News article

Research into public attitudes to trade

Published 6 February 2023

We’re delighted to announce that we have commenced research into public attitudes to trade. Our aim is to find out what the public thinks about trade and trade policy and we hope to go beyond usual debates about trade policy that tend to involve only policy actors and interested parties and are frequently very ideological.

As trade policy involves trade-offs, we’re asking members of the public across the four nations of the UK what they feel about some of those trade-offs, with regard to the following topics:

  • The impact of UK trade policy on the rest of the world
  • Balancing trade between territories and sectors of the economy
  • Privacy and data
  • Food and the environment 

Working with NatCen, using a citizen’s jury-style method, a total of 100 people (20 from each of five different locations) are involved in this research. We’re keen to understand how people think about the trade-offs that trade policy involves and whether their views differ across the regions and nations of the UK. But we are also interested in understanding what people think about how trade policy decisions should be taken – where and by whom – for example, who should provide input to or participate in trade policy decisions?

We will use the results of this research into public attitudes to trade to help focus further academic research and to feed into external engagements with policy actors.  We hope that by understanding attitudes and how people think about trade-offs we will be able to help trade policy processes and improve outcomes in the future.

Results will be available in April 2023.