THERE'S A bit of irony in the fact that a labour shortage is threatening the picking of fruit, the harvesting of vegetables and the processing of meat and other food. However, for fear it is lost on a political system constipated by Brexit, we'll spell it out – the much vaunted 'greening' of agriculture goes for nought, if you cannot get the end result to market!

For agriculture to hit it's carbon-free status – and in Scotland, we should note, our target is 2045, five years before the rest of the UK – we are being told that everyone must become more efficient. We have to produce more from less and that applied to all aspects of the industry, be it grain, milk, or beef and lamb.

But here's the rub. While farmers are striving to meet these challenges, the political will (or is it dogma) of assisting them in doing so is currently navel gazing at 100-pages of the proposed Brexit 'deal'. In other words, in the real world, people are facing real challenges – while those that could change things, ponder a document they cannot even begin to understand. We wonder, even, just how many of them will wade through the entire forest full of Euro-speak?

Generally, farmers are good at producing food. But even the most pragmatic hate to see good food going to waste and that is what is happening, right now, across a wide spectrum of Scottish agriculture because of a labour shortage brought about by political meanderings which have let the hard-working people in this industry down.

It was not as if this were a revelation. This newspaper and indeed our columnists, like James Porter – who has had to face up to these labour shortfalls in the very real sense – have been warning of this for more than a year. It's been flagged up and then rammed up politicians' noses all of this summer and yet, here we are seeing crops ungathered and fruit rotting where it lies.

We can only hope that the sanctimonious amongst the chattering politicos reflect on what their ennui has caused.

On the one hand they bleat on about efficiency, good environmental practice and the 'need for change', while their political inertia and hypocrisy has the ability to cripple the very industry that they have been slating for many months.

And, that constipation brought on by Brexit ... well you won't be able to take home-grown fruit for that, you'll just have to fly it in by jet liner, or have it arriving by sea in refrigerated (and not very environmentally friendly) container ships.

It is high time this particular blockage, was released!