AS IS becoming abundantly clear, talk on agriculture with relation to Brexit is cheap, but meaningful action is much more difficult to achieve.

Mr Gove's term in the ag hot-seat in Westminster started with some positive and meaningful rhetoric at last year's Royal Highland Show, but more recently the enormity of the process of Brexit and the complexity of its outcomes seems to have overwhelmed him.

Probably more than any other industry (other than maybe fishing) agriculture will be the most difficult of issues for the negotiators on both sides. Mostly this is down to the implementation of 40 years of EU-wide regulation across a wide spectrum of different nations, terrain, geography and attitudes. The pattern of threads produced thereof will take well beyond the time-line of 2019 to untangle from the morass.

The shake-down process for the industry could last decades and it is hard to see any positives coming through.

Under particular threat will be the consideration that LFASS has in Scotland and we can only hope that it passes through the jaw-jaw of negotiations on the positive side. It is hard to see that it will.

The only hope that we can have is that the civil servants who are charged with the finer detail of our Brexit, have more of a passing nod to what is required of the industry than the machinations of politicians intent on saving their, and their parties' skins. As yet, of this, there is little evidence.

Pot hole hell

A MORE pressing problem for rural areas at the moment is the state of our road network, which has been blatantly exposed by what has been a more severe winter than we have become used to.

Snow, ice and salt have produced a road system which is failing the nation. We are all being urged to be more caring for the environment in so many ways by politicians, but they could help us do their bidding by maintaining the lifeblood of trade in this diverse country's rural areas.

Every burst tyre, broken wheel and suspension, and even every time you have to slow down for a pot-hole, has an environmental impact far beyond the simple burning of fuel for transport. It's time this was fixed properly, but it will take years to catch up with underinvestment in the network.

But every long journey starts with one step – just watch out you don't disappear down a hole!