It would be a great headline: 'Ulster sausage wars solved BY fudge'.

The fudge between London and Brussels is kicking the issue down the road for another few months. But the problems hitting traditional trade in agriculture between Scotland and Northern Ireland remain, with no signs of resolution any time soon.

This is affecting a vast list of trade that does not have the sausage and cooked meats luxury of grabbing headlines and political attention. These range from seed potatoes, through machinery to the massive disruption to years of traditional trade in livestock.

Until these are resolved, there can be no cause for celebration or for politicians to slap themselves on their collective backs in London and Brussels.

Five years on from the referendum for the UK to leave the EU, farmers in Europe have something still denied to farmers here. Imperfect as the CAP may be, they do now have certainty about support arrangement right through to 2027.

The new CAP will come into play in 2023, replacing the current policy rolled over because of delays in negotiation. It is far from perfect, but it does maintain the key element of support via direct payments, all wrapped in a green comfort blanket.

Predictably, farmers wanted more, but they cannot deny the stability the commitment to direct payments will bring.

This is a far cry from the situation here. Support is still a political football and even if devolution proves effective farmers are still relying on the generosity of the UK Treasury to deliver the funds needed for stability.

Just as there are voices in post-Brexit London demanding the UK goes further and faster in pursuit of free trade and cheaper food imports, there are those who believe subsidies need to be stripped away.

Some even delude themselves that this is a process where the UK can be a global leader, believing that if this fails and food security is threatened cheap food imports will be the solution.

Phil Hogan is long gone as EU farm commissioner and he was eventually forced to resign as trade commissioner over a golf match in Ireland that broke Covid-19 restrictions. However, I am reminded again of a comment from him before the referendum – he said farmers had a choice between the certainties of the imperfect CAP, or a gamble on the generosity of the British Treasury.

Five years on the jury is still out on whether or not the path chosen was the winning bet.

Farm subsides are a global fact of life. There are few countries in the developed world, other than New Zealand, where subsides are not part of the equation.

As a concept, they are deeply unpopular with economists. They are less concerned about the principle of supporting farmers than with how those subsidies are spent. Their concern is that they are not targeted but a blunt political instrument that maintains the status quo, rather than encouraging radical thinking.

This scepticism is confirmed almost annually by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which represents the world's major economies. Its latest report looks at the years from 2018 to 2020 and says that over that time global support payments to agriculture averaged around £520bn.

This, it said, was paid for by consumers via taxes, but they then pay again through higher prices for food. This will be music to the ears who want to strip away trade protection for UK food.

It allowed them to argue that zero tariffs will reduce prices for consumers, while switching support for the delivery of green outcomes would deliver better outcomes than the current system.

The OECD claimed support was justified by governments on the strength of food security, environmental protection and benefits for the rural economy. But it argued that none of those were being achieved with present models.

It said half of subsidies were trade distorting, while just 6% encourage innovation. It wanted a move away from blanket support to a model targeting innovation and farming families in need of support.

This is a familiar cry, but as things stand the UK is one of the few countries embarking on a new support system. We know the government wants to make it greener and we also know it is an advocate of free trade principles.

Joining those two up gets dangerously close to the OECD ideal model and it is far from certain whether that would deliver what Scottish farmers want and need.