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UK Parliament speaker says he would accept debate on independence

John Bercow says MPs should have "freedom of speech" and "immunity" and remembers jailed leader Forcadell's visit


13 February 2019 07:27 PM


ACN | Barcelona

The speaker of the House of Commons at the UK Parliament, John Bercow, said that he would accept a debate on independence in the chamber.

After a question by MP Hywel Williams, the chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Catalonia, Bercow said he would greenlight a discussion over a potential breakup of Wales.

"It is of course entirely orderly for there to be a debate in this house on Welsh independence," he stated. "Members enjoy immunity for the words they utter in this chamber, and can come to no grief as a result of their freedom of expression."

He further said that on the matter raised by Williams, he and his colleagues are "very content with [their] arrangements." "I think," concluded Bercow, "that they could, perhaps—in important respects—be imitated by others who proclaim a commitment to democracy."

Forcadell's visit

In his response, he also talked about one of the jailed leaders facing trial, Carme Forcadell, the former Catalan parliament speaker. 

"I well remember welcoming Carme Forcadell when she came to this place, it was a privilege to do so," he said. 

All-Party Group on Catalonia chair against "Spain's human rights abuses"

The chair of the All-Party Group on Catalona in the UK Parliament, Hywel Williams, said hours before the start of the Catalan referendum trial that the British government "must stand up to Spain’s human rights abuses" on the jailed leaders, whose trial started on Tuesday in the Supreme Court, in Madrid. 


  • Image of Carme Forcadell and John Bercow in the UK Parliament in July 2017 (by Catalan Parliament)

  • Image of Carme Forcadell and John Bercow in the UK Parliament in July 2017 (by Catalan Parliament)