MSPs call for independent republic of Catalonia to be recognised

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More than 20 MSPs have called on the international community to recognise an independent Catalan republic.

A Scottish Parliament motion submitted yesterday by SNP member Christina McKelvie said the European Union and other institutions had “a critical role in ensuring a peaceful, diplomatic and transparent transition of power from Spain to Catalonia”.

Pro-independence supports celebrate in in Barcelona after Catalonia's parliament voted to declare independence. Picture: Santi Palacios

Pro-independence supports celebrate in in Barcelona after Catalonia's parliament voted to declare independence. Picture: Santi Palacios

It has so far been supported by 21 MSPs, all from the SNP, since being published on the parliament website.

The full motion reads: “That the parliament calls on the international community to recognise the vote of the Catalan parliament for an independent republic of catalonia; believes that the EU, Council of Europe and all other European institutions, as well as the wider international community, have a critical role in ensuring a peaceful, diplomatic and transparent transition of power from Spain to Catalonia, and calls for peace and dialogue between the Spanish and Catalan governments, upholding human rights, democracy and what it believes is the fundamental right to self-determination.”

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Catalonia’s civil servants returned to work on Monday for the first time since Spain’s central government rejected an independence declaration last week by imposing direct control.

Madrid warned that sacked regional leaders face criminal charges if they attempt to perform any official duties.

Catalans are waiting to see if the ousted leaders will defy their firing and face arrest, escalating a political crisis that already appears to have no easy way out.

Former first minister Alex Salmond said on Sunday the EU and the UK government would be condemned for failing to speak out against violence in Catalonia.

He said: “I don’t think the Catalonian government should be in the dock, they’re pursuing the will of the Catalonian people.

“I think the EU are in the dock on this.

“My regret is their unwillingness to condemn outright the violence that we saw from the Spanish state on the people of Catalonia who were merely trying to exercise their right to vote.

“That was the guilty silence of the EU, and that applies to the UK government as well.”

Theresa May and her party have been firm supporters of the Madrid government since the hugely controversial Catalan referendum was held on October 1.

Fiona Hyslop, the Scottish Government’s external affairs spokeswoman, said in a statement last week they ‘understood and respected’ the position of the Catalan Government. “While Spain has the right to oppose independence, the people of Catalonia must have the ability to determine their own future,” she added.

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said: “This is predictable nonsense from the SNP.

“Instead of actually taking steps to make life better for constituents, their irresponsible MSPs are agitating on constitutional matters hundreds of miles away.”