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Volume 629: debated on Tuesday 17 October 2017

I discussed Catalonia with the Spanish ambassador to the UK on 11 October. Our embassy in Madrid regularly discusses the issue with the Spanish Government. We also routinely engage with the Catalan regional Government on matters that fall properly within their competence.

The referendum provided a clear mandate for independence with over 92% of voters voting yes, despite horrific violence by the Spanish authorities. Yesterday pro-independence leaders were detained and charged with sedition. Surely the British Government and the international community should now be guided by the words of Woodrow Wilson:

“‘Self-determination’ is not a mere phrase. It is an imperative principle of actions”.

We should support the values of peace and democracy, not the forces of oppression.

It is the rule of law that needs to govern the decision affecting the future of Catalonia. We fully defend the rule of law and actively assert that this can take place only within the proper workings of the Spanish constitution.