SCOTS MEP Alyn Smith has reassured Scotland’s farmers that he is still working hard to keep them in the EU.

Mr Smith also highlighted new European Parliament moves that will improve the lot of EU farmers – and would benefit Scots too, were they to remain under the Common Agricultural Policy.

The parliament's Agriculture Committee has made amendments to the 'Financing, Management and Monitoring' regulation, urging that the agricultural crisis reserve should be financed as an addition to the CAP direct payments and rural development funding.

MEPs also voted in favour of reduced red tape for farmers, endorsing a shift from a system based on checking that beneficiaries comply with detailed rules to a new performance-based one, focused on achieving results as defined in national strategic plans. Member states should report their achievements to the Commission once every two years, not every year.

Mr Smith said: “This is good news for Europe’s farmers, and in a just world it would be good news for Scotland’s farmers too.

“A society that doesn’t support its farmers is a society doomed to failure, and Westminster would do well to keep that at the forefront of its collective mind.

“For my part, I’ll be in the European Parliament speaking up for our farmers and the agricultural industry for as long as I can," he said.

Committee rapporteur Ulrike Müller MEP said: “I have drafted my report based on two objectives – simplifying administration and making institutions more transparent. The report adopted today delivers on both of these objectives, for the benefit of member states, farmers and citizens alike."