A poll, conducted by BMG Research, on behalf of the British Foreign Policy Group, suggests the British public would like to be more engaged in foreign affairs. Older people say that they are most interested – with four-fifths (82%) of over 75s saying so, compared to just half (52%) of 18-34 year-olds.
Age wasn’t the only key differentiator, education also played a pivotal role. Degree educated respondents said they were considerably more interested in the UK’s foreign affairs than those with no qualifications (69% and 38% respectively).
Respondents were also asked to prioritise up to five countries that the UK should focus on increasing trading links with.
Over half (53%) of those polled selected the United States, followed by China which was prioritised by more than two-fifths of the public (42%). Australia came in at third most popular, selected by one-quarter of respondents (25%).
Interestingly, no European countries made it into the top three, however, Germany and France were prioritised by around one-fifth of those polled (20% and 19% respectively). These were closely followed by former Commonwealth countries, India (18%), Canada (17%) and New Zealand (10%).
Elsewhere, three in ten Britons (30%) said that they thought countries are not allowed to trade with one another without a trade deal arranged. Just over four in ten (44%) said that the statement was false and around one-quarter (26%) said that they didn’t know. Incorrect answers were highest among those with no qualifications (47%) and lowest among those aged 75+ (17%).
Fieldwork dates, methodology and a full breakdown of these results can be found here.
For a more detailed breakdown of results from this poll or any other results from our polling series, please get in touch by email or phone.