A prominent member of Catalonia’s independence movement has accused Brussels of exercising “double standards” in being far more friendly towards Scottish Nationalists’ quest to leave the United Kingdom and eventually join the EU than other separatist campaigns.
Catalonia’s foreign minister, Victòria Alsina claims that if Scotland were to break from the United Kingdom, Eurocrats would be open to EU accession. By contrast, attitudes in Brussels are “cold” towards the Spanish region following a similar course.
“What goes for Scotland must also go for Catalonia. If Europe is favourable towards Scotland having a referendum, it has to look favourably on Catalonia having a referendum,” Alsina told The Telegraph.
“If Scotland were to vote in favour of independence and entered as a new member, this mechanism would have to be applied to Catalonia as well,” she added.
But Alsina is doubtful that would be the case with her own region and hinted at raging animosity towards the English in Brussels that manifests itself towards Scottish favouritism, a sentiment that even pre-dates Britain’s withdrawal.
“It’s undeniable that Brexit has had an impact on Brussels’ relations with London, but this goes back further,” she said.
The European Commission’s chief spokesperson flatly denied the allegation, stating: “The constitutional order of the member states (and former member states) of the EU are internal matters for them. We never speculate on the accession of regions to the EU.”
Prior to turning into a right-wing patriot (publicly at least), Michel Barnier, in his previous capacity as the EU’s Brexit negotiator met with Nicola Sturgeon several times even though she had no control over the outcome of the negotiations.
On one visit to Brussels, Sturgeon also met with Jean-Claude Juncker, then president of the European Commission. She reported that Juncker was “very sympathetic” to Scotland remaining in the EU.
The Telegraph notes that on the night Britain formally left the EU, a spotlight projected the words “Europe loves Scotland” onto the Commission’s Berlaymont headquarters.
The EU denies permission for the stunt was granted, but Scotland’s pretend embassy, imaginately named Scotland House, is right opposite the Berlaymont. It would have been very easy to waltz in to censure the Scots and hardly a surprise given how much the EU enjoys to dish out punishments.
The fact that the EU wheeled out its top spokesperson to deny Alsina’s claim shows how important and sensitive an issue separatism is and far from isolated to Spain, The EU’s home country, Belgium is essentially two nations soldered together with tensions constantly simmering.
The feeble denial tells another story. Had the Commission wanted to crucify the idea it was aiding the SNP, it would not have boringly cited the constitution. As the spotlight said, “Europe loves Scotland”.