Ten years ago, Sweden held a referendum on joining the euro. I voted Yes – and I was not alone. A whole host of business leaders, including the Swedish CBI, the main political parties - both on left and right - and the major national newspapers, all were in favour of joining. The Swedish CBI put a record £45 million into the campaign to ditch the Swedish Krona, as the yes-side funding outspent the no-side by a factor of 10-1.
I still remember the shock when we realised we had lost, and I heard stories from close friends about how the campaign managers on the Yes-side buried their faces in their hands as devastated business leaders fumed with disappointment. Long-faced commentators and politicians made sombre TV appearances. A clear majority of Swedes – 56 per cent versus 41 per cent - had defied the establishment and said No to the euro.