12 Apr 2014

Scottish whisky needs diplomatic support offshore

1:01 pm on 12 April 2014

Whisky makers have entered the debate over Scottish independence. Whisky is Scotland's second largest export after oil and gas.

Exports in 2013 were £4.3 billion, representing around 85 percent of Scottish food and drink exports and nearly a quarter of the British total. Since 2000, exports of whisky have increased more than 60 percent.

The Scotch Whisky Association said on Friday it needs the continued backing of an effective international diplomatic network with commercial expertise and capacity to influence.

The United Kingdom has about 270 diplomatic posts in 160 countries.

An independent Scotland would have only 70 to 90 overseas posts.

The referendum will be held on 18 September. Pro-independence campaigners are starting to gain ground in opinion polls.