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Britons value human rights in international trade

Half of British respondents to a new survey believe the country should only trade with nations with a good human rights record “even if it hurts the economy”.

In the survey of 17,000 people across 24 countries, 36% of all respondents agreed with the statement about their own country, Sky News reports. Britain and Sweden were the two nations most likely to say a country’s human rights record should be considered before trading is agreed.

While 10% believe Britain uses its global influence for bad purposes, 27% disagreed, and said it was mostly used for good. At the other end of the scale, 22% believed the US uses its position badly, 24% think the same of Israel, and 25% for both Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Former foreign secretary David Miliband unveiled the figures in his lecture, The New “Arrogance of Power”: Global Politics in an Age of Impunity, at the University of Edinburgh. 

He said: “The poll shows that around the world large numbers of people are looking for commitment to human rights and global engagement.”


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