MP CONDEMNS UK INACTION AND CALLS FOR RECOGNISED CATALAN INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM AND SAFE RETURN OF EXILES
SNP MP, Marion Fellows, has this week condemned the UK Government for its lack of action over human rights abuses in Catalonia and calls for progress on a recognised Catalan independence referendum and for exiles to be allowed to return home.
The MP is responding to an answer to a written question she tabled earlier this month asking if the new Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, “will make representations to his Spanish counterpart on an independence referendum for Catalonia”.
Minister Alan Duncan answered with just “The issue of Catalan independence is a matter for Spain”.
Mrs Fellows’ response comes after last week’s withdrawal of exiled ex-Catalan Minister, Clara Ponsatí’s European Arrest Warrant.
Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:
The UK Government is demonstrating a blatant disregard for human rights which shames us on the international stage. They must make representations to Madrid to promote democracy and afford Catalonia their right to self-determination. Catalonia must vote!
The new Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, has committed to dialogue with the Catalan Government. But it is fundamentally undemocratic to hide behind the Spanish constitution which would see Catalonia a permanent part of Spain. That contradicts the very right to self-determination. There must be a democratic solution.
It is utter hypocrisy for the UK Government to claim that human rights is simply a matter for Spain when the Tories have supported numerous armed interventions around the world, including the illegal Iraq War. The Tories are choosing to intervene when it suits them. This is chance for them to do something positive internationally.
Human rights and democracy concerns everyone. It is not something that people can turn a blind eye to. Especially if abuses are committed by allies. This is the perfect opportunity to apply political pressure.
The new Foreign Secretary has an opportunity to show his mettle. He cannot be allowed to shy away from his responsibilities.