The political implications of the split between the SNP and Greens in Scotland have been well played out.

This has an added twist because some very raw politics are being played out in the run-up to a general election. It came about because the Greens could not accept a rolling back of an always unrealistic target for Scotland to go it alone with a net zero target.

This led to a wholesale exodus of toys from prams on both sides, but what is happening is not unique to Scotland. Across Europe reality is beginning to eclipse enthusiasm for green causes. That will become more evident after the European parliament election in June.

The Greens have been a small but significant force, but it is possible that the far right will be a greater force in the new parliament – ironically party driven by opposition to the imposition of green policies from Brussels.

Whether this comes about depends on the ability of those two groups to get their supporters to the ballot box. Green issues are more important to younger people, but they are notoriously difficult to persuade to vote. By contrast the far right is an effective machine at convincing its core supporters to vote.

Rural communities and poor urban areas are where disillusion with the EU is a recruiting force for the far right. In a world that feels a lot less secure than when the last European elections were held the idealism of the green movement may not be enough to maintain them as a major political force. This is different to what has happened in Scotland, but it is still a clash between idealism and pragmatism.

For many in EU rural communities the final straw triggering a revolt against green policies was the flagship mature restoration legislation.

This is about returning 20% of EU farm land to nature by 2030, a goal as over-ambitious as the target that split the Greens and SNP in Scotland. Late in the day the European Commission’s president, Ursula von der Leyen, has been seen to publicly support her own nature restoration legislation.

But she has timed this with the knowledge that it is probably too little, too late to save it. This is legislation opposed by her own European Peoples Party, which she needs to support her bid for a second term as EU president. It is also legislation that is facing growing opposition from member states and not only those now on the right wing of European politics.

Countries are withdrawing their support and the politics make it increasingly unlikely that Brussels will seek to force through unpopular legislation, just to tick a green box.

The power of the green movement has been a major influence on European politics for a long time. It became the most effective lobby in Brussels, with the ear of officials and politicians. It successfully changed attitudes and drove the issue of climate change up the agenda, at a cost to other policies.

The truth and reality about conventional versus green farming was deliberately blurred and until recently food security was not seen as an absolute priority for the EU. This, rightly, frustrated farmers but until now they faced a green juggernaut that seemed incapable of being stopped. But just as that movement grew exponentially there are signs now it may have peaked.

This is no fault of the greens, but reflects a change in attitudes, as other issues move up the EU agenda. Going forward the three big issues identified for the EU are security, particularly related to the Russia/Ukraine conflict, migration and maintaining member state unity. This contrasts with early days of the present Commission, when climate change and the drive to net zero were identified as priorities, leading to the EU’s Green Deal and all that has flowed from it.

As the Greens walk away from government in Scotland it is for them to decide what has been achieved and to write their own end of term report. Agriculture has not fared well politically in the post-Brexit years, suffering from a failure to recognise that food production can deliver green outcomes indeed possibly greener outcomes than manipulated policies to improve biodiversity on farms.

The coming weeks will be interesting in Scotland, but at a European level the fast approaching June elections to the European parliament will be the real test of whether the green bandwagon has finally run out of road, as people’s priorities shift to reflect our much more uncertain world.