Do you remember the chicken scene with the tractors from the 1980s film 'Footloose'? Kevin Bacon says to himself: “How did I get myself into this?”

That's a question we have been asking ourselves for some time now Kevin, who in the movie puts his John Deere loader into first and trundles towards the opposing tractor at walking pace while Bonnie Tyler blasts out 'Holding out for a Hero'.

Kevin, the big wimp, decides to bail out quite early, but gets his shoelace stuck in the pedals (what are the chances?) and the other guy eventually bottles it and dives into the ditch. So our lucky hero wins through quite unfairly – he was ready to pull the plug long before. Weren’t we all?

I’m afraid I don’t see such a happy ending for Mrs May’s face off with the EU. This has been the longest and most depressing game of chicken in British history and it’s not going to end well. Rather than kicking off her Sunday shoes, our PM has had her leopard-print kitten heels superglued to the accelerator by the ERG.

Her genuine desire to honour the referendum result, whilst at the same time keep her party together, have induced a white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel of the trusty British tractor. We are on collision course and half of the passengers sitting in the trailer behind are seriously scared.

The other half have convinced themselves that it’ll be OK in the end, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary and rather like every husband on the planet, no way are they going to pull over and ask anyone for directions. The Brexiters have had two years to try and solve the insoluble and it’s now time to admit it can’t be done.

Do enough of our MPs have the guts to stop this madness and call a confirmatory referendum before it’s too late? It might not solve all our problems and it might cause new ones, but it is probably now our only chance to avoid no deal. Don’t let anyone tell you it is undemocratic to ask the same people you asked last time if this shambles is what they really want. I may be wrong, but I don’t think a fudged last minute May deal is possible.

If you are still holding out for a hero, could EFRA committee chair, Neil Parish, be your man? He is definitely a voice of reason in the maelstrom.

He wrote last week that ‘No deal represents a real and present danger and we must avert it.’ He has made various amendments to the UK agriculture bill to ‘protect farmers from a competitive disadvantage - and consumers from lower standards.’

He went on – ‘I know Defra is looking closely at my suggestions, but curiously there is some resistance in government to enhanced parliamentary scrutiny and strong legal protections in future trade deals for our farmers. I find this hard to understand.’

I don’t find it hard to understand and I suspect that Mr Parish doesn’t either, which is why he is desperate to bring in his amendments. If we go out without a deal, there will inevitably be a choice between soaring food costs, coupled with empty shelves on one hand (this is what Asda and Sainsbury are saying, not just me), and ‘cheap’ imported food with lower standards of production on the other.

The only conclusion to draw from the reluctance of Defra to pass Mr Parish’s amendments is that the government will be waving through the chlorinated chicken and lot-fed, hormone injected beef faster than you can say yankee doodle.

With any luck, I’ll bump into him at Westminster, where I am heading on Valentine’s Day at the behest of the committee looking at the proposed Immigration and Social Security Bill. Hopefully, love will be in the air, or all around, because unlike Dido, I don’t want to go down with this ship.

Free EU movement is vital to UK agriculture as well as many other industries and particularly so in Scotland, where the demographics are quite different to the rest of the UK. Still, we have to be realistic and look at what the committee might be prepared to support if Westminster goes through with Brexit.

I will be making the case for an immediate increase to the SAWS pilot scheme to 10,000 places as an insurance against the ongoing uncertainty. If we crash out on the March 29, it will be too late to start organising permits for April and May when they will be needed.

There are other issues as well. In the event of no deal, there will be a rule allowing EU workers to remain for three months only, after which they will have to pay for the right to remain for up to three years.

We are in competition with other countries in western Europe for workers from Romania and Bulgaria, and as my counterpart horticulture chair in England, Alison Capper, said last week: “Right now I believe this is going to significantly impact our ability to recruit these workers and to look like a competitive and interesting place to come and work.”

This right to stay should at the very least be extended to eight months to reflect the actual movement of people on the ground. Any restriction at this point could lead to many EU workers not coming over at all.

Last, but not least, the MAC proposal calling anyone from the EU earning less than £30,000 ‘unskilled’ and, therefore, not automatically entitled to work in the UK after Brexit would be incredibly damaging for agriculture in the UK. To be fair to the Home Secretary, he indicated in December that the figure was not set in stone and open to consultation, so hopefully we can persuade him to either reduce the threshold or drop the idea entirely.

By the time you read this, the NFU agm will be over and there will be a partially new presidential team. You might not always agree with the approach they take and that is your right, but they deserve your respect at the very least, because I have seen the work they do fairly close up. It is often a thankless and difficult task with scant financial reward.

I know all of them a little and I know that they have stood up to be counted out of a desire to do their bit for the industry, and nothing more. Best of luck chaps.