Britain’s freedom to forge new trade deals independently of the EU – as a result of Brexit – has been championed by Westminster, but businesses have frequently expressed trepidation about how existing trade relationships will work after leaving the EU.
The U.K. cannot officially negotiate bilateral trade deals until the country departs the bloc in 2019.
May has consistently argued that Britain should try to replicate several of the existing arrangements it has as an EU state before gradually introducing change.
However, EU officials say this approach attempts to keep the benefits of EU membership without incurring the necessary costs.
Britain’s prime minister is due to meet her Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, later on Wednesday. May will be accompanied by International Trade Secretary Liam Fox as well as 15 other business executives from a range of sectors.
When asked whether May had any chance of securing a potential trade deal with Japan before Britain is to leave the European Union, Philippe Dauba-Pantanacce, global geopolitical analyst at Standard Chartered, replied, “No. There is no hope that she can get any trade deal.”
“She was just hoping to have a political win of a promise (or) a hope maybe, of a trade deal … She won’t get it,” Dauba-Pantanacce told CNBC on Wednesday.