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Campaigns Trade deals

Future trade deals and you

The UK is at a pivotal moment which will decide how we all live – and how well.

From the food we eat to the safety of products in our homes, the holidays we take and our consumer rights, new trade deals will define every aspect of ours and future generations’ lives.

It’s essential the government gets it right. And we’re going to make sure it does.

This will affect us all

Trade deals negotiated between the UK and other global nations will decide what products and services you can buy and their quality and cost.

They will determine whether you’re protected if something goes wrong, how you travel and take holidays, and how your data is protected and shared.

We’re demanding that the government champions British consumers when negotiating, and builds the following into all trade deals:

Hover over/tap each one to read more

Standards

Safety and quality standards must be maintained and enhanced.

Standards

Choice

People should have greater access to high quality goods and services.

Choice

Price

Lower prices should be pursued as long as standards, choice and your rights aren’t affected.

Price

Rights

Consumers need to be supported by consumer rights and effective redress if anything goes wrong.

Rights

We’ll judge future trade deals, as they come up, on these criteria – and keep you updated if the government isn’t meeting them.

We’ll post regular updates to this page as the negotiations develop, to keep you in the loop.

Global Britain

 

Throughout our history the UK has traded around the world – with consumers benefiting from greater choice and lower prices.

The UK is in the unique
position of designing
its trade policy
from scratch. To be
successful, it needs to
have the public’s
trust and support.

–Caroline Normand,
Head of Policy at Which?

Global trade has never been more important to the UK than it is now. And there are many new opportunities to bring even greater choice and lower prices.

A trade deal recently agreed between the EU and Japan – which the UK was part of and wishes to carry over – will provide real benefits for consumers.

This deal will lower and, in some cases, remove tariffs on Japanese goods such as cars, electronics and technology – making these goods cheaper to purchase in the UK.

This trade deal shows lower prices for consumers can be achieved without compromising on quality, standards or consumer rights.

Food for thought

 

But some aspects of international trade are seen more as a risk than an opportunity.

Our research shows the UK public is concerned about the quality and provenance of food under future trade deals.

79%

would be uncomfortable
eating beef treated
with growth hormones

72%

would be uncomfortable
eating chlorinated chicken

Source: Populus, on behalf of Which?, surveyed 2187 adults online between 17th and 19th July 2019. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of the UK adult population.

Eight in ten people (79%) would be uncomfortable eating beef produced with growth hormones – as is the practice on some farms in the US, Australia and New Zealand.

And seven in ten (72%) would be uncomfortable eating chlorine-treated chicken.

Having UK-produced food on supermarket shelves is also important to consumers.

Over three quarters said it was important that dairy products (78%) and meat products (72%) come from the UK.

Nearly three quarters (72%) think food from countries with lower standards shouldn’t be available at all.

And we agree. The government must not allow food to be imported that is produced to lower standards than our own under future trade deals.

Who do we trade with now? Have a look at our interactive map to see the shape of our imports and exports:

Source: Office for National Statistics, 2016

Standing up for you

It’s not just about food. These trade deals will affect almost every aspect of our lives.

From mobile roaming to healthcare, flight delay compensation to online shopping, we’re going to fight your corner.

As new trade deals progress through negotiations, we’ll be lobbying ministers, giving the consumer view, and demanding that you’re put first in these deals – maximising the opportunities and minimising the risks.

We want the government to embed your interests into a Consumer Chapter within each deal, ensuring that consumer rights and protections are maintained or enhanced.

These trade deals are a once-in-a-generation opportunity to define how the UK trades with the world.

And we won’t rest until consumers’ best interests are locked into every deal.

Our in-depth research

 
Click to view our report

Read our future trade deals report in full.

The UK is in the unique position of designing its trade policy from scratch. This report sets out how these deals can and must work for consumers.

Click to download the full report
PDF [195KB]