Landmark pork deal between UK and China.

China agrees £50m trade deal with UK.

The UK will be able to start exporting pig meat to China, the world's biggest pork market, under a new £50m trade deal.

The ailing UK industry is to start exporting trotters, offal and other parts of the pig that are popular in China but less so in Britain.

The deal has been five years in the making, and talks over lamb and beef are expected to begin soon.

British pig farmers and adjacent industries have been struggling amid constraints by retailers who are trying to push prices lower. The size of the industry has halved in the last 10 years.

Chinese famers can sell pigs for twice as much as British farmers, partly because the "fifth quarter" - the tail, ears and trotters - are eaten, partly because pork is much more popular in China, and partly because the supermarkets have not yet started to squeeze Chinese food producers.

China consumes half the world's pig meat, and demand is growing. It is likely that China will not be able to produce its own supplies in the future.

Photograph: Getty Images
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En français, s'il vous plaît! EU lead negotiator wants to talk Brexit in French

C'est très difficile. 

In November 2015, after the Paris attacks, Theresa May said: "Nous sommes solidaires avec vous, nous sommes tous ensemble." ("We are in solidarity with you, we are all together.")

But now the Prime Minister might have to brush up her French and take it to a much higher level.

Reuters reports the EU's lead Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, would like to hold the talks in French, not English (an EU spokeswoman said no official language had been agreed). 

As for the Home office? Aucun commentaire.

But on Twitter, British social media users are finding it all très amusant.

In the UK, foreign language teaching has suffered from years of neglect. The government may regret this now . . .

Julia Rampen is the editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog. She was previously deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.