SHEEP farmers have welcomed the news that British lamb was on the menu at last night's State Banquet at which Her Majesty the Queen hosted US President Donald Trump.

Some guests on the night circulated the event's menu on social media, revealing that the main course was a new season Saddle of Windsor lamb with herb stuffing – although it was listed in traditional menu French as 'Selle d'Agneau de Windsor Farcie Marigny'.

National Sheep Association chief executive Phil Stocker suggested that this might be a good starting point to opening the US market to UK lamb exports.

“As Her Majesty stated in her address yesterday, Britain and the United States have long been close trading partners, and the largest investors in each others economy. NSA was delighted to hear British lamb was served to the President in amongst these discussions," said Mr Stocker.

"With much uncertainty surrounding future markets for British lamb, it is reassuring to see the Palace waving the flag for British lamb and presenting this quality British product to President Trump. NSA is pushing for an increased number of export destinations for British sheepmeat and giving lamb the platform to speak for itself presents a fantastic opportunity.”

The UK is currently unable to export sheepmeat into the US – due to the lingering legacy of the BSE/TSE scare – and NSA declared that there was now a clear opportunity for British lamb exports to the US to begin, particularly given the UK’s need to build and strengthen trading relationships with the uncertainty of Brexit. Mr Stocker added: “We have long said the US would be a great market to tap into given the right opportunity and this could be just the chance we need to drive this forward. Assuming President Trump enjoyed his dining experience, we can only hope it gets him thinking and will help drive forward a strengthened market in the US.

“NSA would like to thank Her Majesty and all at Buckingham Palace for supporting the UK sheep sector and for endorsing British lamb in this way.”