Young, middle-class Londoners, not leave voters, are the group of people most relaxed about lowering food standards to secure a trade deal with the US, according to a new report.
The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) paper based its findings on a poll of more than 2,000 adults, which was weighted to reflect a nationally representative audience.
Asked whether the UK should lower food safety standards to secure a trade deal with the US, only 8 per cent of all the respondents agreed, with 82 per cent preferring to retain current standards.
This was the only question in the poll which united leavers and remainers, with leave supporters just as opposed to deregulation as remain supporters, and strong opposition recorded across the political spectrum.
But the report goes on to say: “While there are few supporters for deregulating food safety standards among any demographic group, interestingly it is professionals, Londoners and younger respondents who tend to be the most relaxed about accepting food safety deregulation in order to secure a US trade deal.
“17 per cent of 18–34-year-olds, 20 per cent of higher-grade professionals, managers and administrators, and 21 per cent of Londoners are in favour, compared to 8 per cent on average.
“This suggests support for a US trade deal with lower food standards is not necessarily concentrated among leave voters, but is instead concentrated among young middle class Londoners.”
Londoners and younger respondents, however, also said they tended to prefer regulatory alignment with the EU in return for a trade deal.
“In one light, this appears contradictory: the same groups express a preference both for deregulation to secure US trade and for high regulations to secure EU trade”, the report reads.
“The likely explanation is these groups are simply more relaxed about trade, and are more willing to make compromises – of whatever sort – to secure free trade agreements with other countries.”
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