Theresa May sets out bid to lead Tories in 2022 general election

British Prime Minister Theresa May insisted she would lead the Conservative Party into the next general election, in interviews broadcast Thursday.

"But we also need to ensure that after we have left the European Union, global Britain is out there trading around the world, standing tall in the world and that we deal with some of the remaining injustices at home".

"There's obviously a number of trade deals that the European Union has with other countries, and we are looking at the possibility of those being able to be brought over into, certainly initially, trade deals with the United Kingdom", May told reporters on her way to Japan for meetings with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

"North Korea's reckless action is a threat", Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told his National Security Council alongside May.

Theresa May has threatened further sanctions and demanded China do more to stop North Korea's nuclear missile launches.

"They should get behind Theresa May and help her to do a good job in these exceptionally hard circumstances of having to deliver Brexit and keep the economy going at the same time without a majority in the House of Commons".

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Pyongyang has tested a barrage of missiles over the past years, but it is the first time it launches what is believed to be a ballistic missile over Japan.

"I very much welcome the commitment from Japanese companies such as Nissan, Toyota, Softbank and Hitachi", May said.

May described Japan as "the UK's closest security partner in Asia" and a "like-minded partner".

As well as trade, the visit includes a focus on defence and security, particularly since North Korea fired a missile across the north of Japan in the early hours of Tuesday morning, prompting global condemnation. Kim Jong Un's regime first threatened to attack the USA island territory after President Donald Trump threatened to respond to North Korea's threats with "fire and fury". Earlier Thursday, May visited a naval base on the outskirts of Tokyo with Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera before attending a business forum and the security meeting.

Theresa May will have to follow Japanese emergency procedure in the event of a 10-minute warning of a North Korean missile attack.

May arrived in Japan yesterday with an eye to soothing Brexit fears and pushing ahead on early free-trade talks with the world's number three economy. She is to meet Emperor Akihito on Friday before leaving.

  • Adam Floyd