A COMMON criticism of all governments is that they fail to deliver joined up thinking.

People used to commercial decision making are left baffled as to why officials implement seemingly conflicting policies. With the Brexit-driven arrival of a completely new agricultural support policy for the UK, a unique opportunity exists to deliver joined up thinking. As positive a development as that would be, it would be an optimistic leap of faith to believe it will happen.

It would certainly not be difficult to beat the approach of the CAP. Inevitably over time its joined-up failures have developed as the policy has changed. This is because as a policy it is expected to meet more and more demands. Most are far beyond its original role of delivering an assured food supply to the citizens of what was the EEC when the CAP came into play.

Recent examples of conflicting policies include claims that while the EU wants to encourage protein production, to reduce dependence on imported soya, environmental policies are having the opposite effect. Opposition to the use of land for biofuels is denying farmers access to million of tonnes of protein produced as a by-product of biofuel production. It is then making matters worse by denying farmers the ability to use pesticides on greening environmental focus areas, producing protein crops. These are classic examples of policies that deliver conflicting outcomes, and there are plenty of other examples across the CAP.

Starting from scratch with a new policy for the UK, it should, in theory, be possible to avoid conflicting policy outcomes. That does not seem to be happening, in that the government in London already has confused policy priorities. The original CAP was about delivering food security to Europe, but that is no longer seen as a priority for the post-Brexit plan. The CAP was also built around maintaining rural incomes to close the gap with people living in urban areas. That too is not on the London agenda. The CAP was also seen as the foundation of national food industries across the EU, but bar some speciality products, the government does not view local sourcing and short supply chains as the basis for a successful food industry.

The biggest conflict comes from the loose use of the term 'green Brexit'. It seems now that the government wants its farm support policies to deliver what it identifies as public goods. This is about environmental standards, but in this catch-all approach lies the danger of a new joined up thinking failure.

It is all very well setting environmental priorities, but they have to fit with the practicalities of farming. If, as now seems to be happening, the government's agenda is dictated by the green lobby and politicians' guess as to where votes lie, we will end up with the same policy conflicts as the EU. We will be trying to use an agricultural policy to deliver everything from public footpaths to climate change mitigation, while forgetting that most countries support agriculture to guarantee a domestic food supply.

When farmers were being urged to vote 'leave', its enthusiasts suggested that away from the CAP we could have a technically efficient, productivity driven agricultural industry in the UK. Instead we are being offered a green support structure, driven by groups that oppose many of the techniques that would deliver a productive, globally efficient industry.

This week we have had Michael Gove, the architect of the term green Brexit, talking about a blanket ban on the live export of animals. This is on grounds that he wants the UK to have the world's highest animal welfare standards. Such thinking will no doubt go down well in his own south of England constituency, deemed to be one of the most middle class in Britain. What is less clear is how these higher standards would translate into additional income for farmers.

This is not about maintaining live exports, but about the mentality of those shaping future policies. The joined up failure of the CAP came about when it moved from its initial focus on a food supply and support for farmers to become all things to all people.

Despite the opportunity to do something different and truly radical, the UK is in danger of creating a flawed policy from the outset. This is thanks to its shape being dictated by urban politicians more interested in making Brexit look a success to voters than in delivering a successful, productivity driven farming industry.