Poll shows most people in UK would welcome a fair trade policy

 Most people would welcome a UK trade policy that put the interests of poor countries on the same level as the interests of British business - a poll for CAFOD showed today. In the MORI survey, a majority rejected trade rules designed to give British business an advantage. Only 15% said that they wanted a trade agreement that puts the interest of UK businesses before those of poor countries. This figure fell to 6% in London. Coming on the eve of the World Trade Organisation summit in Doha, this poll sends a strong message to UK government representatives that radical moves to change the world's trading rules to give equal importance to the poor would be popular with the British public. CAFOD Trade Policy Analyst Duncan Green said: "The WTO talks in Doha are taking place against the background of the terrible events of 11 September which have produced much soul searching about the kind of world we want to see emerging from this crisis. Clearly the British public want a world in which the rules are not skewed against the poorest countries. "CAFOD supporters want to see the Doha meeting focusing primarily on the needs of the poorest countries. They are passionately opposed to the way the gap between rich and poor is increasing. "The Doha Summit offers the world's richest countries a great opportunity to readdress the balance. Concerns of the developing world must be central to any new trade agreement if the WTO is to retain any credibility." Michele Corrado of MORI says, "The forthcoming World Trade Organisation meeting in November could well be informed by the findings of this survey. There is clearly more support for a trade agreement that balances the needs of UK businesses and poor countries than one which puts UK interests above all else." In the survey: - 55% think an international trade agreement covering the ways in which countries conduct business with one another should give equal importance to the interests of UK businesses and of poor countries. - People living in more affluent households are much more likely to put the interests of poor countries before those of UK businesses. - Tabloid readers show much stronger support for UK business interests over those of poor countries, compared with broadsheet readers (17% against 8% respectively). - White people show stronger support for the interests of UK businesses ahead of those of poor countries, compared with people from minority ethnic communities (15% against 9%). - The feeling that UK business interests should come before the interests of poor countries is significantly stronger in some regions than others. Just 6% of those who live in London feel that a trade agreement should put the interests of UK businesses ahead of those of poor countries. - There are differences between men and women in feelings about the anti-globalisation movement. There is a much stronger feeling of opposition to the anti-globalisation movement among men, compared with women (19% against 9%). - The overriding desire for equality in world trade, and the fact that more people are sympathetic than opposed to the anti-globalisation movement highlighted in this survey is broadly consistent with a MORI survey carried out on behalf of Anita Roddick/The Forster Company between 20-25 September 2001. Commissioned to coincide with the publication of Anita Roddick's new book on globalisation,1 this poll also identified some sympathy in Britain towards anti-globalisation protesters, with two in five (41%) agreeing that the protesters in Seattle and Genoa raised genuine concerns shared by many people around the world. It also noted a high degree of scepticism among the public about the impacts of globalisation, with 58% thinking that 'what's good for business is not good for most people in developing, poorer countries'. The questions were placed on MORI's Omnibus, and a nationally representative quota sample of 2,006 adults was interviewed throughout Great Britain by MORI/Field & Tab across 195 constituency-based sampling points. Interviews were carried out using CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing) face-to-face in respondents' homes between 6 - 11 September 2001. Data have been weighted to reflect the national population profile. Overall results are accurate to within + 2% (95 times in 100).