The country's 'Japery Politico' continued unabated this week and the chances of a hard Brexit and its inevitable devastating effects on UK farming are now a very real threat.

The race to be the Conservative and Unionist Party leader and thus our nations' Prime Minister, looks like having more runners than the Grand National. But we are already sick to death of politicians horsing around.

Agriculture, as the nation's most important industry, deserves better than the Tomfoolery currently being played out in the corridors of power, and there would appear to be a sell-out of anti-stab vests around Westminster. We hope they are of the toughest Kevlar ... going by this week's events, they'll need it.

As an industry, we can only await the blood-letting to abate and see who is left standing. However, never in recent political history has so much hinged on one single outcome for the food producers of the UK. Hard Brexiters are very much in line for the top job, so we can only hope that the middle road to a softer strategy will be the eventual outcome.

Whatever happens, though, this saga will run and run. If the Toughees win through, it is hard to see anything but 'no deal' being the result, but even that could take a long time after the October 29 deadline to fully come into play once the Brinkmanship is over; while for the Softees, it is equally hard to see what the EU could offer them that is not already on the table. Again, the machinations will take some time, so yet more delay cannot be ruled out.

This is – to return to the horse racing analogy – a race of tough fences and deep water jumps for whomever wins the first lap of the track in the UK. The one thing we must hope for is that even the unelected runners and riders in Brussels will have the political nous to see that the winds of change are rustling through the spruce twigs across the nations that make up the EU.

Last week's voting in of MEPs very much altered the landscape of the European Union, too, and there must be a fear that the schisms which engineered the first Brexit vote in the UK (and announced on the day of the Royal Highland Show three years ago), could appear elsewhere, if the administration does not take account of what's behind them. Just like the UK, there are worries over sovereignty rights in many European countries that will bubble to the surface now that there has been a significant right hand turn across the voting spectrum.

Are there any winners in this race so far? Well, the almost inevitable drop in the value of sterling has at least made exporting to the EU much more profitable for UK businesses, including agricultural commodities. This has provided a short-term filip to the price of grain and UK lamb, for instance. Make the most of it!