Jobs at risk if Britain leaves EU

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Tens of thousands of British jobs with Japanese firms could be at risk if the UK pulled out of the European Union, the government in Tokyo has indicated.

Its submission to the Foreign Office’s review of the relationship with Brussels said Japanese firms were attracted to the UK because it offered a gateway to the prized European market.

The Japanese government expects the UK to maintain a “strong voice” in Brussels, according to reports yesterday.

David Cameron has committed to renegotiate the UK’s relationship with Brussels and then hold an in/out referendum on staying in the bloc before the end of 2017 if the Conservatives win the next general election.

In its submission to the UK government’s “balance of competences review”, Tokyo said it was “committed to making its relationship with the EU stronger than ever before”.

It added: “More than 1,300 Japanese companies have invested in the UK, as part of the single market of the EU … This fact demonstrates that the advantage of the UK as a gateway to the European market has attracted Japanese investment.”