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Brexit could force Japanese businesses to leave the country


Japanese businesses might leave the UK, if Brexit negotiations aren't transparent, and if the country is not notified on any changes which might affect these businesses. This was all stated in an open letter by the Japanese foreign ministry to the UK government.  

“Japanese businesses have concerns that the free transfer of information might be impaired once the UK releases itself from the EU’s data protection legislation and establishes its own legislation,” the letter said.” 

“Once the UK is no longer bound by the EU’s data protection legislation, the smooth cross-border transfer of personal data between the UK and the EU may become difficult.” 

May become, true. However, if the UK is still to do business with the European Union, it will have to align its legislation with the EU GDPR. Japan is asking the UK to keep its current levels of data protection, and free data transfer. Brexit negotiations also need to “establish close cooperation on the facilitation of data transfer among Japan, the UK and the EU,” the letter said.  

Any move which could place Japanese businesses at a disadvantage would result in those businesses packing up their bags and hitting the road. 

“Japanese businesses with their European headquarters in the UK may decide to transfer their head-office function to Continental Europe if EU laws cease to be applicable in the UK after its withdrawal.” 

Tech Week Europe, reporting on the issue, says Japanese businesses are providing the UK with more than 100,000 jobs. “The impact of such a departure on employment and the economy could be severe indeed,” it says.  

Image Credit: D Smith / Flickr