Hyslop’s ‘respect’ for Catalan independence declaration

Unionist lawmakers protesting yesterday's vote in Catalan capital Barcelona.
Unionist lawmakers protesting yesterday's vote in Catalan capital Barcelona.

Linlithgow MSP Fiona Hyslop has been congratulated by SNP colleagues for her response to yesterday’s seismic events in Catalonia.

The embattled Spanish region has signally failed to win outright support from the EU, with the UK among those stressing the rule of law must be upheld.

Nevertheless Linlithgow and East Falkirk MP Martyn Day says he’s “delighted” with the Scottish government response to yesterday’s historic declaration of independence in Catalonia.

The highly controversial move by the Catalan government immediately prompted the Spanish government to announce that it will seize control of the region, while Spain’s prime minister said the declaration was a criminal act.

While the UK and the EU have not recognised Catalan independence, Mr Day endorsed comments made by Linlithgow MSP Fiona Hyslop in her role as cabinet secretary for culture, tourism and external affairs, which he said demonstrated “true diplomacy”.

Ms Hyslop said: “We understand and respect 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.

“Today’s Declaration of Independence came about only after repeated calls for dialogue were refused.

“Now, more than ever, the priority of all those who consider themselves friends and allies of Spain should be to encourage a process of dialogue to find a way forward that respects democracy and the rule of law.

“The imposition of direct rule cannot be the solution and should be of concern to democrats everywhere.

“The European Union has a political and moral responsibility to support dialogue to identify how the situation can be resolved peacefully and democratically.”

The Foreign Office has not issued a new statement since yesterday’s vote, but had earlier warned of the likelihood of “further demonstrations in Barcelona and other areas of the Catalonia region wich may occur with little or no warning”.

It has warned British visitors to exercise caution and expect disruption to transport services.

Flights to Spain on Britain’s two biggest airlines, British Airways and easyJet, are so far unaffected.