The success of the UK’s evolving new trade policy will ultimately be judged on what it means for consumers in their everyday lives and the choices and rights available to them. Reflecting consumer priorities, as well as those of businesses and workers, is crucial for the success and public acceptance of trade deals.
The UK now has a unique opportunity to empower its consumers as part of new trade deals – while at the same time boosting domestic economic activity and distinguishing itself as a world leader in trade policy. As consumer confidence and spending become ever more central to UK economic growth, we are also seeing an increase in consumers purchasing goods and services directly from international vendors.
Our trade negotiators should take a bold new approach, identifying dedicated leads within their trade teams on consumer issues – and pushing for consumer interests to be written into trade deals more explicitly. This includes negotiating for a specific Consumer Chapter in future UK trade deals.