JUST BECAUSE we are leaving the EU does not make everything it does wrong.

That is certainly the case when it comes to agriculture and as EU-27 farm ministers develop a new CAP, we will become more aware of what we might be missing.

This would not be bad if we had any idea of what will replace the CAP here. But weeks from the three-year anniversary of the referendum, we are no further forward. The promise then was of a policy to fit UK farming needs, with decisions devolved to the UK regions.

What we have instead is a vague outline of a policy greener than EU greening, without any promise that farm support will continue beyond the the current parliament. This should be until 2022, but that commitment would end with a general election.

By contrast, and despite budget problems, farmers in the EU-27 know direct payments at similar levels to now are secure until 2027. They are arguing over the detail, while we cannot even get around to debating what elements might be in a new policy. At Westminster, that debate will be around different principles to those that apply in Brussels. It will be driven by the political mantra of delivering policies that can be described as green, in terms of their impact on biodiversity and climate change.

Teenage climate change protesters are now securing more attention from government ministers than the farming lobby. Its influence at Westminster has been eroded and Brexit will accelerate this process.

As 'no deal' is now talked about as a realistic policy, one of the key claims is that there might be a tough few years, but that everything will come right trading on World Trade Organisation terms with what was once our biggest market. Even the most committed Brexiteers admit there would be casualties, and sadly farming would be on that list.

It would be good to hear those who claim that the 'no deal' consequences would be a minor economic blip explain the basis for that optimism. It would be even better to hear them explain how farming could withstand a loss of markets, a loss of access to labour, higher input costs and a surge of cheap food imports to prevent price rises if EU suppliers face tariffs on the food they supply to the UK.

In the past, Tory hopefuls for the leadership would have been challenged over rural and farming issues. However the days when the party was the voice of the shires are long gone. Today its sights are on the green votes and the fact that individual organisations, such as RSPB or the National Trust, individually have vastly more members than there are farmers in the UK.

Political power comes from numbers and the farming lobby deserves credit for remaining as relevant as it is in the face of some depressing voting arithmetic. In the past this was partly countered because the government had to implement policies forced through by the might of the European farming lobby. However we are walking away from that to go it alone.

It is encouraging, if rare, to come across politicians prepared to be judged by what they committed to deliver. The genial, Irish farm commissioner, Phil Hogan, is coming to the end of this term. At the start he promised to deliver a fairer food chain for farmers. He has achieved that with new EU legislation that goes farm beyond the Grocery Code Adjudicator here. Farmers and small processors will gain from his promise to curb abuses by the major retailers. He has also delivered new rules on price transparency that will create a better knowledge balance in the market.

Hogan also promised to tackle the demographic time-bomb in agriculture of the average farmer being 55 plus. He has made central to the new CAP rules that will force member states to spend at least 2% of national envelopes on policies to help young farmers. Options include direct payment top-ups, installation aid and soft loans to get into the industry and partnerships with older farmers. These are sound ideas and credit has to go to Hogan for delivery on his commitments.

We are leaving the EU, but that will not stop us looking with some envy at its vision for farming and its belief that green policies and high quality food are products of a profitable agricultural industry.