Britain 'will not recognise' Catalan independence declaration

by Abel Hampton October 28, 2017, 0:03
Britain 'will not recognise' Catalan independence declaration

"We're impatient to see the proclamation of the Catalan republic", said Natalia Torres, 19, one of thousands of students at a pro-independence march in Barcelona Thursday.

"We constitute the Catalan Republic, as an independent and sovereign country, under the rule of law", said the preamble to the resolution, read by Speaker Carme Forcadell.

Based on the vote, Puigdemont moved towards an independence declaration, but suspended it pending negotiations.

Germany "does not recognise" Catalonia's unilateral declaration of independence, a government spokesman said, calling for dialogue between the two sides.

However, a minister in Scotland's independence-minded devolved government said it respected the Catalan government action.

Spain and Catalonia have been locked in a constitutional standoff since a "Yes" vote in the unregulated plebiscite which secessionist leaders hold up as a popular mandate for independence for the region of 7.5 million people.

What happened in the Catalan parliament?

"Today our legitimate parliament ... has taken a very important step", Catalan President Carles Puigdemont said afterwards.

The measure calls for the transfer of legal powers from Spain to an independent Catalonia.

Mr Puigdemont has called for supporters to "maintain the momentum" in a peaceful manner.

In a historic day, the Catalan parliament declared independence and the Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy announced direct rule over the region, sacked the cabinet and announced new elections.

There were 214 votes in favour and 47 against.

"I ask for calm from all Spaniards".

It will allow the government to dismiss the Catalan president and regional ministers, and then take over the region's finances, policing and most until elections can be called.

How did we get here?

It has been pursuing a clampdown since an October 1 referendum, deemed illegal by Spain's government, showed support for a split among Catalans.

"The Catalan Parliament has approved something that in the opinion of the great majority of people doesn't just go against the law, but is a criminal act because it supposes declaring something that is not possible", Rajoy said today.

Tension is gripping Spain, with the national government and Catalonia's political leaders clashing over the wealthy region's recent push to secede.

But many Catalans feel they pay more to Madrid than they get back, and there are historical grievances too, in particular Catalonia's treatment under the dictatorship of General Franco.

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