MSPs urge Spanish government to engage with the people of Catalonia 'democratically'

Written by Kate Shannon on 25 September 2017 in News

A letter signed by 18 MSPs said the escalation of tensions over the proposed independence referendum can only be resolved through political action and dialogue

Catalonian flags: Picture credit - PA

A cross-party group of Scottish politicians have united to urge the Spanish government to allow the people of Catalonia to decide their future democratically.

In a letter signed by 18 MSPs from all parties and addressed to Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Brey, the politicians said that the escalation of tensions over the proposed independence referendum can only be resolved through political action, dialogue and by allowing the people to “express their will democratically”.

It follows rising tensions in Spain, after the devolved Catalan administration decided to call an independence referendum on 1 October, which the central government has described as illegal.

The Scottish Greens’ external affairs spokesperson, Ross Greer MSP, drew up the letter.

He said: “As MSPs we represent a spectrum of opinions on Scotland’s own constitutional debate and it’s certainly not for us to tell the Catalan people what choices they should make.

“As democrats and parliamentarians however, we must defend the right of peoples across the world to decide their own future and the right of elected representatives to carry out their duties to the people without feat of arrest.

“To see a state at the heart of Europe take such oppressive actions against its own people is simply unacceptable.

“The UK and Spain may be different places with different constitutional traditions but in Scotland we have proven that such significant questions can be answered through peaceful debate and dialogue.

“The Spanish government must try to find a political solution to this situation. The alternative, of arresting government staff and senior officials, raiding the offices of newspapers and political parties and deploying an increasingly militarised police against a democratic movement of citizens, is a dark road to go down.”

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