The Queen’s Speech is meant to signal a time of renewal for the UK government, a point of refresh as it refocuses its official priorities for the parliamentary year ahead.

For the food sector, however, the day in Westminster has only brought a weary sense of déjà vu. Not necessarily because of the Queen’s Speech itself, which was delivered by Prince Charles, but rather Liz Truss’ sideshow to the pageantry in which the foreign secretary reignited the age-old pledge to scrap parts of the Northern Ireland protocol.

To be fair to Truss, her team’s briefing to the Times last night insisted this bill would go much further than expected and explicitly scrap those parts of the protocol the UK disagrees with, rather than simply offering ministers the power to do so.

But this is tiring stuff for businesses trading across the Irish Sea. Not just because it is yet another iteration of a wannabe-strongarm tactic – one this government has deployed time and again in the press before rowing back on in the negotiating room – but because this latest briefing in particular is so clumsy it is hard to take too seriously.

Truss has reportedly been warned her plans could trigger a trade war, and unsurprisingly the tactics have landed poorly in Brussels by all accounts. Were the UK to follow through on its plan, it would provoke the EU and the US, as well as the newly elected majority of representatives in Stormont who favour keeping the NI protocol, albeit with some tweaks. Is the UK really willing to make itself such a domestic and global pariah while it battles mounting inflation and a cost of living crisis?

We can only assume that, given the current line of thinking is to try and give NI businesses the power to decide themselves which region’s rules they follow, this may not be a policy entirely thought through.

The Queen’s Speech, for what it’s worth, contained little to get excited about for food businesses. The Brexit Freedoms Bill will make it easier to amend transposed EU laws and cut £1bn of “burdensome EU red tape for business”, although this is potentially more a housekeeping exercise than anything else. The controversial gene-editing technology looks set to finally get the go-ahead, and the Australia and New Zealand trade deals will get legal underpinning, although neither agreement is likely to have any significant effect on British food trade in itself.

In fact, given the focus on ‘Brexit freedoms’, perhaps more notable than what’s included is what’s not. Fishing and agriculture, two industries supposed to benefit more than most from the UK’s departure from the EU, are not mentioned, despite the existential crunch facing large parts of both sectors.

And any hopes of a ‘food bill’ to legally underpin the upcoming response to the National Food Strategy also fell flat. It is widely hoped the report will formulate a coherent strategy for an overhaul of the food system, one that delivers healthy and sustainable diets in the face of a cost of living crisis that is only getting worse. Without legal back-up, however, there are doubts as to how much difference it will really make.

None of this is to say Boris Johnson is ignoring food altogether. Just yesterday he spent a balmy day in Downing Street showcasing the ‘best of British’ businesses which are exporting their goods around the world, from a Welsh cheddar maker to a Scottish vertical farm.

It was a jovial day by all accounts. It’s the type of environment in which the PM thrives, and a story of successful small exporters is a narrative anyone can get behind. It’s just a shame those doomsayers warning of an EU trade war and worsening inflation are spoiling the mood.