Geoffrey Clifton-Brown warns against taking sides in the Catalan independence referendum

10th October 2017

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown intervenes in a debate on the effect of the Catalan independence referendum on the EU and warns against the UK Parliament taking sides as the matter is for the Spanish Government to resolve with the Catalans.

Nobody can condone any breaches of the rule of law, and we ask both sides to uphold it, but in this Parliament we must be very careful about taking sides. This is essentially a matter for the Spanish Government to resolve with the Catalans. It looks like there is a bit of good will on both sides, and we must urge them to come to a peaceful settlement.
I agree entirely with what the hon. Gentleman said at the end of his remarks.

Having witnessed what I saw in Catalonia on Sunday, I think it is incumbent on anyone who believes in the fundamental values of democracy to stand up, explain their views and act as honourable and honest witnesses, which is what I am trying to do.

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I know the Minister is running out of time, but may I caution him and anyone else about Swiss mediation, because we would not want them to mediate in the matter of Gibraltar?
That would obviously be an approved mediation in so far as both sides were keen and accepted that that should happen. Otherwise, as I said, it is an internal matter.

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