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National Trade Conversation

Which? has undertaken unique research to get an in-depth understanding of consumers’ priorities for trade deals. The UK is developing trade policy and negotiating trade deals for the first time in over 40 years. The success of these new deals will ultimately depend on the extent to which they deliver on what matters most to people in their everyday lives.

The National Trade Conversation uniquely engaged people from around the country and from all walks of life. By involving key experts, government departments and interest groups, people were able to go beyond what initially appeared as a highly specialised area, and explore in-depth how the UK trades, how trade deals work and what issues could be on the table.

The focus of the discussions was on what matters most to people about the consumer aspects of trade deals when the risks and benefits are explained in detail. There was a remarkable amount of common ground across five dialogues in five different locations in the UK, with four clear priorities emerging relating to: maintaining food and consumer product standards, digital rights and data protection, ensuring that all regions of the country can benefit and protecting the environment. 

The government therefore needs to ensure that the views expressed by people in the dialogues and the principles that shaped their conclusions are taken into account in future rounds of trade talks. The Which? dialogues give a clear sense of what people across the UK expect trade policy to deliver.

National Trade Conversation- research report 5111 Kb | 11 Nov 2020
National Trade Conversation- report appendices 6316 Kb | 11 Nov 2020
National Trade Conversation- policy paper 113 Kb | 11 Nov 2020