SNP facing diplomatic crisis as Catalan independence vote looms

Nicola Sturgeon could be facing a 'diplomatic crisis'
Nicola Sturgeon could be facing a 'diplomatic crisis'
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The SNP is facing a diplomatic crisis ahead of Catalonia’s proposed independence referendum.

Supporters of the SNP and campainers have urged the party to formally endorse the vote, which is scheduled for this autumn despite being declared unconstitutional by Spain.

Barcelona residents attend a recent demonstration in support of a referendum in Catalonia. Picture: AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti

Barcelona residents attend a recent demonstration in support of a referendum in Catalonia. Picture: AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti

However, Nicola Sturgeon is coming under pressure surrounding the issue to avoid a fall out with Madrid and the Spanish Government, according to The Herald.

Spain has only recently dropped threats to block any independent Scottish membership of the European Union.

It appears that the SNP will be proceeding with caution over the vote, and should the vote take place on October 1, the party will be proepared to congratulate whoever is victorious.

An alliance of Catalan independence supporters secured power last year in parliamentary elections seen by many as a strong indicator for the vote.

READ MORE: SNP MSP lodges motion in support of Catalan independence

It is understood that Madrid and Barcelona are lobbying hard behind the scenes for diplomatic support, and the SNP could face a crisis if it was to endorse either side.

Prof Keating, of Aberdeen University, said: “I would expect the Scottish Government to be very cautious. The SNP does not want to provoke Spain.”

READ MORE: Thousands protest Spain’s legal challenge to Catalan independence

When asked by The Herald if the SNP would recognise a win for Catalan independence supporters, a spokesman said that they would “congratulate” their allies before adding “these are matters for the people and the governments of Catalonia and Spain. The constitutional arrangements in Scotland and the UK are clearly different, as has been widely acknowledged. “

José Manuel García-Margallo, Spain’s foreign minister until last year, stated that if there was an independence vote, Catalonia risked becoming like one of the largely unrecognised statessaying “Without recognition [Catalonia] runs the risk of falling in to legal limbo.”