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Nicola Sturgeon: Catalonia would be “more welcome in the EU” than independent Scotland | UK | New UK News

The Scottish Prime Minister has made a referendum on Scottish independence one of his top priorities ahead of the Holyrood elections this week. She claimed that if the SNP, the Scottish National Party, got a majority in the Scottish Parliament, she would take it as a mandate to push forward a second referendum on breaking away from the rest of the UK – just seven years after her party had resurrected its candidacy for independence after most of Scotland voted to stay in the EU in 2016, and claims the country was pulled from the bloc “against its will”.

Ms Sturgeon lobbied for an independent Scotland to later join the EU as her own state – but experts questioned how feasible that might be.

Ms. Sturgeon’s candidacy has been compared to that of Catalonia; the region of Spain which campaigned for independence and organized illegal referendums on the breakdown of its own state.

However, columnist Michael Fry recently wrote an article with the headline: “Why could Catalonia be more welcome in the EU than Scotland.”

Catalonia is the richest of Spain’s 17 provinces, but as Mr Fry has pointed out: “This has been achieved through a conscious exploitation of the opportunities offered by the capitalist system.”

He continued: “The government of Nicola Sturgeon obviously assumes that controlling the economy is one of its main tasks.

“To get his highest favors, businessmen have to subscribe to a long list of valid social goals.

“No one will listen to them if they can’t or don’t want to.

“In particular, the Prime Minister is completely indifferent to commercial profit, and I suspect she thinks it is actually rather undesirable.”

He concluded that the Catalans “could easily get along with existing member states”, but the columnist wondered “if it would be so easy for the Scots”.

In the pro-independent newspaper The National, Mr Fry argued that if an independent Scotland tries to join the EU, different approaches to the economy “should come to light”.

Scotland’s deficit also increased last August to almost £ 2,000 per person, almost three times the UK as a whole – meaning its chances of joining the EU are in jeopardy.

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However, Catalonia and Scotland will only be allowed to join the EU if the independence referendums they organize are legally binding, meaning they must have permission from their respective central governments.

Westminster refused to grant Ms Sturgeon a second independence referendum after the SNP pledged the 2014 public vote was a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity.

Catalonia’s independence referendum was met with police crackdown in 2017, and Madrid quickly imposed direct rule on the region.

Spain’s Supreme Court has also jailed nine separatist leaders, sparking days of violent street protests.

The EU has pulled out of any involvement and – despite calls for help from the separatists – believes Catalonia’s independence is an issue Spain must resolve.

Organizers of the referendum in Catalonia say 90% of voters supported separation from Spain – but the turnout was only 43% due to the boycott of trade unionists.

Meanwhile, Ms Sturgeon is expected to secure a narrow overall majority in Thursday’s Holyrood election, although polls suggest voters still support staying in the Union.

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This notice was published: 2021-05-05 19:23:00