Department for International Trade
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Majority support free trade agreements

Two thirds (66%) of the UK public support free trade agreements, with only 3% saying they are opposed.

These are the findings of the first wave of the Department for International Trade’s public attitudes to trade tracker, which was published yesterday.

The public attitudes to trade tracker is a nationally representative survey of 2,400 people across the UK. The survey will be carried out twice a year to see how public attitudes towards trade change over time.

People most commonly cited improved opportunities, greater choice and cheaper goods as the benefits of free trade agreements.

Support for free trade agreements is highest among respondents that are most interested or knowledgeable about trade.

International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox yesterday said:

This national survey shows overwhelming public support for free trade agreements, which puts us in a strong position as we leave the European Union.

My Department for International Trade has laid the groundwork to make the most of this golden opportunity and we are working to begin trade negotiations with the USA, Australia and New Zealand - as well as negotiating potential CPTPP accession - as soon as we leave the EU.

As part of our open and transparent approach, we will publish a summary of the responses to our public consultation in the coming days.

The UK is seeking new free trade agreements with the USA, Australia and New Zealand, as well as potential accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The Department for International Trade has been laying the groundwork for these negotiations including through informal discussions with key trading partners, and is ready to swiftly open trade negotiations after Brexit.

The sixth UK-US Trade and Investment Working Group concluded in London last week (Thursday 11 July). Trade negotiators from the UK and US have now held exploratory discussions on all major policy areas typically covered by free trade agreements.

The government will publish shortly a summary of responses to its consultation on future trade agreements with the US, Australia and New Zealand, as well as potential accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The four consultations attracted a total of more than 600,000 responses and were promoted through 12 events in every region and nation of the UK.

Read the Public Attitudes to Trade Tracker results


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