NOT for EU food labelling is the latest of many twists resulting from the Boris Johnson decision to put a trading border down the Irish Sea.

Labelling is part of the plan to solve the Northern Ireland protocol issues that decision created. It will apply to all food produced in the UK and not just to those destined for Northern Ireland.

While the government deems this a 'practical and philosophical' decision under the Windsor framework to ease the protocol problems it raises wider issues, as well as costs, for the food industry.

Love them or loathe them, EU food standards are seen by many countries as the basis for doing trade. If the UK approach is to break away from EU standards it will have to convince importers its approach is equally robust in terms of health and safety. That in turn raises issues around how UK standards will be set and policed and the level of red tape that will bring to the food industry and farming.

Another question is whether this determination to break away from EU standards is more about politics that practicalities. Even those supporting Brexit would not have seen it in terms of reducing standards of consumer protection. Distance from EU standards will also make it more difficult for the UK to join the European Economic Area with countries like Norway and Switzerland.

That is perhaps what the government wants, but its isolationist approach has always been more about the internal politics of the Conservative party than the interests of business and the economy. In a week when even Nigel Farage has said Brexit has been a failure this latest initiative to shore up the project really does feel like a case of rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic's promenade deck.

The government has finally responded to years of criticism that it has lost interest in farming and food. This came from Rishi Sunak at a meeting with the industry, although the main subject was the still high price of food on supermarket shelves as global prices fall. A key issue was the availability of visas to bring more seasonal workers into the UK.

This followed criticism of this call from the home secretary and would be prime minister, Suella Braverman, who insisted there was no reason not to train British people to do this work. This demonstrated how out of touch she is with reality, failing to understand that the industry has tried this to no avail because people here will not do the jobs.

More temporary visas and more red tape were ultimately promised. This message was delivered in a hostile and negative way for those we need to come here to pull us out of a massive hole in agriculture. Sunak did admit the interests of farmers had been ignored in trade deals since Brexit and promised more consultation in the future.

This would be a big improvement on the advisory panel created by Liz Truss, but it is more window dressing than a genuine response to farmers' concerns. Indeed it probably only emerged because Kaleb, of Clarkson's Farm fame, met Sunak at the meeting and so attracted a level of media interest farmers could never hope to secure.

Ironically these comments on future trade deals emerged as the EU published its offer on reduced tariffs and tariff limits for a trade deal with Australia. This is an emotive issue in the EU, going back to UK membership in 1973 and efforts then to block southern hemisphere access to Europe via the UK. This was successful, but the concerns remain and cannot be taken lightly by Brussels.

With its Mercosur trade deal with South America blocked for more than a decade over farming and environmental concerns it does not want this to happen with Australia and New Zealand. This is why Brussels is determined to bring the industry with it on these deals. It has already warned those it is negotiating with that a deal would be blocked if they push too hard on beef, lamb and dairy access.

This is the trump card European farming has in these negotiations and it knows how and when to play it. Sadly, despite the Sunak assurances this week and his smiles and back-slapping with Kaleb for the press, this is not the philosophy in London.

Farmers will continue to regret that Brexit cost them the power that flowed from being key players in the European farming lobby on trade and other issues.