China has lifted its longstanding ban on imports of British beef, a move that could significantly boost the food industry in the UK.
More than two decades after the ban was first imposed in the midst of the BSE crisis, detailed site inspections and negotiations between Chinese and British officials have seen the Asian nation reverse its decision.
It is thought that the lifting of the ban could be worth £250 million to British exporters over five years alone.
The news means market access negotiations can now begin, a process that normally takes around three years to finalise.
Environment secretary Michael Gove said: "This is fantastic news for our world-class food and farming industry and shows we can be a truly outward looking Britain outside the European Union."
He added that he hopes to see new trade relationships forged across the globe, while international trade secretary Dr Liam Fox added that it is a "coup" for British businesses keen to access global trading as Brexit approaches.
Food exports from the UK hit a record €24.9 billion in 2017, with the nation's food and drink businesses now selling their products in 217 markets.