British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, after visiting US Capitol in Washington on Wednesday, acknowledged that a post-Brexit trade deal with the United States was not seen as forthcoming. The statement from the United Kingdom Prime Minister came as he voiced confidence that the decades-long US ban on imports of British lamb would be lifted. Though President Joe Biden, on September 22, downplayed the prospect of a trade deal with the UK, Johnson reiterated British farmers, notably those in Wales, would soon be able to export lamb to the United States once again, despite knowing it's irrelevant to announce before making any formal agreement.
"I can assure 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," Johnson told reporters outside the US Capitol. "It's about time too. And what we're aspiring to do is make solid incremental steps in trade." However, irrespective of Johnson claim, his office at Downing Street said the details still needed to be worked out. Notably, America banned the import of British beef and lamb after bovine spongiform encephalopathy, which is widely known as mad cow disease spread in 1989. However, the United States has already lifted the ban on beef.
Meanwhile, the chief executive of the National Sheep Association, Phil Stocker, said if the ban would be lifted, it would be the best news for the farmers. According to him, it would boost the domestic lamb market between 60-65%. This would also help the European Union in becoming the biggest export market, added Stocker. "However, access is more difficult than it was when we were part of the EU. It's essential to maintain EU access but it is also important to work on any market that gives us future potential," noted the chief executive of the National Sheep Association. Stocker noted that Biden, unlike his predecessor Donald Trump, the incumbent President has shown a positive attitude while negotiating a trade deal with Britain because of his concerns for Northern Ireland.