'It would be great to hear a pro-Brexit advocate from 2016 explaining now which agricultural red tape they were promising to scrap and setting out how that has happened'

Watching Clarkson's Farm and his battle with a small-minded local council over everything he is doing, I had a lightbulb moment about Brexit.

Many farmers voted to leave the EU on the strength of promises from now disgraced politicians that this would eliminate the red tape of the CAP. That was an alluring prospect, but as we know reality has been very different.

The Clarkson experience was akin to a horror film, where the hero barricades the doors – only to find the threat was in the house all the time.

The obstacles Clarkson faces are entirely home-grown. They never would have had anything to do with EU membership – instead, they would have related solely to the farming operation and the funding it would have received then through the CAP.

UK officialdom just loves red tape and creating obstacles to thwart businesses and individuals. In the past, they were able to do this under the guise of rules from Brussels, which they gold-plated more than any other member state.

Now, when outside the EU, they cannot blame it for regulation – but this has not blunted their enthusiasm for frustrating businesses. It will never happen, but it would be great to hear a pro-Brexit advocate from 2016 explaining now which agricultural red tape they were promising to scrap and setting out how that has happened.

The reality is that we still have the same regulations as the EU and the same green policies, but without the trade advantages of EU membership or the financial certainty of the CAP.

Brexit could have been a great opportunity for the UK to be different and in agriculture one way would have been to embrace science to deliver on the promises of making UK farming progressive and globally competitive.

It is easy to brand the EU anti-science, because of its politically driven stance on genetic modification. That remains and it is still facing difficulties around gene editing and its plans to eliminate half of pesticides from agriculture.

That said, it is not against technology being used to deliver in areas such as climate change mitigation and the environment. The European Commission recently held its annual AgriResearch conference in Brussels and stressed that climate change was a double-sided issue for farmers – with droughts and floods they are in the front line as victims but also a key part of the solution.

This is the backdrop for the technical ideas and science the EU wants to pursue and fund and which the UK could be part of if the government ever gets around to committing to Europe's Horizon science programme.

The Brussels' view is that agriculture is facing its greatest ever challenge of 'resilience and adaptability' as a result of extreme weather events, with technology part of the solution. It cites as examples a new EU-wide soil strategy, the CAP green deal and research areas to make fertiliser production and use more efficient and less environmentally damaging.

Its thinking may not be perfect and in science a lot of frogs are kissed in the hope of finding a prince. But to its credit Brussels has a road map of the policies it wants to pursue, while in agriculture Brexit seems to have left the UK government a classic rebel without a cause, or should that be without a clue.

One of the big benefits of the CAP is the financial security it brings – and brought to the UK. This was underpinned by the crisis reserve in the CAP and as things remain difficult because of extreme weather, the war in Ukraine and general market problems the EU is about to empty its full reserve of around £200m for 2023.

When it comes down to individual farm level, this may not amount to a lot, but it will put pressure on member states to top up the funding from Brussels to make it more meaningful.

However, this is not solely about the funding, the crisis reserve and plans to make it more meaningful and flexible in response to problems is in many ways a sign that the EU still cares about farming. It values it as an industry, as the foundation of a European food brand and the driver of diverse rural communities.

That is part of the EU psyche and a photo opportunity 'summit' in Downing Street is no substitute for thought out, properly-funded post-Brexit agricultural policies.