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Parliament speaker defends 'right to self-determination' from Westminster

Laura Borràs travels to London to "strengthen bonds of friendship" with UK MPs


08 November 2021 05:09 PM



Catalan parliament speaker Laura Borràs defended Catalonia's "right to self-determination" from the Palace of Westminster on Monday.

The Junts per Catalunya politician described the trip as an opportunity to "strengthen the bonds of friendship" between the Catalan and British parliaments.

Borràs met with various MPs, including Dame Eleanor Laing, the deputy speaker of the House of Commons, as well as members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Catalonia, a group that was set up in March 2017 following a visit from Raül Romeva, Catalonia’s then-foreign affairs minister, to discuss matters relating to the independence push.

"This institutional exchange continues the tradition of previous Catalan parliament speakers," Borràs said. "It above all allows us to continue working towards the defense and recognition of the right to self-determination."

Former speaker Carme Forcadell, who was imprisoned for allowing debates on Catalonia's push for independence ahead of the referendum deemed illegal by Spain and released last June, visited Westminster in 2017 and met with members of the same parliamentary group. 

The ex-speaker of the House of Commons at the UK Parliament, John Bercow, expressed his support for Forcadell when she was behind bars, stating that he would accept a debate on independence in the chamber. 

"I well remember welcoming Carme Forcadell when she came to this place, it was a privilege to do so," he said in February 2019, when the trial of the independence leaders began in Spain's Supreme Court. 

Borràs also spoke of the need for the Catalan budget, which will be presented by the government on Tuesday, to be approved — but sufficient support for the bill is all but certain. There is a "desire" to pass a budget that "reaffirms the pro-independence majority that emerged from the ballot boxes."


  • Parliament speaker Laura Borràs, left, and Dame Eleanor Laing (by Nazaret Romero)

  • Parliament speaker Laura Borràs, left, and Dame Eleanor Laing (by Nazaret Romero)