UK firms increasingly pessimistic about free trade deals

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UK firms increasingly pessimistic about free trade deals

The government's own research suggests that British firms are increasingly pessimistic about the benefits of Brexit free trade deals.

A survey conducted by the Department for Business and Trade revealed that three out five now think free trade deals will have no positive impact on their business.

But that's up from 54 per cent in the previous year - a sign of growing dismay about the opportunities the agreements can offer, despite promises that Brexit could boost 'global Britain'.

Less than a third of businesses believe trade deals would have a positive effect, down from 33 percent the previous year.

Some 61 per cent believe UK's exit from the EU has left the country worse off.

The annual government survey of British companies' exporting behavior shows that concerns regarding the UK's exit from the EU remain prominent, with firms pointing to red tape and supply chain issues.

In 2017 almost three in four firms said there was a lot of demand for UK goods and services - but the figures fell to 55 per cent in the latest survey. The survey also said there has been less demand for products and services since Brexit, an increase from 39 per cent in the previous survey.

''T surprise me that companies feel pretty sore about things and that is what our survey data shows as well,'' said William Bain, head of trade policy at the British Chambers of Commerce.

In a better place than we were last year, Mr. Clinton said, the government has been listening to some of our concerns.

Tina McKenzie, of the Federation of Small Businesses, said the findings 'appear a mixed picture of exporting' before calling on ministers to reduce post-Brexit red tape as much as possible.

The government business survey did show that there is still some optimism about the future. The proportion of firms that say there is a lot of possibility for their business to grow globally increased to 58 per cent, up from 52 per cent in 2021.

UK exports rose to£852bn from the end of June, according to the Department for Business and Trade. In the months and years to come, the government also expected to see the fruits of recent deals with Australia and New Zealand.

The Brexit border checks on food, animal and plant products imported from the EU are also expected to be delayed for a fifth time. The government is to push back the rules due to fears they will fuel inflation.

As public polls reveal increasing support for a second Brexit referendum on EU membership, it comes as a result of a surge in support. Nearly half of Britons want another in the next 10 years, according to a new survey released by YouGov.

By 2023, more than a quarter of the world's population would vote for a referendum. And some 20 per cent of people who voted leave want another referendum within the next 10 years.

If there were a referendum on joining the EU, half of the participants said they would vote to rejoin. However, only 30 per cent said they would vote to stay out, while seven per cent said they would not vote.