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Spain’s position regarding an independent Scotland “depends on the UK”

The Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, José Manuel García-Margallo, has stated that the Spanish Government's position regarding the independence of Scotland and its inclusion in the EU will depend on the British Government. The “crucial” point will be whether London considers the process to be legal or not. This statement was made after a Catalan MP accused the Spanish Government of being “allergic to ballot boxes”. Indeed, the Spanish Prime Minister had expressed quite a different opinion on the subject, in November. He had stated that if Scotland and Catalonia became independent, they would be excluded from the EU, and would have to re-apply for membership, also suggesting a possible veto from Madrid.

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18 December 2013 08:35 PM

by

ACN

Madrid (ACN).- The Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, José Manuel García-Margallo, has stated on Wednesday that the Spanish Government's position regarding the independence of Scotland and its inclusion in the EU will depend on the British Government. Therefore, he has suggested that in the event of an independent Scotland, recognised as such by the UK, Spain could also acknowledge its existence. Furthermore, Spain’s views on Scotland’s EU Membership will also depend on London’s stance on the issue, meaning that Spain would probably not veto such a decision. In short, the Spanish Government’s position will depend on the “crucial” point whether London considers the process to be legal or not. This statement was made after an MP from the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC), Alfred Bosch, accused the Spanish Government of being “allergic to ballot boxes”. Indeed, the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, had expressed quite a different opinion on Scoatland’s case in November. Rajoy had stated that if Scotland and Catalonia became independent, they would be excluded from the EU and would have to re-apply for membership. The statement sounded like a threat, particularly when he added that this situation “is not simple”, since “it requires […] re-applying for membership and the unanimity” from the 28 current Member States, suggesting a possible veto from Madrid to Scotland's EU membership.


The Catalan MP exclaimed on Wednesday before the Spanish Parliament: “The British Government embraces vote, you embrace veto; they embrace democracy, you prohibition”. Bosch added that the Spanish Government “has a problem: they have ballotboxes-phobia, panic at the sight of ballot boxes”. Regarding the situation in Catalonia, and following the announcement of a self-determination vote question and date, Margallo repeated “The Spanish Nation is indivisible”.

Margallo said the Spanish Government’s position will depend on the one adopted by the British Executive and that the “crucial” point will be whether London considered the process to be legal or not.

Constitutional and international law have to be respected

The Minister stated the Scottish and the Catalan cases were very different, with only three things in common: they will “exclude themselves from the EU” if they choose to become independent, they “must be recognised as states by the international community and the 28 Member States” and the British and Spanish Governments will “follow scrupulously constitutional and international law”.
 
“The Spanish Nation is indivisible”, according to Margallo

Margallo has stressed that the Spanish Constitution says the Spanish sovereignty belongs to the “whole people” and that the “Spanish nation is indivisible”. “It is a principle reflected in all written constitutions, except in Ethiopia”, he explained. The Minister insisted that the Spanish Government will devote “all of its efforts” to avoid “seeing the Catalans affected by the consequences of an initiative that brings Catalonia to a dead-end”, thereby referring to the self-determination vote which was announced by Catalan parties last week.

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  • The Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister, José Manuel García Margallo, a few weeks ago (by ACN)

  • The Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister, José Manuel García Margallo, a few weeks ago (by ACN)