Onus is now on the EU to help bro­ker a so­lu­tion. It is a

The Sunday Post (Dundee) - - Politics - By Alyn Smith

The sit­u­a­tion in Cat­alo­nia is se­ri­ous, and we need to be mea­sured and thought­ful in our words if we seek to ac­tu­ally help things.

Scot­land has a keen in­ter­est in Spain and Cat­alo­nia. The SNP is the gov­ern­ment of an as­pir­ing state, not a protest move­ment, and we take our re­spon­si­bil­i­ties se­ri­ously.

In­ter­na­tional and con­sti­tu­tional law mat­ters, and the rule of law is a fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ple of in­ter­na­tional diplo­macy.

Of course, 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.

Fri­day’s Dec­la­ra­tion of In­de­pen­dence came about only after re­peated calls for di­a­logue were re­fused.

But the right to self-de­ter­mi­na­tion does not ex­ist in a vac­uum. We have a

true and gen­uine con­flict – one side seek­ing to use democ­racy to over­ride the rule of law, and the other us­ing dis­pro­por­tion­ate force to de­fend con­sti­tu­tional law to over­ride democ­racy.

Now, more than ever, the pri­or­ity of all those who con­sider them­selves friends of Spain should be to en­cour­age di­a­logue to find a way for­ward that re­spects democ­racy and the rule of law.

The European Union has a po­lit­i­cal and moral re­spon­si­bil­ity to iden­tify how the sit­u­a­tion can be re­solved peace­fully and demo­crat­i­cally.

If we’re to help bring about a sus­tain­able so­lu­tion we’ll need warm hearts and cool heads.

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