david cameron

Low turnout expected for British nationals in Spain for UK general elections 2015

May 7, 2015 01:10 AM | Shobha Prabhu-Naik Garaialde

Spain is home to around 300,000 registered British nationals, 20,000 of whom reside in Catalonia and retain the right to vote in the forthcoming general elections in the UK on the 7th of May, according to date from the Spanish Statistics Institute given in 2014. The election this year is especially important as polls suggest that no combination of parties will win a stable majority which could be the end of the road for a strong government. Moreover, the election is more important than usual for British nationals living in Spain as in the rest of Europe as Cameron has promised that a Conservative victory will renegotiate Britain’s relations with the EU and put the result to an in/out referendum on membership by the end of 2017. A British exit from Europe could potentially lead to British nationals abroad facing several difficulties in regards to freedom of movement across Europe. On the other hand, May 7th could also mark the point of no return for the troubled union between England and Scotland, due to a surge in support for the secessionist Scottish National Party (SNP).

Catalonia's self-determination is "strengthened" by UK's "democracy lesson", states Catalan President

September 19, 2014 06:32 PM | ACN

A few hours after the Scottish people decided to remain within the United Kingdom through a referendum, the Catalan President and the Spanish Prime Minister congratulated the Scots, although they sent completely different messages. Through a recorded video message, Spain's PM, Mariano Rajoy, stated that Scotland has rejected the "severe consequences" of "splitting up from the UK and the EU". Rajoy stressed that Scots have chosen "between security and true risks" and that the vote "has strictly respected legality". In a press conference, the Catalan President, Artur Mas, stated that the UK has given the world "a democracy lesson". Mas stated that Catalonia's self-determination process is "strengthened" by the Scottish referendum. He insisted that his main priority is not independence but allowing the Catalan people to vote on their future.

‘The Economist’: “it is wrong to insinuate” that Scotland and Catalonia “could never join the EU”

February 21, 2014 07:17 PM | ACN

The prestigious publication reacted to the speculations on the inclusion of independent Catalonia and Scotland in the EU. “It is wrong to insinuate that newly independent states could never join the EU”, stated ‘The Economist’ in its latest edition. However, the British magazine also stressed that these two cases have no precedents in Europe and therefore warned that it would be “dishonest to pretend that accession would be quick or easy” for the two nations. Indeed, according to the EU officials quoted in the article, “it would take at least four to five years to negotiate and ratify” Catalonia and Scotland’s EU full-right membership. ‘The Economist’ also scolds the President of the European Commission for having compared the “peaceful referendums in western Europe” to the “violent break-up of a Balkan country”.

David Cameron: "let the people decide" and do not "ignore questions of nationality, independence, identity"

June 13, 2013 01:06 AM | CNA

The British Prime Minister David Cameron answered a question referring to Scotland’s self-determination process and he indirectly compared it to Catalonia’s situation. He stated that he “doesn’t believe” that trying “to ignore these questions of nationality, independence, identity” is the right way. Cameron thinks “it’s right to make your arguments, take them on and then you let the people decide”. However, without being asked about it, he linked it to the Catalan case by adding he “would never presume to tell people in Spain how to meet these challenges themselves”. He concluded by saying that “it’s a matter for the Spanish Government and the Spanish Prime Minister” to decide how to handle the situation.

A Westminster report states that an independent Scotland would be EU Member State from first day

October 31, 2012 08:53 PM | CNA

The report, published by the British Parliament, has been drafted by a senior expert on the enlargement of the European Union, Honorary Director-General of the European Commission and Senior Adviser at the European Policy Centre. The arguments in the document also apply to the Catalan case. The text states that “for practical and political reasons [Scottish people] could not be asked to leave the EU and apply for readmission” since “having been members of the EU for 40 years, [they] have acquired rights as European citizens”. The analysis concludes that “negotiations on the terms of membership would take place in the period between the referendum and the planned date of independence” and that “the EU would adopt a simplified procedure for the negotiations”.