Olli Rhen was the European commissioner with responsibility for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro. He left this post in July. There is no reason to think that Mr. Rhen has any personal position on independence for Scotland. So any statement he makes on the currency issue for an independent Scotland has to be given credibility.
According to the Guardian, Mr. Rhen has written to the Chief Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Danny Alexander, to make clear the currency position of an iScotland applying to join the EU. He claims that iScotland must either have a currency agreement with rUK, i.e. the Bank of England, or else it must have its own central bank. To use Sterling without a formal agreement with Westminster would not satisfy the entrance requirements (http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/sep/02/indepdent-scotland-not-join-eu-without-central-bank?).
This must be a heavy blow to the Yes Scotland movement, which has been on a massive upswing since its leader Alex Salmond trounced Better Together leader Alistair Darling in a second debate broadcast nation-wide on 25 August. A YouGov poll published yesterday (2 September) showed that a swing of only 3% would bring the two sides neck-and-neck (http://research.yougov.co.uk/news/2014/09/02/support-scottish-independence-jumps-47/) and claimed that support for No had “collapsed”. The Yes Scotland campaign to win over women voters is expected to have gained from a heavily-criticised Better Together videoclip (see previous blogg) and there is a groundswell of pro-independence reporting in the media.
All is not lost for the Yes Scotland position, which is that a currency union is in the best interests of both the rUK and iScotland. Such an agreement would make the Bank of England also the central bank of Scotland. However, the political price of such an arrangement has gone up.
Currency agreement in exchange for Trident, anyone?
NOTE: as this blog is aimed at Swedish people, it has so far been published in Swedish. Articles have been checked for grammar by native Swedish speakers. As the rate of the debate increases, this is no longer feasible. Given that all Swedes interested in this subject can read English, I believe that the change to English will not cause them any difficulties. I would like to publically thank Maj Hasselgren and Lars Jannerdal for thier generous help.