Catalunya and the Basque Country, the perceived wisdom across Europe goes, are struggling with exactly the same issues of unionism and nationalism as we are.
Cue more column inches and airtime in the two autonomous regions on our referendum than surely anywhere else on the continent.
But just how much in common do Catalans and Basques have with Scots?
Jaume López, a professor of political science at Barcelona’s prestigious Pempeu Fabra University, isn’t convinced the Spanish and UK situations are “mirror” images.
“Spain and the United Kingdown are like two worlds separated by the looking glass from the Lewis Carroll book which only Alice is capable of going through,” he said earlier this month.
López, who is from Catalunya, was writing in Deia - a nationalist-leaning newspaper in the Basque Country which has some of the most comprehensive coverage of Scottish politics outside Scotland.
But his point may not have gone down hugely well with Catalan or Basque nationalists. Why? Because there can be no nationalism without a nation.
And Prof López isn’t sure that Catalans or Basques have quite decided whether their respective territories and ethnic groups are “nations” or not.
Scots, he said, have settled this question. “The debates over independence in Scotland have never concerned, even tangentially, the national status of Scotland. That is beyond debate. Scotland is one of the nations which makes up the United Kingdom.
“Put another way, the statement that Scotland, Wales and England are different nations doesn’t challenge British unity, however united the kingdom may be.
“Thus the big arguments and debates between unionists and nationalists have been able to centre not on conceptual or rhetorical questions, but on practical ones.”
So, to paraphrase Prof López, Scots don’t argue about whether Scotland is a country, they argue about what is best for Scotland.
Is this true? Maybe. For what it is worth, I am one of those who detect a quiet rise in British nationalism over the summer to counter the Scottish and/or English varieties, perhaps inspired by all the Union-flag-waving of the Olympics and the Jubilee.
Even this week there has, of course, been debate in Scotland about the wording of the independence referendum. Words like “country” can, it turns out, still be controversial here too, at least in the right context.
Should Scots be asked if the want to be an independent “country” or “state” or even “nation”?
Prof López, meanwhile, doesn’t reflect on this trend. (Other Spanish commentators - including those in Madrid - have. I have written in this blog before about the Spanish fascination with whether Scottish and Welsh athletes sang God Save the Queen).
But Prof López believes the sense of nationhood in Catalunya and the Basque Country, unlike in Scotland, is still in question.
He wrote: “The row over whether Catalunya is or is not a nation has been at the centre of a good part of the constitutional debate, a debate which has produced some really Byzantine arguments about the differences between a “nationality” and a “nation”.
The professor - and remember he is writing in a Basque paper - says the same of that territory.
And, pointedly, he also stresses that a lack of clarity over where the Basque Country - or Euskadi - begins and ends is an issue. At least Scotland, I suppose, has clear borders.
Prof López also rehearses some more familiar differences between the political issues in Spain and the UK.
The latter, which has no constitution, is allowing a referendum for Scotland. But the former has a constitution prohibiting such a move and upholding its territorial integrity.
No political will can overcome the constitution, says Prof López. That is the sticking point in Spain. This echoes a common theme from Basque and Catalan nationalists.
To my ears at least, many of them assume the Spanish state is nastier and less trustworthy than the British one, and that Westminster will play with a straight bat as it deals with Scotland.
Was it not, after all, nationalists in Barcelona rather than UK unionists who first claimed that Spain would veto Scottish membership of the EU?
So are Catalunya and Euskadi a kind of Scotland “through the looking glass” as Prof López believes? Or do the three territories have similar competing and overlapping senses of “national” identity that mean we have more in common than he thinks?
I don’t know...but I'd like to hear what you think.
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