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China lifts ban on UK beef exports imposed 20 years ago after BSE crisis

PUBLISHED: 14:37 27 June 2018 | UPDATED: 14:37 27 June 2018

China has lifted its ban on UK beef, but it will take around three years to clear all the hurdles Picture: SIMON PARKER

China has lifted its ban on UK beef, but it will take around three years to clear all the hurdles Picture: SIMON PARKER

China has lifted a longstanding ban on exports of beef from the UK, in a move thought to be worth around £250m to British producers over the next five years.

The decision, which will take around three years to implement, follows several years of site inspections and negotiations between British and Chinese officials and comes more than 20 years after the Chinese government first imposed a ban on British beef in the wake of the BSE crisis.

China is currently the UK’s eighth largest export market for agri-food, with more than £560m worth of food and drink bought by Chinese consumers last year. Environment secretary Michael Gove said it was “fantastic” news for the sector. UK food exports continue to soar, with record exports of more than £22bn in 2017. The announcement will allow official market access negotiations to begin, a process which typically takes around three years.

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