BREXIT FORCING UK’s SILENCE ON CATALAN HUMAN RIGHTS

2nd April 2019

SNP MP CALLS FOR RECOGNISED CATALAN REFERENDUM AND CONDEMNS “COWARDLY” UK SILENCE AS MINISTER’S DENY EXISTENCE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS

Today in Parliament, SNP MP, Marion Fellows, condemned the UK government’s silence over human rights abuses in Catalonia which she says is being used to gain Spain’s support in Brexit negotiations.

Speaking at Foreign Office questions today, Marion Fellows said: “Is it the case that the UK government isn’t seeking to uphold self-determination for Catalonia because it needs Spain’s support in Brexit negotiations?”

Responding, Foreign Office Minister, Alan Duncan, said “We uphold [the Rule of Law] here with Scotland with Spain on Catalonia. Certain accusations that somehow they have political prisoners are absurd.”

Members of the Catalan government, the Speaker of the Catalan Parliament and two prominent grassroots activists were arrested following the Catalan independence referendum in 2017 and have been detained since and are currently being tried for sedition and rebellion facing up to 25 years in prison.

There has since been a crackdown which has led to widespread protests across Catalonia and pressure from Catalan politicians in exile abroad.

Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:

“The UK government is so desperate, it is allowing democracy in Catalonia to be trampled and even denying the existence of political prisoners to gain Spain’s support in Brexit negotiations. Far from being the major global player Brexiteers imagined, the UK is becoming an irrelevance on the world stage.

“It is everyone’s responsibility to uphold human rights. Denying the existence of political prisoners is detached from reality.

“In Catalonia, as in Scotland, the people are sovereign and the people alone possess the right to determine their futures. Catalonia voted for a Parliament that voted to hold a referendum. Madrid and the rest of Europe cannot continue to ignore democracy and should intervene to uphold democracy.

“There are numerous examples of the UK government defending human rights elsewhere around the world. The answer that it is an internal matter for Spain is simply not good enough and shows just how cowardly they are.”