New data has shown that 66% of the UK public supports free trade deals, with just 3% opposing them.
That’s the findings of the Department for International Trade’s first ‘public attitudes to trade’ tracker, a survey of 2,400 people across the UK that aims to calculate people’s changing attitudes to trade over time.
Giving reasons why they supported free trade, respondents most often cited cheaper goods, greater choice and improved opportunities.
Those who had greater knowledge and experience of international trade reported the highest favourability towards free trade agreements.
“This national survey shows overwhelming public support for free trade agreements, which puts us in a strong position as we leave the European Union,” commented International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox.
The UK government is currently working on a host of new free trade agreements in the run-up to Brexit, and with a no-deal exit from the European Union seemingly becoming a real possibility, new trade deals with the US, Australia and New Zealand could be crucial for British businesses to remain competitive on the international stage whilst also opening the door to new opportunities.
Public sentiment towards trade agreements is also mirrored in the British businesses community with a number of high-profile firms publicising the potentially devastating impact a no-deal exit from the European could have, including the car manufacturing industry which warns of a £50,000-a-minute hard-Brexit bill should a trade deal not be reached.
And with the UK economy having missed out on up to £550m a week since the EU referendum according to some calculations and three in four manufacturers reporting Brexit has damaged their strategy planning and prospects, businesses and the general public alike will be pushing for a favourable agreement and outcome to Brexit negotiations as 31st October looms large.