The SNP currently has “no plans” to give MSPs a vote in the Scottish Parliament on whether to recognise Catalonia as an independent state.

Senior figures in the pro-independence party lined up to repeat their calls for dialogue but would not commit to a debate or a vote in Holyrood.

MEP Alyn Smith said any vote in the Scottish Parliament would be a “pointless declaration” and “counterproductive to the Catalan government’s cause”.

Spain took formal control of Catalonia yesterday after its parliament passed a declaration of independence on Friday.

Speaking last night, Scottish Government special adviser Jeanette Campbell, who works for communities minister Angela Constance MSP, said: “It only happened yesterday and at the moment there are no plans [for a debate or a vote]. It doesn’t mean it won’t happen at some point. But it’s only been 24 hours since the vote in the Catalan parliament. The ministers will want to speak to each other about that.”

SNP MSP Christina McKelvie said she hopes “calm and sensible diplomacy will prevail” but also stopped short of calling for a vote in the Scottish Parliament and suggested it may be difficult to secure cross-party support. She added: “Any vote in the Scottish Parliament would be symbolic and will not likely help the Catalan independence cause”.

SNP MEP Alyn Smith was asked if the European and Scottish Parliament should be given a vote on whether to recognise Catalonia as an independent state. He said: “No I do not, we need to keep a focus on what will actually help and pointless declarations will not. We'll certainly be debating the issue, but a vote in the European Parliament would be of no legal effect and would in any event go against the declaration, and a vote in Holyrood would be of no legal effect and may well be counterproductive to the Catalan government's cause. The only productive thing we can all do is encourage dialogue.”

After Catalonia voted to declare independence Scottish Government minister for external affairs Fiona Hyslop called for dialogue but did not explicitly recognise Catalonia as an independent state.

Finland could be the first country to recognise Catalonia if a motion due to be submitted to the country’s parliament by MP Mikko Karna is backed by colleagues.

He said: “I will proceed with the motion and at the end, it is the MPs who decide.” Karna is part of the ruling Centre Party, led by Prime Minister Juha Sipila, who sent his congratulations to Catalonia after the regional parliament voted for independence.

Writing on Twitter last night, SNP MSP Gillian Martin said: “My heart is swelling with pride at the latest word that Finland is preparing to recognise Catalonia. Significant, respectful, brave. Kiitos [thank you].”

She added: “If others who fought for own self-determination (like Finland) do same, we're in a good place. Because so many nations were where Catalonia are now. It'll be their support that counts and will move this impasse on.”

When we asked by the Sunday Herald whether the Scottish Parliament should have a vote she said: “My belief is we can’t as we don’t have our own sovereignty. Foreign policy is reserved.”

Several SNP politicians also Tweeted supportive comments about Catalonia last night but none suggested a vote.

Angus MacNeill MP said: “If Madrid behaved towards independent neighbour Portugal as it threatens independent neighbour Catalonia, I imagine some diff[erent] reactions.”

An SNP spokeswoman referred the Sunday Herald to Fiona Hyslop’s statement and said the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon “won't be adding to it”.

A Scottish Conservative spokesman said: “We echo the views of the Prime Minister and other European leaders who have decided not to recognise the declaration of independence.

“Ultimately any solution to this crisis must respect the rule of law and the Spanish Constitution.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “We understand and respect the position of the Catalan Government. While Spain has the right to oppose independence, the people of Catalonia must have the ability to determine their own future. The Declaration of Independence came about only after repeated calls for dialogue were refused. The Scottish Government has no immediate plans for a debate on Catalonia.”


Catalonia's leader Carles Puigdemont last night said he would defy “repression and threats” from the Spanish government.

He and his cabinet were formally removed from their posts yesterday, and their powers and responsibilities taken over by central government in Madrid.

In a brief statement Puigdemont insisted “we will continue working to build a free country”.

Speaking from a podium with the official emblem of the Catalan regional government, next to Catalan and European Union flags, he said: “We must do so resisting repression and threats, without ever abandoning, at any time, civic and peaceful conduct.

Puigdemont said he did not have or want “the argument of force” and described the central government's actions as “premeditated aggression” that ran “contrary to the expressed will of the citizens of our country, who know perfectly well that in a democracy it is parliaments that choose, or remove, presidents”.

He added: “We continue persevering in the only attitude that can make us winners. Without violence, without insults, in an inclusive way, respecting people and symbols, opinions, and also respecting the protests of the Catalans who do not agree with what has decided the parliamentary majority.”

Spain took formal direct control of Catalonia yesterday, dismissing the region's government a day after a declaration of independence was passed by the parliament.

The takeover was made official by the publishing of special measures online early on Saturday in the country's gazette.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy also dissolved the regional parliament and called a new regional election to be held on December 21.

Rajoy said the declaration of independence “not only goes against the law but is a criminal act”.