I read with interest the interview with John Scott MSP in last week’s edition of The Scottish Farmer. His key message appeared to be for everyone to stop worrying because the Tories would ensure a positive Brexit landing for Scotland’s Food and Farming industry.

He cited Scottish Secretary David Mundell’s discussions with Defra secretary, Michael Gove, as the key mechanism that would ensure this. In different political times some of your readers would give Mr Scott and his optimism the benefit of the doubt and cross their fingers that a Mundell/Gove double-act would pursue a course that would keep the interests of Scotland’s farmers among their priorities.

However, I would argue that the evidence shows that anyone who relies on this Tory axis to fight Scotland’s corner needs a swift dose of reality.

Firstly, the recent pronouncements on potentially banning livestock sea movements, which were deservedly condemned by Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary, Fergus Ewing and your columnist, Jim Brown, illustrated Gove’s complete ignorance to the specific needs of Scottish agriculture.

With characteristic arrogance, the he went on to compound this by refusing to take questions from the media during a recent photo opportunity at Stirling Bull Sales. In fact, hiding from scrutiny on Brexit appears to be a growing habit among Conservative politicians, with Mundell recently going to ground and refusing requests to appear for interview, following the leak of UK Treasury impact assessments which reported potentially catastrophic effects to the Scottish economy after leaving the EU.

Both Gove and Mundell have no doubt been taking lessons from their Scottish Conservative leader, Ruth Davidson, who did a disappearing act in the days following the impact assessment leaks, only to miraculously re-appear on a radio phone-in about her next self-promotion exercise on a TV programme about baking cakes.

Far from raising Scottish farming’s voice in Brexit, you’re more likely to get an answer on the merits of self-raising flour from a Scottish Tory.

Robert Macintyre jnr