After their first meeting, President of Catalonia Quim Torra and First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon agreed that an agreed referendum is the best tool with which to address the situation in Catalonia.
During the so-called ‘Edinburgh Declaration’ on July 11, in a joint statement to the press, the two leaders agreed that “in 21st century Europe issues of self-determination must ultimately be addressed through democratic referendums”, the terms of which “should be agreed between both parties and have corresponding international recognition.”
Respect the right to self-determination
The statement further acknowledges Torra and Sturgeon discussed the “challenging and complex political situation in Catalonia” and agreed that “the way forward for Catalonia must be through peaceful and democratic solutions involving dialogue between the Spanish and Catalan authorities.” This should, according to the leaders, respect “the right to self-determination of the Catalan people.”
The statement then mentions the 2014 Scottish independence referendum agreed between Edinburgh and London as the “best example of such a process.” Ultimately, concludes the text, the leaders agree that “issues of constitutional sovereignty should always be resolved through peaceful and democratic means.”
Sturgeon to Barcelona
In statements to the press after the meeting, Torra emphasized the cordial nature of the meeting, and offered his “thanks” to Sturgeon for “her support to the Catalan self-determination referendum on the 1st of October” as well as “to the Scottish people, for their sympathy, their solidarity, their support towards the Catalan people during all these months.”
After explaining that an agreed referendum was common ground for him and Sturgeon, Torra revealed that he had invited the First Minister to Barcelona, to which she agreed. “We are really very glad and proud” expressed the Catalan president. The meeting on Wednesday is the first time that the leaders of Catalonia and Scotland have met in around a decade.
Torra confident on outcome for Ponsatí extradition
Sturgeon wasn’t the only political leader that Torra met with on his trip to Scotland. He also met earlier in the day with deposed and exiled minister Clara Ponsatí, who is currently in Edinburgh awaiting a decision on her extradition order from Spain.
However, the Catalan president expressed confidence that former Catalan minister Clara Ponsatí will not be extradited and this will put Spain before its own mirror.”
In Spain, Ponsatí is being prosecuted for rebellion and misuse of funds, crimes which might carry up to 30 years in jail. The Scottish prosecutor will ask for the execution of the European Arrest Warrant against her, and the Crown Office will argue that the crime of rebellion for which Ponsatí is wanted in Spain is equivalent to “conspiracy to alter the constitution by criminal means” and “treason” in Scotland.
Hearings to decide on her case will be held starting on July 30 and all the way through August.