The Catalan declaration of independence in English

It’s been a huge day in Catalonia, but it’s also a day of immense uncertainty. Rather than pontificate about a situation which is changing rapidly, and which is likely to have seen further developments by the time I got to the end of whatever it was I was writing, a more useful and informative contribution to events in Catalonia for people in Scotland would be to provide an English translation of today’s declaration of independence. This is the full text of the declaration of independence approved today (Friday 27 October) by the Catalan Parliament. The declaration is fairly lengthy and couched in legalese, but I’ve done my best to provide as literal a translation as possible. The original Catalan language text was taken from an article in the Catalan digital newspaper Vilaweb. If you speak Catalan, you can read it HERE.  All translation errors are of course my own.

To the Bureau of Parliament
Lluís M. Corominas i Díaz, president of the Parliamentary Group of Together for Yes, Marta Rovira i Vergés, spokesperson of the Parliamentary Group of Together for Yes, Mireia Boya e Busquet, president of the Parliamentary Group of the Popular Unity Candidacy – Constituent Call, Anna Gabriel i Sabaté, spokesperson of the Parliamentary Group of the Popular Unity Candidacy – Constituent Call, in agreement with that which is established in articles 151 and 152 of the rules of the parliament, present the following motions for resolution subsequent to the general debate on the application of Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution to Catalonia, and its possible effects.

Motions for Resolution

Motion for resolution 1
Declaration of the representatives of Catalonia

The deputies of the Parliamentary groups of Together for Yes and the Popular Unity Candidacy – Constituent Call signed the previous 10 of October the following:

Declaration of the representatives of Catalonia

To the people of Catalonia and to all the peoples of the world.
Justice and individual, collective and intrinsic human rights, fundamental and unrenouncable, which give sense to the historical legitimacy and the juridical and institutional tradition of Catalonia, are the basis of the constitution of the Catalan Republic.

The Catalan nation, its language and its culture have one thousand years of history. For centuries, Catalonia has endowed and enjoyed its own institutions which have exercised self-government in full, with the Generalitat as the maximum expression of the historic rights of Catalonia. Parliamentarianism has been, during periods of liberty, the pillar upon which these institutions have sustained themselves, have been channelled through the Cortes Catalanes, and which have been crystalised in the Constitutions of Catalonia.

Catalonia restores today its full sovereignty, lost and long yearned for, after decades of trying, honestly and loyally, institutional coexistence with the peoples of the Iberian peninsula.

Since the approval of the Spanish Constitution of 1978, Catalan politics has had a key role with an exemplary attitude, loyal and democratic towards Spain, and with a profound sense of statehood.

The Spanish state has responded to that loyalty with the denial of the recognition of Catalonia as a nation, and has conceded a limited autonomy, more administrative than political, and which is in the process of recentralisation, a profoundly unjust economic treatment, and linguistic and cultural discrimination.

The Statute of Autonomy, approved by the Parliament and Congress, and by the Catalan people in a referendum, would have been the new stable and lasting marker of a bilateral relationship between Catalonia and Spain. But it was a political agreement halted by the ruling of the [Spanish] Constitutional Court, and caused the emergence of new demands by the citizens.

Gathering the demands of a large majority of the citizens of Catalonia, the Parliament, the Government, and civil society have repeatedly demanded to agree [with Spain] the holding of a referendum on self-determination.

In the face of the affirmation the institutions of the [Spanish] State have rebuffed all negotiations, have violated the principle of democracy and autonomy, and have ignored the legal mechanisms available to the Constitution, the Generalitat of Catalonia has convoked a referendum in order to exercise the right to self-determination recognised in international law.

The organisation and the celebration of the referendum has brought about the suspension of Catalan self-government and the de facto application of a state of emergency.

The brutal police operation of a military nature and style orchestrated by the Spanish state against Catalan citizens has infringed, on many and repeated occasions, their civil and political rights and the principles of Human Rights, and has contravened the international agreements signed and ratified by the Spanish State.

Thousands of people, amongst whom there have been hundreds of those in elected, institutional, and professional positions linked to the communication sector, administration, and civil society, have been investigated, detained, had complaints filed against, interrogated and threatened with harsh punishment of prison.

Spanish institutions, which should have remained neutral, protected fundamental rights and arbitrated in the face of political conflict, have turned into a part and an instrument of those attacks and have left the Catalan citizenry defenceless.

Despite the violence and the repression with the intent to impede the celebration of a peaceful and democratic process, the citizens of Catalonia have voted by a majority in favour of the constitution of the Catalan Republic.

The constitution of the Catalan Republic is founded in the necessity of protecting liberty, the security and coexistence of all the citizens of Catalonia, and of advancing towards a State of law and a democracy of greater quality, and in response to the obstacle on the part of the Spanish state of making the right to self-determination of peoples effective.

The people of Catalonia are lovers of law, and the respect for the law is and shall be one of the keystones of the Republic. The Catalan state will comply with and will fulfil legally all the dispositions which make up this declaration and guarantees legal security and the maintenance of subscribed agreements will form part of the foundational spirit of the Catalan Republic.

The constitution of the Republic is a hand held out to dialogue. Doing honour to the Catalan tradition of the pact, we maintain our commitment with agreement as a form of resolving political conflicts. At the same time, we reaffirm our fraternity and solidarity with the rest of the peoples of the world, and in particular, with those with whom we share a language and culture and with the euromediterranean region, in defence of individual and collective liberties.

The Catalan Republic is an opportunity to correct the current democratic and social deficits, and to build a more prosperous, more just, more secure, more sustainable society with greater solidarity.

In virtue of all that has just been set out, we, the democratic representatives of the Catalan people, in the free exercise of the right to self-determination, and in agreement with the mandate received from the citizenry of Catalonia:

WE CONSTITUTE the Catalan Republic, as an independent and sovereign state, a state of law, democratic, and social.

WE PREPARE the entrance into law of the Law of Juridical and Foundational Transition of the Republic.

WE INICIATE the constituent, democratic process, based in the citizenry, transversal, participative, and binding.

WE AFFIRM the will to open negotiations with the Spanish State, without preconditions, addressed to establish a regime of collaboration in the benefit of both parties. The negotiations must be, necessarilty, on an equal footing.

WE MAKE AWARE the international community and the authorities of the European Union, of the establishment of the Catalan Republic, and the proposal for negotiations with the Spanish State.

WE URGE the international community and the authorities of the European Union to intervene in order to prevent the violation of civil and political rights currently in course, and to follow and to make themselves witnesses to the negotiating process with the Spanish State.

WE DEMONSTRATE the will to construct a European project which reinforces the social and democratic rights of the citizenry, as well as the commitment to continue applying, without solution of continuity and in a unilateral manner, the norms of the legal system of the European Union and those of the Spanish State and the Catalan autonomy into which this normative is transposed.

WE AFFIRM that Catalonia has the inequivocal will to integrate itself as quickly as it may be possible into the international community. The new state is committed to respecting the international obligations which are currently applied in its territory and to continuing to be part of the international treaties to which the Kingdom of Spain belongs.

WE CALL ON states and international organisations to recognise the Catalan Republic as an independent and sovereign state.

WE URGE the Government of Catalonia to adopt the necessary measures in order to make possible the full effectiveness of this Declaration of Independence and of the provisions of the Law of Juridical and Foundational Transition of the Republic.

WE MAKE a call to each and every citizen of the Catalan Republic to make ourselves worthy of the liberty which we have given ourselves and to construct a state which translates into action and conduct the collective inspiration.

WE ASSUME the mandate of the people of Catalonia expressed in the Referendum of Self-Determination of 1 October and we declare that Catalonia becomes an independent state in the form of a Republic.

Motion for resolution

The Parliament of Catalonia expresses its rejection of the agreement of the Council of Ministers of the Spanish State proposing to the Senate of the Spanish State measures in order to put into effect that which is set out in Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution. The proposed measures, on the margin of the current juridical establishment, suppose the elimination of Catalan self-government. At the same time they situate the Government of the Spanish State as a substitute for the Government of the Generalitat of Catalonia and censor the Parliament of Catalonia, a meansire which not only is not acceptable but which is an attack on democracy without precedent in the past 40 years.

We have offered negotiation and dialogue and they have answered us with Article 155 of the Constitution and the elimination of self-government; the response has been of a political firmness similar to the use of force on the 1 October.

The Parliament agrees, to urge the Government to dictate all the necessary resolutions for the development of the Law of Juridical and Foundational Transition of the Republic and in particular:

– To promulgate the necessary Decrees, giving staff and materially to the seized administrative services for the provision to citizens of the accredited documents of Catalan nationality.

– To establish the regulation for procedures for the aquisition of Catalan nationality, by reason of what is set out in article 8 and in the final latter disposition.

– To promote the subscription of a treaty of dual nationality with the government of the Kingdom of Spain, in conformity with article 9.

– To dictate, in conformity with article 12.1, the necessary dispositions for the adaptation, modification, and inapplication of local, autonomous, and state law current before the entrance into effect of the Law of Juridical and Foundational Transition of the Republic.

– To dictate, with the basis in that which is set out in article 12.3 the precise Decrees for the recovery and efficiency of the previous norms and the succession of legal systems, annulled or suspended by the [Spanish] Constitutional Court and by the remainder of the courts, laying special attention to all those regulations of taxation and other imposition, as well as those which develop tools for the struggle against poverty and social inequality.

– To promote to all states and institutions the recognition of the Catalan Republic.

– To establish the corresponding procedure and in conformity with that which is set out in article 15, the relation of international treaties which have to be kept in force, as well as those which to be found inapplicable.

– To establish, in accordance with Article 17, the regime of integration to the administration of the Generalitat of Catalonia, excepting the express renunciation of the same, of all those officials and staff of the Spanish State, who up until now have given their services to the general administration of Catalonia, to the local administration of Catalonia, Catalan universities, the administration of justice, the institutional administration of the Catalan state, or of the official and staff of the Spanish State, of Catalan nationality, who render their services outwith Catalonia.

– To make Parliament aware, of the relation of contracts, agreements and accords object of subrogation on the part of the Catalan Republic, in accordance with what is set out in article 19.

– To promote an agreement with the Spanish State for the integration of staff and the subrogation of contracts foreseen in sections IV and V, in conformity with that which is set out in Article 20.

– To agree all that which may be preceding, as well as adopting the necessary measures for the exercise of fiscal authority, the social security, customs, and land registry in accordance with what is set out in Articles 80, 81, 82, and 83, establishing if it is the case, the periods of tranfer between administrations necessary for an adequate public service.

– To promote the necessary legislative actions and measures for the creation of a public development bank in the service of a productive economy.

– To promote the necessary legislative actions and measures for the creation of the Bank of Catalonia, with the functions of a central bank, which must oversee the establishment of the financial system.

– To promote the necessary legislative actions and measures for the creation of the remaining regulatory authorities, with the functions which are inherent to them.

– To open a period of negotiations with the Spanish State, according to that which is set out in Article 82, in order to determine, if such is the case, and to which degree, the succession of the Catalan state through an agreement, to the rights and obligations of an economic and financial character assumed by the Kingdom of Spain.

– To elaborate an inventory of the goods in title of the Spanish State, pertaining to the national territory of Catalonia, to the end of making effective the succession of title on the part of the Catalan state, in conformity with that which is set out in Article 20.

– To elaborate a proposal of division of assets and liabilities between the Kingdom of Spain and the Catalan Republic, on the basis of standardised international criteria, opening a period of negotiation between the representatives of both state, subjecting the achieved agreement, if such is the case, for the approval of the Parliament of Catalonia.

The Parliament opens an investigation in order to determine the responsibilities of the Government of the Spanish State, its institutions and dependent organs in the commission of crimes relating to the violation of fundamental, individual and collective rights in order to avoid the exercise of the right to vote of the people of Catalonia the past 1 October.

This investigatory commission will be comprised of deputies from parliamentary groups and of expert persons in the national and international arenas, of the Anti-Fraud office, the Office of the Ombudsman, and the Catalan legal profession and in representation entities defending human rights, ensuring that there may be representative of international organisations.

Motion for resolution 2

Constituent process
The Parliament of Catalonia agrees:

To declare the inciation and the opening of the constituent process

To urge the government of the Generalitat to:

a) Activate in an immediate manner all the human, public and social resources as well material media at its disposal, in order to make effective the democratic constituent process, based in the citizenry, participative and binding, which must culminate with the redaction and approval of the constitution of the Republic on the part of the Parliament constituted in the Consituent Assembly which results from the constituent elections.

b) To constitute within the term of fifteen days the assessory council of the constituent process in order to advise in the deliberative constituent phase led by organised civil society.

c) To convene, diffuse, and execute the decision phase of the constituent process, gathering together the sistematised proposals to the Constituent Social Forum, submitting them to the consultation of the citizenry, which will constitute a binding mandate for the constituted Parliament in the Constituent Assembly which results from the constituent elections.

d) To convene constituent elections once all the phases of the constituent process have culminated.

To encourage all civic and social agents, within the term of one month, to constitute a promotional platform for the constitutional process or national agreement for the constitutional process.

To constitute, within the term of fifteen days, the Parliamentary Commission to follow the constituent process, with the aim of protecting but not interfering in, the task of the promotional platform, guaranteeing the deployment of its work as well as the fulfilment of the six month term legally defined for its development and conclusions.

To encourage the municipal authorities to promote constituent debates in the local sphere promoting the participation of civil society, facilitating the resources and public spaces necessary for the correct development of citizens’ debate.

Palace of Parliament 27 October 2017

Lluís M. Corominas i Díaz
President del GP JS

Marta Rovira i Vergés
Portaveu del GP JS

Mireia Boya e Busquet
Presidenta del GP CUP-CC

Anna Gabriel i Sabaté
Portaveu del GP CUP-CC

The Wee Ginger Dug has got a new domain name, thanks to Indy Poster Boy, Colin Dunn @Zarkwan. You can now access this blog simply by typing into the address bar of your browser, the old address continues to function, the new one redirects to the blog. The advantage of the new address is that it’s a lot easier to remember if you want to include a link to the blog in leaflets, posters, or simply to tell a friend about it. Many thanks to Colin.

gingercartoonWee Ginger Donations & Speaking engagements

You can help to support this blog with a Paypal donation. Just click the donate button.
Donate Button

Or you can donate by making a payment directly into a special bank account, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at and I will send the necessary information. Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.

Many thanks.

0 thoughts on “The Catalan declaration of independence in English

  1. Pingback: The Catalan declaration of independence in English | speymouth

  2. So the abominable Rajoy gets the crisis he wanted and presents himself as the saviour of Spain, the Spanish Socialists have little choice but to support him, given how unpopular Catalan independence is in the rest of Spain, and Puidgemont pushes ahead with independence when 40% of his Parliament refused to take part in the vote and when we don’t know what the outcome of an uncluttered referendum, with separatists and unionists both participating, would have been.

    Not a happy situation

  3. I know I posted this comment last thread, but this is all on everyone’s response at this point, not least the Spanish government, the UN, EU, everyone.

    What happens next will define a lot of people for a very long time.

    • I have been boycotting all Spanish goods for several weeks now and will continue to do so.
      I too recognise the new Republic of Catalonia.
      Those who stood for independence have my utmost admiration.

  4. This whole process has been an absolute shambles and a disgrace. How can any of us support a Unilateral Declaration of Independence when there hasn’t been a single poll showing majority support for independence in Catalonia? The most recent poll was commissioned by the Catalan government in July showing support at 41% for independence and 49% against. UDI in this instance is an attempt to force the will of the minority on the majority. How is this acceptable, democratic, or in any way admirable? It is nothing less than a coup d’etat. If the Scottish government was ever to attempt to implement UDI in this manner I would no longer be able to support independence. Our association with the Catalan independence movement is only going to harm our own cause. It’s time to distance ourselves from this mess.

    • You don’t need opinion polls when you had 2m people cast actual votes, in the teeth of brutal oppression, for independence.

    • With apologies for the length, Mr Gallacher, this is especially for your perusal:

      In brief – a legally constituted, democratically elected Catalan Parliament voted by a majority to hold an independence referendum. The Spanish state, claiming this was in itself an illegal act, sought to disrupt the democratic process in that referendum by various means, including violence by para-military force. Notwithstanding this, by a very large majority, those who were courageous enough to vote and whose ballot papers were not confiscated by force, voted for independence.

      The leaders of the Catalan Government subsequently sought dialogue with the Spanish state to find agreement on a way forward – this was refused out right. Then the leaders of the Catalan Government sought agreement on holding fresh Catalan parliamentary elections with certain guarantees from Rajoy’s government – this was refused. Charges of sedition rather than dialogue were Rojoy’s chosen method of resolution. The executive of the Catalan Government, rather than act by itself to declare UDI, then put the options for next steps to the democratically elected Catalan Parliament – the members of this Parliament voted today by majority for independence.

      And yes, the Spanish state claims all this is illegitimate as it is illegal under the Spanish constitution.

      But there is an alternative legal view as expressed in this statement from a UN source in recent days ( )

      Please Mr Gallacher, I suggest you read the UN statement carefully and compare what it says to the process that has been played out in Catalonia, as outlined briefly above. At the very least, I trust it may prompt you to re-consider your stark (in my view, simplistic) condemnation.

      “… While the principle of territorial integrity is important, as understood in many United Nations Resolutions, including GA Resolutions 2625 and 3314, it is intended to be applied externally, to prohibit foreign threats or incursions into the territorial integrity of sovereign States. This principle cannot be invoked to quench the right of all people, guaranteed under Article 1 of the International Covenants on Human Rights, to express their desire to control their futures.

      The right of self-determination is a right of peoples and not a prerogative of States to grant or deny. In case of a conflict between the principle of territorial integrity and the human right to self-determination, it is the latter that prevails.

      Of course, there are many peoples worldwide who aspire to self-determination, whether internal in the form of autonomy or external in the form of independence. And while the realization of self-determination is not automatic or self-executing, it is a fundamental human right that the international community should help implement.”

      The statement goes on:

      “The international law of self-determination has also progressed far beyond mere decolonization. Applying the 15 criteria contained in my 2014 report (paras 63-77), it is evident that no state can use the principle of territorial integrity to deny the right of self-determination and that arguments about the legality of actions taken by Catalonia’s elected parliament are immaterial. Such arguments do not nullify the ius cogens* character of self-determination.”

      (* an international norm from which no derogation is permitted.)

      • Stuartb. Why are you replying to my comment by talking about the right of self-determination? I am not arguing against the right of self-determination, I am arguing against UDI when there is no evidence that a majority support independence. The pro-Indy majority of members in the parliament doesn’t justify UDI. That majority was elected with 48% of the vote, and not all of that percentage can be assumed to favour independence. To make that assumption is to take a very simplistic view of Spanish/Catalan politics. We have a pro-Indy majority in Holyrood, but that in no way signifies that the Scottish government have a mandate for a Unilateral Declaration of Independence.

        SandyW. 2 million votes isn’t a majority. That apart, the normal checks and balances which you would expect in any referendum/election were not in place, so even that figure has no credibility.

        • Andrew, It might not have been a majority, but a 92% ‘Si’ vote on a 42% turnout is a pretty good indication, better than any opinion poll, of which way the wind is blowing. Extrapolating that figure for a normal turnout – that is one where the voters are not intimidated by being beaten for the simple act of voting – suggests that its pretty near impossible to get an anti-independence majority.

          There is certainly greater support for independence in Catalonia (and Scotland) than can simply be ignored by the national government. Anyway, the solution is simple, Spain could agree to hold a referendum with those normal checks and balances that you expect. Absent that, what else are the Catalans supposed to do in the face of a government that refuses to even discuss their demands?

          • Sandy. The figures quoted for the “referendum” have no credibility whatsoever. How can we take them seriously when people were printing there own ballot papers and we have evidence of people casting multiple votes? We can extrapolate or make as many assumptions as we like, but that still doesn’t justify UDI. I agree that the solution would be for the Spanish government to agree to a legal referendum, and I don’t have a simple answer as to how the pro-independence Catalans persuade the government to allow such a referendum. We do however need to acknowledge that the Spanish government’s refusal to discuss their demands isn’t as clear cut as is portrayed in the pro-independence media as there has been intransigence on both sides in this. There have also been questionable actions by both sides and a great deal of hypocrisy, but the main focus of concern for me is with the blunt instrument of UDI. I consider its use to be undemocratic unless in can be demonstrated, without doubt, that a clear majority support independence. I find it extremely worrying that many Scottish indy supporters are backing its use by the Catalan government and, more worryingly, an increasing number are advocating that we follow suit.

          • Hettie. My mind is made up with regard to UDI in this instance for the reasons I have stated (several times). If anyone is confused it is those who reply to my comments who think I am opposed to independence, self-determination, or the holding of referenda when I have made no such statements.

          • Serbia made the mistake of taking Kosov’s UDI to the UN/ICJ. The ICJ found that Kosovo’s UDI was NOT illegal under international law.

            Kosovo never even had a referendum.

            The UK immediately recognised Kosovo’s UDI as soon as it was declared, long before it ever got to the ICJ.

            The difference regarding Spain v Catalonia is that Spain is currently a member state of the EU a matter which is of far greater concern to them in terms of maintaining EU cohesion than is the case of a country, Serbia which is outside the EU or dare I say, the rUK which soon will be.

            So in that regard, It is only to be expected that the EU hopes, without any great expectation I imagine, that if they ignore it, the problem may simply go away.

            IMO it will not.

            IMO the kind of repression Madrid will follow, taking over the Catalan media, imprisoning elected representatives and depriving Catalans the right to free elections and referenda will fall foul of EU law to the point where Spain will be denied voting rights in the EU.

            If Spain, a neo-fascist state as it would then be, does not then leave the EU of its own volition then I think there will be an extraordinary summit of EU member states to decide to expel Spain as would be required because there is no existing statutory mechanism for doing so.

            If the Madrid leadership believes they have got away with it, I think they are very seriously mistaken.

            Time will tell, soon.

    • Andrew,

      The same pollsters you mention also polled the question ‘ Should Catalonia hold an independence referendum ?’ This is from Catalan News:

      ‘The question which generates the highest consensus is about the need to hold a referendum in Catalonia. 73.3% of the surveyed answered ‘yes’. Those who would oppose Catalonia’s independence have grown in 2 points comparison to CEO’s last barometer and reached 48.5%. Pro-independence supporters represent 44.3%.’

      Seems to me that the clearest majority in any situation was for actually holding the vote in the first place, and, as you claim, there has never been a majority for independence in Catalonia, just why the hell did Madrid send in the heavy mob ? They could have held the vote, watch the independence vote lose and that would have been the end of that.

      So lets get this straight, you’re against an overwhelming majority of Catalonians (73%) actually having a vote in the first place ?

      • The pretext is that the referendum was contrary to Spanish law. The real reason was that if it had taken place without interference, with unionists being urged to vote, it would most likely have failed, but Rajoy and the PPP wouldn’t have had their crisis

        • Politics indeed moves in mysterious ways! Let’s just hope that the ‘crisis’ explodes in Rajoy’s face like a trick cigar, singes the premier of Spain’s beard in fact, to coin a phrase.

      • Tartanfever. Where did I say I was against them having a vote? My comment was about my opposition to UDI when there is no evidence of a majority in support of Independence. Stewartb replied to my comment with a lecture on the right of self-determination even though I made no statement against that right. Does anyone actually read the comments properly?

        • There is stronger evidence for a majority in favour of independence than there is for a majority against it. The situation has reached the stage where the Catalans see no other choice than to declare UDI in the face of an intractable Spanish government that refuses to even discuss their demands or grant any ‘legitimate’ means for the Catalans to determine their own choice on independence – unless you have any better ideas?

        • I did read your comment, and I agree with it. Puigdemont had the option of calling an election in Catalonia, to seek a mandate for a referendum. This would have made it much more difficult for the Madrid government, and the Catalan unionists, to undermine it. Instead, he has declared independence without having adequate evidence that this is what the people of Catalonia actually want. He has not served them well.

          Rajoy, as usual, has served only himself, and made a very good job of it

          • President Puigdemont offered to hold fresh parliamentary elections if Rajoy guaranteed that the measures under Article 155 would not be invoked in the interim. Rajoy refused to consider this either, so what was Puigdemont and the parliament to do? Hold elections under the gun of Article 155, which would have enabled Rajoy’s régime to either, a) ban pro-independence candidates & parties from taking part at all, or b) allow them, but deny any such elected candidates the right to take their seats? That Rajoy intends the former is clear from the fact that he has ordered an illegitimate ‘election’ for December; he wouldn’t have called that ‘election’ if he thought his allies would lose, so he must be intending to twist the process in one of the two ways I’ve just described.

            Also, how can Catalunya exercise its right to self-determination if the state under which it lives (increasingly resembling an occupation force) won’t even permit the mechanism for expressing that right? Where there is a conflict between democracy and a state’s laws or constitution, then those laws, that constitution, must yield. Otherwise, the best which anyone could hope for anywhere would be a hobbled, enfeebled simulacrum of democracy in which nothing of any substance can ever be changed if the State refuses to ‘permit’ it.

            On the subject of the legitimacy of the result in the referendum, someone did the calculations and estimated that it would have needed a turnout of about 83% with all of that extra 40% voting ‘No’ even to make the result close. Not likely, especially when you consider the people who would have been put off voting by the presence of paramilitary cops would not by any stretch of the imagination have all been ‘antis’.

        • This is the bit I don’t understand “there is no evidence of a majority in support of Independence”. How do you arrive at that conclusion? Those who were able to vote in the Referendum (i.e. those whose polling stations were not attacked by the Guardia Civil or who were not beaten to a bloody pulp by them) voted overwhelmingly in favour of Independence. Even those who were not in favour of Independence were in favour of the referendum itself. In what way is this not democratic? I genuinely do not understand your point of view Mr Gallacher and I sincerely believe that your conclusions are faulty.

          • It’s an easy conclusion to reach. Two million votes isn’t a majority. If you consider the lack of checks and balances you would expect in any referendum/election, the fact people printed their own ballots, and the evidence of people voting multiple times, the results have no credibility. The last poll, carried out in July, commissioned by the Catalan government, showed support for independence at 41% and opposition at 49%. I’ve already made these points.
            Please don’t confuse my opposition to UDI with opposition to independence, self-determination, or the right to hold a referendum. I’ve already stated that I do not oppose any of those things, only UDI. You are conflating my stance against UDI with these other issues, despite the fact I have made no comment expressing opposition to any of them.

    • I feel you have badly missed the point, Mr Gallacher. I urge you to read StewartB’s succinct and accurate precis of the situation which demonstrates very clearly that your own appraisal is faulty. Catalonia deserves our support now more than ever … it would be a disgraceful mistake if we were to “distance ourselves from this mess”.

      • I haven’t missed his point at all, it is simply not relevant to the point I was trying to make which all of you seem to be missing, or worse, are ignoring. My comment related to the implementation of a Unilateral Declaration of Independence and my objection to its use when there is no clear evidence that a majority support independence. I at no point argued against the right of self-determination or against the holding of a referendum. How does my objection to UDI make my appraisal of the situation “faulty”? Is it really so difficult to understand that I am focusing solely on one highly significant issue? Are you seriously trying to justify UDI with an argument based on a belief that there was no other option, despite the fact that this unilateral declaration is arguably the imposition of the will of the minority view over that of the majority? There can be no justification for such an undemocratic action.

        • You are spot on. For whatever cause (and Rajoy’s machinations are certainly among them) we do not have clear evidence of majority support in Catalonia for independence. Therefore the argument from self-determination fails.

          I fear, as you must too, that my fellow-supporters of Scottish independence are drawing exactly the wrong messages from this mess.

          But I see I’ve already said this four times, so I’ll leave it there

          • Paul. What frustrates me is I make a comment expressing why I oppose UDI yet i receive replies accusing me of opposing self-determination, or the right to hold referenda, even though I have made no statement to that effect. It intensely annoys me when people put words in my mouth. Some people just see what they want to see.

      • Absolutely correct, but you can’t make a Unilateral Declaration of Independence without credible evidence of majority support either.

  5. Long live democracy long live Catalonia .I am envious and nervous for the people of Catalonia, the EU is in trouble and they need to hold together and support democracy.

  6. It does not look like the appeal for international recognition is going to get any meaningful support. The non response from EU to the violation of basic human rights has been shocking. Madrid seems to be intent on continuing with its bone headed response. Sad to say but difficult to see a happy ending.

  7. I don’t do Twitter, but I see a lot of people responding to Guy Verhofstadt who tweeted on Catalonia

    ‘As it is based on a referendum that was not only not constitutional, but lacked fundamental democratic legitimacy.’

    Don’t tell him to F-off, call out his major hypocrisy over the coup in Ukraine which he supported just a few years ago; an illegal, unconstitutional overthrow of a democratically elected government. He called for economic sanctions, the EU offered to fund ‘citizen’ led protest groups, he even visited Kiev to make a speech supporting the overthrow of government.

    Regardless of your view on Ukraine, you are either in favour of the international treaties that protect nation states from outside interference or you are not – in which case you cannot call yourself a democrat.

    So ask him if he will be resigning over his illegal interventions in the Ukrainian crisis a few years ago because what he describes in his tweet above is precisely what happened in Kiev.

  8. Thanks for this, Paul.
    Lots to ponder.
    ‘jus cogens’ applies here. International law trumps the actions of the ‘rogue state’ There is no case for Spain’s Blackshirts assaulting innocent citizens.
    It is a fundamental right to self determination that the Spanish batons and rubber bullets cannot quell.
    The next few days will be historic.
    Next week, May will attend a slap up dinner commemorating the centenary of the Balfour Declaration. (q.v. Palestine 1917.)
    The UK Government has previous form in forcible colonisation, so they are first out of the traps in prematurely condemning the Catalonian Government.
    The Old Empires still struggle on regardless.

  9. Can I add my thanks for this translation, which makes inspiring reading.

    This phrase “Catalonia restores today its full sovereignty, lost and long yearned for … ” jumped out at me.

    How I long to read, before I die, “Scotland restores today its full sovereignty, lost and long yearned for … “

  10. Thank you for the translation; it is inspirational.

    If the Spanish government believed there was insufficient support for Independence why did they not just let the vote go ahead and let the result speak for itself. Instead they condemned themselves by reacting with unprovoked violence to their own peaceful citizens.

    The EU has disgraced itself collectively and as individual countries by refusing to condemn the violence of the Spanish government.

    I support the Catelonian people in their struggle.

    • “If the Spanish government believed there was insufficient support for Independence why did they not just let the vote go ahead and let the result speak for itself”?

      Because Rajoy, the thug at the head of Spain’s rightist minority government, correctly saw how inducing this crisis would strengthen his own position. I am sure the lesson is not lost at Westminster

    • “If the Spanish government believed there was insufficient support for independence why did they not just let the vote go ahead”

      For the same reason as the UK government will not allow Indy2. In their heart of hearts they believe that the answer will be a resounding yes this time and they cannot/will not allow that!

  11. Well done paul and thanks for the translation of yesterdays declaration .

    On our state broadcasters web site we have a version of events that present one side and support for what the Spanish Government have done .

    What we dont have is any reference to the events and total barbarity of the forces brought in to stop a vote taking place , nothing about the injured people 800 or more ,the destruction of ballot boxes shutting down polling stations anything regarding the history of that region and why this has came
    about .

    The BBC in case anyone is in any doubt are a state propaganda machine that daily tries to undermine the freely elected scottish government .

    Meanwhile the waggons are being circled in order to crush any dissent voiced by the Catalonian people , the Spanish government has played a roll that Franco would have been proud of and sadly the EU by their inaction have given people second thoughts about being a part of this organisation .

  12. I wonder if any Portuguese recall at this point that a Catalonian insurrection in the 1640’s was partly instrumental in Portugal regaining its independence from Spain after a 60 year hiatus.

    But perhaps 17th century history is less important in Portugal than it is in parts of Scotland.

  13. Thanks Paul,cried last night out of happiness for Catalonia and for what might have been and what will be for Scotland ,
    Love always

  14. Pingback: Performing Catalan “Self-Determination”_(Part I) | Constitution-Making and Constitutional Change

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.