THE EUROPEAN elections later this month will be a big event across Europe. They will shape the parliament that will take the EU into the 2020s. Seats will be hard fought for, promises made – and for a time agriculture will move up the agenda in 27 of the EU's 28 member states.

This is how it was here in the past, as politicians competed for one of the plum jobs in their chosen profession. This time however it will all be very different. The elections will underline how the so-called global mother of parliaments at Westminster has embraced the farce that Brexit has become.

Never before will there have been an election where those seeking votes will be doing so with no expectation of doing the job. Many will be standing to highlight their scorn at the EU, European parliament and Westminster politics. Others will be there to stress the need for compromise over Brexit and the need for the UK to have good relations with its biggest trading partner and political ally.

It will not be an election but the opportunity for a massive protest vote. The pro-Brexit anti-Theresa May vote will be mobilised; anyone who seeks to make a case for common sense, economic logic and compromise will be drowned out by those who see this as their best chance to make a stand against the EU.

If we get to the end of June with no Brexit deal, the new MEPs will head to Strasbourg to take their seats. Then we will not only have passed the three-year anniversary of the referendum vote without a decision, but we will see some new UK MEPs using the parliament as a Brexit platform. They will find allies from other member states representing right wing parties opposed to immigration and the EU. That we are on this course reflects how abysmally politics have failed at Westminster; it is also reflects a weak Conservative party leader, incapable of delivering her own MPs and too scared of being blamed for her party splitting to cut a deal with other parties.

Enoch Powell famously said that all political careers end in failure. That will be Theresa May's epitaph unless she finds a way to deliver a compromise, based around a customs union with the EU. That will infuriate many in her own party, but her days as leader are numbered and her influence is nil. The final card she can play is to do what she thinks is right for the country, and let her career be judged by those actions. Through weakness and indecision along the Brexit road she has burned her credibility in her own party. In reality anyone taking on the job after David Cameron resigned would have suffered the same fate.

The problem in agriculture is that Brexit has taken the focus off all other issues. There can be no job as frustrating now as being a leader of any of the UK farm lobby organisations. They spend their time trying to make progress on Brexit, only to be frustrated by this being impossible because those that need to make decisions have other political fish to fry. Scottish MSPs are no better off than the farming lobby until Westminster reaches decisions.

When farmers turn to the general media, all they seem to find now are further dire warnings that livestock production cannot continue, because it is destroying the environment and the planet. That makes a recent report on the future for dairy farming a much needed boost. It suggested that despite pressure from environmentalists and the animal welfare lobby, production will continue to grow and farms will become more productive. That growth will come from Africa and Asia as prosperity drives demand for cheese and other dairy products. Europe will be well placed to meet that demand, and will strengthen its role as the world's biggest dairy trader with a 35% plus market share.

Production growth in Europe will be absorbed easily through higher demand and exports, which points to long term stability for farmers. That is a sign of the brighter future that lies ahead for agriculture, as the global population grows and becomes more prosperous. We just need to get through Brexit to get there – and getting there will be easier if the EU is a trading ally rather than a massive and better funded competitor.