Spain's Deputy Prime Minister officially takes control of Catalonia

Lucy White
Catalan Independence Rally In Barcelona
Rallies in support of Catalonia's independence went on into the night (Source: Getty)

The Spanish government has officially taken hold of Catalonia this morning, after the north eastern region declared independence from Spain yesterday.

Early this morning an official state bulletin dismissed Catalan leaders and installed Spain's Deputy Prime Minister, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, to lead the region.

The news followed Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's announcement last night that Catalonia's senior police officers would be stripped of their powers, and the region's parliament dissolved.

Pro-independence demonstrations went on into the night in the Catalan capital of Barcelona, while a unity rally is expected to take place in the Spanish capital of Madrid today.

British Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday stated that the UK would not recognise Catalonia as a separate state, despite expressions of support for the independence vote from prominent politicans in both Scotland and Wales.

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

May will be reluctant to say anything which could rock the boat with EU leaders, who have also called for Spanish unity, as Brexit negotiations continue.

The controversy over Catalonia's referendum began in earnest as Spain's Constitutional Court declared the vote illegal,

Despite attempts to prevent it, the vote went ahead. The Catalan government said that of the 43 per cent of potential voters who took part, 90 per cent were in favour of a split from Spain.

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

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