Britain will not recognise Catalonia's break from Spain, says Downing Street

Lucy White
Preparations Are Made Leading Up To The Catalan Independence Referendum
Catalonia's vote to be independent from Spain was revealed yesterday (Source: Getty)

Prime Minister Theresa May has said the UK will not recognise the Catalan parliament's declaration of independence from Spain, according to a statement released by Downing Street yesterday evening.

May's announcement came as the results of a vote in the region revealed yesterday that separatist parties had won a majority to split from Spain.

Read more: Catalonian separatist parties vote for independence from Spain

At a time when May needs all the support she can garner from EU leaders to help further Brexit negotiations, her response did not come as a surprise.

“The UK does not and will not recognise the unilateral declaration of independence made by the Catalan regional parliament,” the Downing Street statement read.

“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.”

Read more: Investors dump Catalonian bank shares as separatists prepare independence bid

However, the UK's own devolved regions appeared to have differing opinions on the matter.

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood urged the Welsh Assembly to recognise Catalonia as an independent state, and said: “I congratulate the Catalan people on gaining their independence through peaceful and democratic means.”

Scotland's external affairs secretary Fiona Hyslop said the people of Catalonia should be able to “determine their own future", and added that the imposition of direct rule “cannot be the solution”.

This comment came as the Spanish government stripped Catalonia's most senior police officials of their power, announced the dissolution of the regional Catalan parliament and called snap local elections.

The EU, the US, Germany and France have also all declared their support for Spanish unity.

Read more: Spain to dismiss Catalonian leaders and Madrid to take control of region's ministries

Related articles