BREXIT: UK want US Deal
As the British government prepares to finalize its withdrawal from the European Union and create new trade agreements, 64 percent of British voters and 67 percent of American voters support a strong, bilateral trade agreement between the two countries, according to a YouGov poll commissioned by Washington-based FP1 Strategies and London-based Public First. The poll also revealed that citizens of the two countries share deep political and cultural bonds – highlighting the enduring power of the special relationship between the U.S. and the U.K., and the unique political opportunity for leaders in both countries to expeditiously come to a mutually beneficial, bilateral agreement.
Only seven percent of British voters and nine percent of American voters oppose a free trade agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom. When asked which nation respondents would like to see their country maintain strong trade relations with, respondents in both the U.S. and the U.K. listed the other at or near the top of the list. Fifty-seven percent of British people said the U.S., followed by China (40 percent), Germany (29 percent) and France (15 percent). American respondents said China (48 percent), Canada (35 percent), Mexico (27 percent) and Britain (25 percent).
The poll marked the first step in a new partnership between FP1 Strategies and Public First that aims to help organizations on both sides of the Atlantic advocate for a bilateral trade agreement and to better understand what it might mean for them. Both firms have extensive experience in political and policy analysis, opinion research and campaigns.
“President Trump has expressed a strong commitment to reach an agreement and we believe it makes sense for the business community to work together, turning that commitment into reality,” FP1 Strategies Partner Terry Nelson said. “Clearly, as the discussion progresses, there will be a focus on achieving greater economic growth for both countries.”
The poll also revealed strong support for free trade principles in both countries. Seventy-four percent of British respondents and 69 percent of American respondents agreed that free trade is good for their countries.
“The British Government’s consultation will no doubt throw up all sorts of opposition from campaigns hostile to any free trade agreement with the U.S. and there’s a risk politicians and officials will get spooked,” James Frayne, a founding partner of Public First, said. “But the fact is the British public loves and respects America and wants a deal agreed. There are few political risks in pushing ahead, but many in prevaricating.”
The survey also shed light on the sectors voters would like to see their governments promote as part of a bilateral trade agreement. While British people want to see the government promote medicine and pharmaceuticals, financial services, high-tech manufacturing and IT and software design, American respondents listed medicine and pharmaceuticals, agriculture and food, high-tech manufacturing and heavy manufacturing as their highest priorities.
FP1 partner Danny Diaz added, “American and British businesses have a unique opportunity to shape these negotiations and ensure the eventual agreement is crafted in a way that helps drive economic activity in both countries. A wide range of stakeholders stand to benefit from a bilateral agreement, but it’s important they have their voices heard early and often.”
YouGov polled representative samples of 1,657 British adults and 1,174 American adults for Public First and FP1 Strategies between July 16 and 18, 2018. The full tables are available upon request from YouGov or FP1 Strategies.
About Public First
Public First is a London-based agency specializing in campaigning, policy analysis and opinion research. Its leadership team includes James Frayne, former director of communications at the Department for Education; Rachel Wolf, former No. 10 policy adviser; and Gabriel Milland, former head of communications at the Department for Education and the Ministry of Justice. For more information please visit publicfirst.co.uk.
About FP1 Strategies
Founded in 2011 by Terry Nelson, Jon Downs and Danny Diaz, FP1 Strategies is a full-service communications and public affairs firm led by partners who have worked at the highest levels of American politics. Drawing upon decades of political campaign experience, FP1 helps candidates and organizations – from Fortune 500 corporations to trade associations – craft a narrative and build the support to influence policymakers and consumers across the country. FP1 offers services tailored to every campaign’s needs and its focuses include integrated campaign management, advertising, coalition building, media relations, crisis communications and digital engagement. For more information please visit FP1strategies.com.