CBI urges Scottish whisky manufacturers to vote no

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has urged Scotland’s whisky manufacturers to reject independence in next year’s referendum.

In a speech to Scottish business leaders at the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), CBI director-general John Cridland said the countries making up the United Kingdom are stronger than apart, highlighting common laws and regulations that make it more efficient to operate across the UK.

Mr Cridland said: “The Treasury’s analysis of the currency options available to Scotland argues that a currency union, where the UK accounts for 90% and Scotland 10% of the economy, would be problematic.

“What would happen to the currency raises many unanswered questions. I think it would be difficult to sustain success by being apart.

“Would separate embassies work as well, or have the same impact for our commercial diplomacy, for instance, as the work undertaken by the UK Foreign Office.”

The CBI represents 26,000 Scottish businesses, which between them employ about a third of Scotland’s private-sector workforce.

Mr Cridland also praised the SWA as a prime example of how well the UK works together, describing them as “the vanguard of what this country needs to achieve on export performance.”

“Your brands are known across the globe for their quality, and seemingly everyone, everywhere, wants to drink whisky. It is obviously, as George Bernard Shaw admitted, “liquid sunshine,” he said.

He added: “I want to encourage other industries to follow the global paths you’ve already trod. I believe we can work together effectively to capture your success and translate it to other parts of the economy.”