The United Kingdom “does not and will not recognise” Catalonia’s declaration of independence from Spain, Downing Street confirms.
“The UK does not and will not recognise the unilateral declaration of independence made by the Catalan regional parliament,” said by a statement from Theresa May’s spokesperson, which indicates the UK wants to see the unity of Spain preserved.
“It is based on a vote that was declared illegal by the Spanish courts. We continue to want to see the rule of law upheld, the Spanish constitution respected, and Spanish unity preserved”, the statement stressed further.
UK’s declaration comes after European leaders’ comments on Catalonia’s parliament vote to declare independence.
There were words of support from Scotland and Wales, with Scotland’s External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop saying “people of Catalonia must have the ability to determine their own future”, adding that the imposition of direct rule “cannot be the solution“.
Plaid Cymru leader, Leanne Wood also insisted that Catalonia deserved autonomy, adding the Catalan people should be “commended for continuing to reject violence even though they have faced brutality from the Spanish state“.
Following suit of UK’s position, however, Germany threw its support behind Spain, saying it did not recognise “such a declaration of independence“.
Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Berlin supported the “clear position” of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in his bid to restore calm and order, adding that he hoped “all involved will use the remaining possibilities for dialogue and de-escalation“.
Similarly, French President, Emmanuel Macron also gave his full support to Spain, telling journalists on a visit to French Guiana that: “I have always said that I have one interlocutor in Spain, it is Prime Minister Rajoy.”
“Mr Rajoy had his full support“, he said.
The European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who was accompanying Macron during his statement said it was important to avoid “fractures” in the bloc, adding that he “does not want a situation where, tomorrow, the European Union is made up of 95 different states“.
“We need to avoid splits, because “we already have enough splits and fractures and we do not need any more“, he said.
Also earlier on Friday, European Council President Donald Tusk hinted that nothing had changed for the EU, adding that he hopes the Spanish government “favours force of argument, not argument of force“.