Why is UK's trade deal with Japan being held up by cheese? Theo Usherwood explains

11 August 2020, 14:17

Theo Usherwood tries to explain Liz Truss' Stilton to Japan plan

By Adrian Sherling

The UK's negotiations over a trade deal with Japan have hit a stumbling block - and it's all because of cheese, Theo Usherwood explains.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss wants to start selling Stilton cheese to Japan - even though there appears to be little demand for the product.

Speaking to James O'Brien, Theo Usherwood attempted to explain the plan.

He said: "The trade talks that are taking place between Japan and the UK is already taking place and Liz Truss has reportedly put up a blocker because she wants to ensure, according to a report in the Financial Times today, that Stilton cheese is part of any negotiations.

"At the moment, under the EU agreement with Japan, which we are a part of until 31st December, cheese exported from the European Union into Japan is subject to a tariff.

"But an informed source tells me that smelly cheese is not particularly popular in Japan.

"The relevance of that is that when the trade deal between the EU and Japan was signed, the French didn't put cheese into it to remove tariffs to allow it to be sold at a lower price in Japan, because there wasn't enough demand. Just like we didn't put Stilton into it.

"Liz Truss wants to ensure that we get a better trade deal than the EU has with Japan because we're going to be able to sell our Stilton cheese into Japan."

James O'Brien and Theo Usherwood tried to understand Liz Truss's cheese plan
James O'Brien and Theo Usherwood tried to understand Liz Truss's cheese plan. Picture: LBC

Theo then explained about the importance of geographical indicators - that Stilton cheese can only be made in Stilton and Cornish pasties in Cornwall. This is part of Ms Truss' plan.

Theo continues: "What will happen when the transition period ends is that we're no longer going to be subject to those rules. So French suppliers could make stilton cheese and call it stilton cheese and sell it into the Japanese market.

"But because of Liz Truss' hardline, we're going to be able to sell our Stilton cheese into the Japanese market much cheaper than any European knock-offs."

James had one small problem with the idea, saying: "Even though they don't really want any Stilton cheese."

Watch their very entertaining exchange at the top of the page.

More James O'Brien

See more More James O'Brien

Sacked borders watchdog David Neal said the Home Office is 'dysfunctional' and needs reform.

'It goes to the very top': Sacked border watchdog slams Home Office and calls for reform after Cleverly row

Shahd Waleed is trying to leave Rafah with her parents and enter Egypt

'They want us to experience pain': Young woman trapped in Rafah with her parents tells of terror as Israel invasion looms

Sir Keir Starmer has defended comments he made about Margaret Thatcher earlier this month.

Starmer defends Thatcher comments as he says he ‘completely disagrees’ with former prime minister’s politics

A caller to James O’Brien’s programme has shared footage of the extraordinary destruction done to his newly purchased property just outside of Durham.

Property investor's shock at 'unexplainable level of damage' he discovered after buying new home

James Cleverly replaced Suella Braverman as home secretary on Monday

'I've spent more time with James Cleverly this week than with Suella Braverman in the last year', Sadiq Khan tells LBC

James O'Brien discusses Suella Braverman's 'destructionist' leadership style with a caller

'She's a destructionist': James O'Brien caller claims Suella Braverman governs like 'a five-year-old'

James O'Brien

'She definitely has something on him': Caller and James O'Brien debate why the PM hasn't sacked Suella Braverman yet

'A complete reset of the top' is needed says caller.

'We're being let down': There is a 'complete disconnection' between parliamentary and local Conservatives says caller

James O'Brien

'It's essential that people are able to protest peacefully against war', says James O'Brien

James O'Brien

Rishi Sunak 'almost physically moves away' from Suella Braverman in House of Commons debate, says James O'Brien

James O'Brien

'Suella Braverman succeeded - she's caused hate', claims caller after Home Secretary criticises pro-Palestine marches

'A fish rots from the head': James O'Brien caller reacts to claims of misogyny in Downing Street during Covid Inquiry

'A fish rots from the head': James O'Brien caller reacts to claims of misogyny in Downing Street during Covid Inquiry

'Ludicrous, bogus, nonsense': James O'Brien is astounded by Boris Johnson 'laughing at Italy' during the pandemic

'Ludicrous, bogus, nonsense': James O'Brien is astounded by Boris Johnson 'laughing at Italy' during the pandemic

James O'Brien on Dagestan

'It's a hatred as old as religion itself': James O'Brien analyses escalating anti-Semitism after Muslim crowd storms Dagestan airport

Carol Vorderman shocked about UK Poverty

'One million children are living in destitution': Carol Vorderman struggles to comprehend stark wealth inequality in the UK

Wes Streeting on dentistry

Wes Streeting invites the government to steal Labour's policy to solve 'dickensian' NHS dentist crisis

James O'Brien

'I think they're the loneliest voters in Britain', James O'Brien claims after Tories' double by-election defeat

JOB and caller Andy

Biden's visit to Israel is to show that the US stands 'unequivocally' with Israel says James O'Brien caller

JOB and Usman

Israel's current response will only 'strengthen' Hamas by rearing Gazans who seek revenge warns this James O'Brien caller

JOB on deaths in conflict

James O'Brien unpacks the 'controversial' feeling of being 'equally devastated' by Palestinian and Israeli deaths

JOB on starmer speech

Keir Starmer is using 'working class as the opposite of having a sense of entitlement', notes James O'Brien

JOB on HS2 promises

James O'Brien criticises Rishi Sunak's watering down of 'illustrative' Network North projects funded by HS2 cut

Sadiq Khan and James O'Brien

Sadiq Khan declares there is 'no place for anti-Semitism' in London as kosher restaurant in Golders Green attacked

James O'Brien on the challenge HS2 scrappage poses to Labour.

‘How much can Rishi Sunak knock down before Keir Starmer becomes Prime Minister?, asks James O’Brien

James O'Brien

Rishi Sunak is like an 'incontinent cat': James O'Brien slams Tories ahead of PM's Party Conference speech

JoB and Jeremy Hunt

Navy veteran deeply hurt by Jeremy Hunt's plans to clamp down on benefit claimants

James O'Brien on Tory tactics in the upcoming election.

Tories desperately seeking wedge issues is the 'only way' they will retain power in 2024, says James O'Brien

James and caller Mervin on knife crime

'I'd prefer you to go to jail than die': James O'Brien is left aghast by this caller's father's stance on knife possession

James O'Brien

James O'Brien ridicules those prioritising Labour's private school VAT plans over the cost of living crisis

James O'Brien

'I mean this is a novel': James O'Brien hears why this caller blames Labour for HS2 problems

James O'Brien

James O'Brien takes aim at uninformed 'idiots' criticising Keir Starmer for not wanting to diverge from EU rules

JOB on Rishi Sunak Bins

Rishi 'seven-bin' Sunak is lifting bans that 'don't exist', asserts James O'Brien