IT is good news that inflation has finally dipped by more than forecast, although at 7.9% it remains damaging and far above the Bank of England's 2% target rate.

This was largely led by lower fuel costs and the food inflation rate, which is what people notice daily, remains high. UK inflation is at the top end of European countries and the food rate is higher than in most EU member states.

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A report this week showed people are switching to discount chains and trading down. Farmers need to be making clear that via lower prices for commodities they have been playing their part.

The industry should be joining any calls to ask questions about why prices are still rising when farmers are being paid less, with a suspicion that like fuel price margins food inflation is being used to boost supermarkets finances.

The government sought to talk up this marginal reduction as good news, when in reality it is a case of things not being quite as bad for reasons unrelated to anything politicians have done. It also tried to talk up its new membership of the trans-Pacific trade partnership, despite the UK being half a world away with no geographical connection to the Pacific.

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It hailed this as a Brexit success and as an example of the UK walking tall on the trade stage. In reality UK experts say it will add around 0.1% to economic wealth (GDP) over the next ten years. It will have little export potential for agriculture, but will open the doors to more cheap food.

It is a trade deal more to do with politics than business, in that it seeks to prove Brexit offers new opportunities. However, key countries that are members of that trade group, including Canada. Mexico and Japan have existing trade deals with the EU, which the UK was part of as a member states.

Australia and New Zealand as significant players have separate trade deals with the UK and are close to securing better for farmers trade deals with the EU.

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The EU is as keen as any other trade blocs to get deals in place, but its is more reluctant to sell out farmers. This is because trade deals have to be ratified unanimously by member states and if one objects then the deal fails – as has been the case with the South American Mercosur deal for many years.

After three days in Brussels this month the Australian trade minister left with negotiations stalled over access for beef on reduced or zero tariffs. The EU had offered 25,000 tonnes; Australia wanted the 50,000 tonnes deal it secured with Canada, but the EU would not negotiate beyond the low thirties.

This is a reminder that with Brexit we walked away from a trade bloc that wants global free trade, but is willing to make a stand on for farmers and rural communities.

The vote last week in the European Parliament on the European Commission's nature restoration legislation really was a case of 'close but no cigar' for the farming lobby. This legislation will reverse many gains by agriculture and is on top of already tough green regulations. Before the vote in the parliament it had been rejected by both the agriculture and environment committees; the biggest parliamentary group – the European people's party – opposed it.

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The farming lobby thought it had the votes for an historic victory that would have reset relations with the manipulative green lobby, but a number of MEPs went against their groups and the legislation was passed by 336 to 300 votes, with 13 abstentions. A technical motion to block the plan completely was more narrowly lost – by 324 to 312, with 12 abstentions.

Having come so close COPA, the umbrella body for EU farm unions, was disappointed and frustrated. It described concessions as meaningless and said what had emerged was unworkable legislation, without a proper budget.

This will give the green lobby a new boost its its bid to block gene editing or novel genomic techniques and to secure far-reaching cuts in pesticide use. If the UK government wants to show that Brexit can deliver it would be better distancing itself from any policies in this direction that will threaten food security, instead of grandstanding over a trade deal even its own experts deem economically irrelevant.