Speaking to reporters in Washington DC, Boris Johnson highlighted the move to lift the ban, as he admitted he is looking to take “incremental steps” on trade in the absence of a free trade pact with the US, writes Emily Beament of PA. The Prime Minister said: “I can tell you today that what we’re going to get from the United States now is a lifting of the decades-old ban, totally unjustified, discriminating on British farmers and British lamb. “We are going to be able to export British lamb to the US for the first time in decades. The US has banned the import of British beef and lamb since 1989, as a result of BSE or “mad cow disease”, although the ban on beef has already been lifted.

Phil Stocker, CE of the National Sheep Association, said it would allow British imports of genetic material from sheep and help them rebuild that interest in lamb and mutton and sheep meat as a food in the US”. He added “It’s essential to maintain EU access but is also important to work on any market that gives us future potential.” The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) spokesperson said: “It’s excellent to hear that the Prime Minister and his government are working with the US to lift this ban and we strongly support it.”