs the net gain is normally zero unless there's a massive imbalance in the trade conditions. This is why for instance trade barriers make sense between Australia and China, but not Australia and New Zealand, as the abolishion of barriers in the later doesn't result in work offshoring.

            Speaking of offshoring 1/3rd of cars sold in the UK last year were German. But no where near 1/3rd of them were made in Germany. BMW, Mercedes etc have factories in the UK to serve the UK market. The effect won't be anywhere near as dramatic as all of the anti-Brexit propaganda is making out, and I say this as someone who's dead set against this idiotic idea of a Brexit.

        • It would not be the end of trade + just the UK having the same tariff barriers imposed on their products as the rest of the world.

          No it won't Those trade barriers imposed on the rest of the world have been carefully negotiated down for decades. The UK is going to start from nought. Except a worse deal with the EU, at least initially.

      • by hey! ( 33014 )

        I don't follow European news, but I doubt that very much. The UK is ~14% of the total GDP of the EU (second largest in the EU): it dropping out without replacing the existing trade deals would be a massive economic blow to the EU

        You're counting your chickens after the eggs have been broken.

        The UK voted its way out of the restrictions that being in the EU. While some sort of arrangement will no doubt be negotiated, it's not going to be anything like the status quo. You can't expect other countries to release the UK from its obligations while still enjoying the benefits those countries have to sacrifice to get. Some form of trade barrier is going to go up between the UK and Europe.

        Likewise you have to expect third party countries

        • While some sort of arrangement will no doubt be negotiated, it's not going to be anything like the status quo. You can't expect other countries to release the UK from its obligations while still enjoying the benefits those countries have to sacrifice to get.

          If they don't release these obligations, then the situation will remain as it is. Which is what status quo means.

          • by hey! ( 33014 )

            They have no choice but to release these restrictions under the treaty. What they have a choice is the degree to which they continue to grant Britain the advantages it enjoyed when it formerly abided by them.

      • by Vairon ( 17314 )

        Some officials in the European Union (EU) want the United Kingdom (UK) to invoke article 50 of the Lisbon treaty before beginning any negotiations. The Lisbon treaty amended the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The TEU and TFEU form the constitutional basis of the EU. The UK agreed to the Lisbon treaty when their house of commons debated and passed it on Jan. 21st, 2008.

        Invoking article 50 of the Lisbon treaty simply means that the UK would be of

      • People didn't vote for leave because they wanted more of the same. Closing the borders and forcing the factories to be built in England will cause a huge upheaval and raise prices, but it will also create a lot of jobs in England and stop the flow of refugees.
        • and stop the flow of refugees.

          WTF? How will stopping legal EU migrants stop refugees from crossing a border that they're already not allowed to cross? It won't and if you voted Brexit because of non EU immigration then you're a colossal pillock.

      • by tempmpi ( 233132 )

        Exports from the UK to continental EU are ~13% of the GDP of the UK, while exports from continental EU to the UK are 3% of the GDP of continental EU. The impact of a BREXIT without a replacement trade deal on continental EU would be large but manageable. The impact on the UK would be much more massive. Continental EU can afford to play hardball in the negotiations, the UK can't. The UK absolutely needs a deal. Continental EU could even benefit in some areas, if no deal is done, as many international compani

      • I don't follow European news, but I doubt that very much. ...

        I do follow the EU news, fairly closely. The reasoning is that the uncertainty is worse than the leaving.

      • by Noryungi ( 70322 )

        I don't follow European news, but I doubt that very much. The UK is ~14% of the total GDP of the EU (second largest in the EU): it dropping out without replacing the existing trade deals would be a massive economic blow to the EU. The EU may want to punish the UK for leaving, but I doubt they'd do it at the risk of collapsing the EU economy.

        Ah, yes, but anywhere from 40% to 50% of all UK exports (I believe the exact figure is around 43% [europa.eu]) are sent to the EU.

        A 14% drop in GDP is painful.

        A 40+% drop? Ouch. Kiss bye bye to your economy, baby, it's going down the drain.

        Oh, and most of the EU is getting pissed, and itching for a fight. Even The Guardian pointed that out [theguardian.com]. The negociations are not going to be pretty, that's for sure.

    • You voted to leave, so leave already.

      The problem with this is that we did not vote to leave. Several large regions of the country voted to remain and even worse than that several million British citizens living outside the UK were denied a vote altogether. In any modern democracy major constitutional change such as leaving the EU requires a majority in all regions and all citizens have the right to vote. This is particularly poignant in this case because many of those citizens living outside the UK are living elsewhere in the EU and would in

      • In any modern democracy major constitutional change such as leaving the EU requires a majority in all regions

        No it doesn't. Most UK regions (pseudo-countries aside) have zero legal status.

        This was a nationwide one-person one-vote plebiscite. Why is that not compatible with a democracy?

      • by Cederic ( 9623 )

        The problem with this is that we did not vote to leave

        Please, don't be a major fucking cockwomble.

        In any modern democracy major constitutional change such as leaving the EU requires a majority in all regions and all citizens have the right to vote.

        What, like a vote to dissemble the Union that's been around for several hundred years? I'd call that pretty fucking major and yet because I live in another part of the Union and not Scotland I didn't get to vote to kick the whiny shit stirring twats out.

        Now they want out again, so that they can hand all sovereignty to unelected shitstains like Juncker in Brussels. The SNP is a fucking tartan joke.

        Meanwhile, the British people voted very unambiguously on a very cle

  • by allcoolnameswheretak ( 1102727 ) on Monday September 05, 2016 @11:12AM (#52829485)

    Half of Japan's investments into EU have gone into Britain, seeing as a gateway to the EU. Now they are scared shitless that they have bet on the wrong horse. EU tariffs on cars and other products produced in GB means all those factories were built on the wrong side of the channel.

  • Dear Japan, thank you for your offer. Upon consideration, we are not interested, but our door is always open in case you'd like to provide another offer. Until then, cheers! UK
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Barsteward ( 969998 )
      now there is someone with very short term thinking..... prime example of a leaver who cannot think further than a newspaper headline
    • by alexhs ( 877055 )

      Dear non-Commonwealth nations, thank you for your offer. Upon consideration, we are not interested, but our door is always open in case you'd like to provide another offer. Until then, cheers! UK

      FTFY.

    • by Jesus_666 ( 702802 ) on Monday September 05, 2016 @12:37PM (#52829943)
      I think Japan's point is that they built a bunch of factories and local headquarters in the UK specifically to deal with the European market. That was the big selling point. With the UK no longer being part of the European market Japan is understandably unhappy. So they give the UK two options:

      1. The UK makes sure that Japan doesn't lose much by staying there. That means trade with the EU must work as if the UK were still a member. That means a huge free trade agreement needs to be secured ASAP.
      2. A lot of Japanese companies will abandon their UK factories and headquarters and build new ones on the continent because staying in the UK is no longer financially sound. The UK loses a whole bunch of jobs and tax income and the Japanese companies lose a whole bunch of sunk money. Nobody wants this scenario.

      Of course scenario 1 is hindered by the fact that the EU isn't keen on making trade agreements with a leaving member before the member has even left. So they're pushing for the UK to just invoke Article 50 already so things can get started.


      tl;dr: Yes, the door is open - for Japanese companies to leave the UK. If you want to avoid that you'll have to convince them that trade with the EU won't be impacted by Brexit.
      • by Kohath ( 38547 )

        Sounds like Japan should send their demands to Brussels then.

        • by maswan ( 106561 )

          i think all EU countries would welcome a "Norwegian" deal where all four freedoms (including movement of people) are in, and the UK keeps implementing laws and paying without having a vote in new legislation. That's basically what Japan is asking for too. And I very much think they could get it, if they want it. But that would mean accepting free movement of people, and not "taking back control".

          The thing is, no one knows what the UK wants. The political leadership is down to "brainstorming" to figure out w

          • by Cederic ( 9623 )

            May has rejected a Norway style agreement, and rejected retaining freedom of movement.

            Yes, the EU would love it, because it barely changes anything. That's why it's not acceptable and wont happen.

            And yeah, the Spanish must be doing something pretty astonishing to have no already attracted massive investment, given their current levels of unemployment and need for foreign money. It's a bit strange.

            • by maswan ( 106561 )

              Yes, and if the UK rejects freedom of movement, a) Japan won't be happy as per the document referenced above and b) I'm not sure the UK can hope for a better deal than tariff-free exchange of goods. Certainly there will be countries going "well, if Polish plumbers can't sell their services in Manchester, UK banks will have to open EU offices to sell financial services to Berlin". And this still wouldn't be "punishment", but grounds for a fair deal, IMO.

              And yes, I know that May has rejected freedom of moveme

              • by Cederic ( 9623 )

                Freedom of movement and freedom to travel are very different.

                Most people have no issue with tourists, it's immigration that causes so much fuss. So EU citizens crossing the Irish border are a non-issue unless they want to live, work and/or take advantage of social support structures in the UK, and that's the bit that's unlikely to be retained.

                Worse case Northern Ireland becomes an easy target for terrorists seeking to target the UK. But they're kind of used to that over there.

          • I mean, you hear PM May say in the same week that there will be strong immigration controls, but also no border checks between Ireland and Northern Ireland. WTF? The only way I can put those two together is by handing Northern Ireland over to independence within the EU or as a part of Ireland...

            Border checks within a country are not unheard of. For example Spain has border checks between the mainland and the north-african exclaves.

            They could also have a system where EU citizens could visit freely but were not allowed to claim any benefits and needed permits to work.

      • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Monday September 05, 2016 @02:28PM (#52830467)

        tl;dr: Yes, the door is open - for Japanese companies to leave the UK. If you want to avoid that you'll have to convince them that trade with the EU won't be impacted by Brexit.

        What! Nigel Farage insisted that the EU was the reason there are no jobs in the UK and that when we're out we will overnight turn into a giant booming manufacturer of world goods! Are you saying he lied? This is Nigel we're talking about! If you can't trust a politician who can you trust!

      • by Cederic ( 9623 )

        That means trade with the EU must work as if the UK were still a member. That means a huge free trade agreement needs to be secured ASAP.

        I think most 'leave' voters would be very happy with that. Trade was never the issue.

        I suspect we'll retain the data protection legislation too - it's good for the public, it's good for companies working in and with the EU, and it's clearly good for our other trade agreements too. Really it's only the US that hate data protection.

  • People in the UK should make national sovereignty decisions to benefit Japan, I guess. Hasn't that been the problem all along -- citizens of the UK being told that everyone's input about their country matters except their own? Do it for the migrants, the refugees, the Japanese, the big international bankers, the transplanted people from other EU countries, and the rich businessmen in London -- they matter, not you, or your family, or your friends and neighbors.

    • japanese businesses invested in the UK by opening factories, creating jobs etc on the basis of us being a door into the EU market so they are now evaluating that if the status quo or similar is not available, they will move their business to the larger market. pure, practical business sense
      • My money is they may all move next door to Ireland. IE has a huge opportunity here for a financial coup, especially if they can negotiate some special terms with the UK. They already have some "amazing" tax structures for inversion of companies, coupled with their proximity and history with the UK...time to step up your game Dublin!
  • It's brutal stuff from Japan, and could well lead to other countries making similarly robust demands. On tech specifically, the Japanese government called on the UK and EU, post-Brexit, to maintain cloud agreements between businesses at an international level, by safeguarding the "free transfer of data."

    Japan wants to use the Internet. That's really brutal all right.

  • Send the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the G20 Summit to demand details from the UK. The data must flow...

Just go with the flow control, roll with the crunches, and, when you get a prompt, type like hell.

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