Catalonian independence vote reignites Scotland’s call for UK split
Catalans were attacked by the Spanish Civil Guard as they voted in an independence referendum ruled illegal by the Constitutional Court of Madrid.
The region declared independence on Sunday night after the results were in, but Spain is refusing to recognize the validity of the vote.
Violent clashes between police and protesters were streamed on global news channels, leading to calls for the European Union to intervene and punish Spain.
But in Scotland, the debate took a different turn.
The campaign for Catalan independence has reignited the desire for a Scotland separated from the rest of the UK.
Scots took to Twitter to call for another referendum on leaving the United Kingdom, despite the ‘no’ vote in 2014.
Scottish people gathered outside the Spanish consulate in Edinburgh, waving both Scottish and Catalonian flags.
“We back the Catalans,” Rory Steel, a leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) youth wing, told AFP. He said a delegation of 20 will soon travel to Catalonia.
“We’re basically going over to find out a bit more about them, trade our experiences and expertise and that sort of thing, but also to support them.”
Others blasted BBC Scotland for what it called minimal coverage on the events as they unfolded.
“BBC Scotland is an arm not of Scotland, but of the British state,” one man tweeted.
“It can’t cover the Catalan situation because the UK Govt backs Madrid.”
SNP leader and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, together with Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) called on authorities in Spain to engage with the Catalonian Government.
A letter to Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was drafted by MSP Ross Greer and backed by cross party members.
“We come from a range of political traditions, with differing views on Scotland’s constitutional future and a collective neutrality on the question being posed to the Catalan people but we are united in our belief in democracy,” it read, according to the BBC.
“The Spanish government claim to be acting in defence of democracy, but threats of legal action against hundreds of democratically-elected representatives and repressive acts against an elected government, media organizations and citizens are in no way democratic acts.
“The recent arrest of a Catalan government minister and a number of government staff was a particular violation of the norms of European democracy.”
Now, the issue is being compared to Scotland by those who want a second referendum.
“Catalan fought Franco and his pals for decades,” one man said on Twitter.
“It’s where Barcelona is. They want out, like Scotland.”
“Scotland must as a European nation be the first to recognize Catalan as an independent nation and Friend,” another said.
“Much love to the Catalan people from Scotland. Catals, Scots, Irish and Palestinians in solidarity,” another added.
You’d plenty to say on our peaceful & democratic No vote from Scotland and Leave vote from UK. Yet you do nothing with Catalonia. United EU?— paul baxter (@paulbaxter614) October 2, 2017
Others were extremely critical of the two situations being compared.
“The Catalan issue is terrible & the Spanish response outrageous but don’t compare to Scotland, you have a referendum and you voted to remain,” one man tweeted.
“The #SNP jumping on the #Catalan bandwagon. #Scotland is a country with own parliament, law, education sports teams, flag,” another added.