May 29 The chief executive of Diageo Plc
, the world's biggest producer of Scotch whisky, said a
decision on Scottish independence was for "the people of
Scotland to make," but said that remaining part of the European
Union was "extremely important" for Diageo and for the Scotch
CEO Ivan Menezes said remaining part of the European
Union is important because of the benefit from "free-trade
agreements around the world."
He told the newspaper that possible changes to tax
regulation and uncertainty over a future Scottish currency could
be damaging for Scotch whisky distillers. (link.reuters.com/wub79v)
"What we will fight for is keeping our industry competitive
and thriving, and we are very clear on what that requires,"
He told the Journal that Diageo had spoken to both sides of
the debate on Scottish independence. "We're being very proactive
in ensuring the health of this industry is protected," he said.
"Unlike other businesses, we cannot pick up and leave
Scotland," Menezes said. "We're there to stay."
Diageo, whose Scotch brands include Johnnie Walker, J&B,
Buchanan's, Talisker and Lagavulinand, generates about a quarter
of its 11.30 billion pounds ($18.88 billion) in annual sales
(Reporting by Aashika Jain in Bangalore; Editing by Leslie