So, what can Catalonia and Spain learn from Scotland? According to Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, they can learn plenty, but I am not too sure what. I would say that the Scottish Nationalists have been rather quiet on Catalonia despite the fact that Catalonian nationalists were very vocal during the Scottish independence referendum. Sturgeon has appeared to be sitting on the fence.
The Spanish government could learn something from the British government. Former Prime Minister David Cameron gave Scotland a referendum on independence with the "Stay" camp winning by a clear majority. Perhaps the Spanish government should consider giving Catalonia a similar type of referendum. Sturgeon has campaigned for independence again, even mentioning the possibility of a second referendum, a policy which was put on hold after the Scottish Nationalists suffered at the ballot box last year. What is clear is that dialogue is the only way forward. Cameron may have handled the Brexit vote badly but he was spot-on with the Scottish referendum.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy should show the same courage. The Catalonian crisis is never going to be resolved using the bully-boy tactics which have been employed by the Spanish government. The only way forward is to hold a legally binding referendum. It would be a case of winner takes all and the stakes are very high, but there is little other option.
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