Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Westminster to debate on a democratic solution for Catalonia

CNA / Sara Prim

London (CNA).- The need to find a democratic solution in response to Catalonia’s political demands and to overcome the current deadlock will be discussed this Wednesday at Westminster. The debate will be the first event organized by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Catalonia, created this past March in the British Parliament and bringing together 21 all-party representatives from the Chamber of Commons and the Chamber of Lords. The debate, moderated by the British branch of the pro-independence association Catalan National Assembly, will include SNP MP George Kerevan one of the main promoters of the APPG, and Plaid Cymru MP, Hywel Williams. In addition to these two politicians, former Consul General in Barcelona for Great Britain, Geoff Cowling, Daily Mirror´s Head of Politics, Jason Beattie and former Catalan government official and Lecturer in Sociolinguistics, Michael Strubell, will also take part in the debate. 

“This is what we would like other parliaments to do,” said Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva, when he inaugurated the APPG on the 14th of March. He lamented the lack of a similar predisposition in Spain’s Congreso de los Diputados. “Sometimes, there is more interest in discussing the Catalan question here than in Spain,” he added.

The APPG on Catalonia is an initiative launched by the Scottish National Party (SNP) but which is made up of 21 MPs and Peers from six different parties. According to Romeva, this cross-party nature proves that the Catalan question “is essentially about democracy” and therefore should “concern all those who believe in democratic principles”. “The aim of the APPG is to analyze this particular matter, regardless of the members’ ideologies,” he said and praised the member’s “common conviction that this is a topic which deserves to be discussed.” According to Romeva, the “concern” regarding the situation in Catalonia “is logical”, bearing in mind that it is occurring “in the 21st century and within the EU framework”. In this context, “political disagreements should be addressed through democracy and not by using the courts, threats, or pressures,” he warned.

‘A Demoratic Solution for Catalonia’ is the first event held by the APPG since the official inauguration in March. The debate will include the participation of SNP MP George Kerevan, Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams, the former Consul General in Barcelona for Great Britain, Geoff Cowling, Catalan News Agency EU Correspondent for the CNA, Laura Pous, Daily Mirror´s Head of Politics, Jason Beattie, former Catalan government official and Lecturer in Sociolinguistics, Michael Strubell, and Catalan National Assembly International Committee Chair, Montse Daban.

The event will take place in Atlee Suite, in Westminster at 7 pm and is due to start with an opening statement from each panelist, followed by a panel debate, before moving to Q&As.

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  • Public attending the official inauguration of the APPG on Catalonia at Westminster (by ACN)