The All Party Parliamentary Group On Catalonia

 

The purpose of the All-Party Parlamentary Group on Catalonia is to develop links between parlamentarians in this country and in Catalonia. To keep members of Parliament abreast of the on-going debates and events about Catalonia self-determination and to help ensure that debate is carried out in the most democratic way.

 

 

APPG on Catalonia meeting, Westminster 5 December. Left to right:  Robert Fabregat i Fuentes, President of Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya  Barcelona, Lord Alderdice, Adriana Delgado, ERC MP in Catalan Parliament, Alba Vergés, ERC MP in Catalan Parliament,  Roger Torrent, ERC MP in Catalan Parliament, Professor Bill Bowring of Birkbeck College and Douglas Chapman MP.Adriano, Alba and Robert are candidates in Barcelona in this month's elections and Roger is standing in Girona.   

 

On  Wednesday 15 November the APPG hosted a meeting with Eulàlia Reguant, a Barcelona City Councillor and former Catalan MP and Aina Tella i Arbós, international officer of CUP Catalunya (Popular Convergence of Catalonia).

Left to right: Ben Lake MP, Liz Saville-Roberts MP, Douglas Chapman MP, Andrew Rosindell MP, Eulàlia Reguant, Hywel Williams MP,  Aina Tella i Arbós, Joanna Cherry MP Gavin Newlands MP, Jaume Centellas Soler (constituent of Stephen Pound MP) and Ronnie Cowan MP. 

 

House of Commons Debates Catalonia

 

House of Commons Hansard

Contents   Commons Chamber  

Catalonia

02 November 2017 Volume 630

 

 10.37 am

 

Hywel Williams (Arfon) (PC)

 

 (Urgent Question): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the political situation in Catalonia.

 

The Minister for Europe and the Americas (Sir Alan Duncan)

 

  Share this contribution

The events of the past few weeks in Catalonia are a matter of public record. The Catalonian authorities held a referendum on independence on 1 October that was found by the Spanish courts to be illegal under the Spanish constitution. Holding it was, therefore, illegal and an attempt to undermine the rule of law. The Catalan Parliament then unilaterally declared independence on 27 October. Her Majesty’s Government do not and will not recognise this declaration of independence. It is based on a vote that was declared illegal by the Spanish courts and we continue to want to see the rule of law upheld, the Spanish constitution respected and Spanish unity preserved.

 

The situation in Catalonia is an internal matter for Spain and its people. The Spanish Government have set a date—21 December—for regional elections. This provides a path to return to the rule of law, which is an important principle that the UK strongly supports, and it is for all the people of Catalonia to have their say through democratic processes that are consistent with the Spanish constitution. I remind the House that Spain is a close ally and a good friend whose strength and unity matter to us. We consider it essential that the rule of law be upheld and the Spanish constitution respected.

 

Hywel Williams

 

I am asking the Government to act in two ways: to call on the parties in Catalonia to enter into talks and to offer their good offices to facilitate progress. No one can doubt that this is eventually a political matter, rather than a legal one. Getting both parties to talk is the way forward. In this situation, the UK Government have a responsibility and an opportunity.

 

First, they must do all they can to ensure the safety and security of UK citizens living in Catalonia. Secondly, this is happening in our neighbourhood as we are a leading European power, and a member of the Council of Europe, the EU, NATO and the United Nations Security Council. Thirdly, uniquely, the UK Government have recent experience of an independence referendum carried out in Scotland, largely by agreement. We have some advice to offer. And, of course, the hard-won peace agreement in Northern Ireland rests partly on the opportunity there was for all to have their say in a referendum.

 

In my debate on Catalonia on 10 October, the Minister replying said that no request for advice had been made by the Spanish Government, and none had been offered by the UK Government. I now ask that that offer be made.

 

Read the full debate HERE

https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2017-11-02/debates/27B398FF-339A-4B41-9900-71E316FAB9CF/Catalonia

Early day motion 479

CATALUNYA

That this House believes that, given the UK's role and responsibilities as a member of the European Union, and of the Council of Europe and as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, the need for the Government to do all it can to ensure the safety and security of UK residents in Catalonia, and of UK visitors to Catalunya and most pertinently, the Government's recent experience of the Scottish referendum and its understanding of the importance of hearing the voices of all the people through a referendum in progressing peace in Northern Ireland, the Government should now call on both sides in Catalonia to enter into immediate talks and offer its good offices to facilitate progress.

 

Showing 15 out of 15

Name Party Constituency Date Signed
Bottomley, Peter Conservative Party Worthing West 01.11.2017
Chapman, Douglas Scottish National Party Dunfermline and West Fife 31.10.2017
Cherry, Joanna Scottish National Party Edinburgh South West 31.10.2017
Cowan, Ronnie Scottish National Party Inverclyde 01.11.2017
Day, Martyn Scottish National Party Linlithgow and East Falkirk 01.11.2017
Edwards, Jonathan Plaid Cymru Carmarthen East and Dinefwr 01.11.2017
Godsiff, Roger Labour Party Birmingham Hall Green 02.11.2017
Grady, Patrick Scottish National Party Glasgow North 02.11.2017
Lake, Ben Plaid Cymru Ceredigion 01.11.2017
Law, Chris Scottish National Party Dundee West 01.11.2017
Monaghan, Carol Scottish National Party Glasgow North West 01.11.2017
Saville Roberts, Liz Plaid Cymru Dwyfor Meirionnydd 01.11.2017
Stephens, Christopher Scottish National Party Glasgow South West 01.11.2017
Thewliss, Alison Scottish National Party Glasgow Central 01.11.2017
Williams, Hywel Plaid Cymru Arfon 31.10.2017

Early day motion 449

CATALAN DELEGATION TO THE UK

  • Session: 2017-19
  • Date tabled: 24.10.2017
  • Primary sponsor: MacNeil, Angus
  • Sponsors: 
    • Cherry, Joanna 
    • Thewliss, Alison
    • Brock, Deidre 
    • Stephens, Christopher 
    • Day, Martyn

 

Showing 23 out of 23

Name Party Constituency Date Signed
Name Party Constituency Date Signed
Brock, Deidre Scottish National Party Edinburgh North and Leith 24.10.2017
Brown, Alan Scottish National Party Kilmarnock and Loudoun 25.10.2017
Cameron, Lisa Scottish National Party East Kilbride Strathaven and Lesmahagow 26.10.2017
Campbell, Ronnie Labour Party Blyth Valley 25.10.2017
Chapman, Douglas Scottish National Party Dunfermline and West Fife 25.10.2017
Cherry, Joanna Scottish National Party Edinburgh South West 24.10.2017
Cowan, Ronnie Scottish National Party Inverclyde 25.10.2017
Day, Martyn Scottish National Party Linlithgow and East Falkirk 25.10.2017
Edwards, Jonathan Plaid Cymru Carmarthen East and Dinefwr 25.10.2017
Gibson, Patricia Scottish National Party North Ayrshire and Arran 25.10.2017
Godsiff, Roger Labour Party Birmingham Hall Green 25.10.2017
Lake, Ben Plaid Cymru Ceredigion 25.10.2017
Law, Chris Scottish National Party Dundee West 25.10.2017
Lucas, Caroline Green Party Brighton Pavilion 26.10.2017
MacNeil, Angus Scottish National Party Na h-Eileanan an Iar 24.10.2017
McNally, John Scottish National Party Falkirk 25.10.2017
Monaghan, Carol Scottish National Party Glasgow North West 25.10.2017
Newlands, Gavin Scottish National Party Paisley and Renfrewshire North 25.10.2017
Shannon, Jim Democratic Unionist Party Strangford 25.10.2017
Sheppard, Tommy Scottish National Party Edinburgh East 25.10.2017
Stephens, Christopher Scottish National Party Glasgow South West 24.10.2017
Thewliss, Alison Scottish National Party Glasgow Central 24.10.2017
Wishart, Pete Scottish National Party Perth and North Perthshire 25.10.2017

 

     

That this House is concerned by a threat to the Catalan delegation to the UK in London following a threatened power grab by Prime Minister Rajoy over Catalonia; and believes that the Catalan democracy should be maintained and that the Representation in London should be retained also.

Questions on Catalonia to the Minister for Europe and the Americas, 17 October 2017

 

Jonathan Edwards (Carmarthen East and Dinefwr) (PC)

11. What representations he has received on the independence referendum held in Catalonia on 1 October 2017. [901182]

 

The Minister for Europe and the Americas (Sir Alan Duncan)

I discussed Catalonia with the Spanish ambassador to the UK on 11 October. Our embassy in Madrid regularly discusses the issue with the Spanish Government. We also routinely engage with the Catalan regional Government on matters that fall properly within their competence.

 

Jonathan Edwards

The referendum provided a clear mandate for independence with over 92% of voters voting yes, despite horrific violence by the Spanish authorities. Yesterday pro-independence leaders were detained and charged with sedition. Surely the British Government and the international community should now be guided by the words of Woodrow Wilson:

“‘Self-determination’ is not a mere phrase. It is an imperative principle of actions”.

We should support the values of peace and democracy, not the forces of oppression.

 

Sir Alan Duncan

It is the rule of law that needs to govern the decision affecting the future of Catalonia. We fully defend the rule of law and actively assert that this can take place only within the proper workings of the Spanish constitution…

 

Joanna Cherry (Edinburgh South West) (SNP)

As Amnesty International among others has pointed out, the disproportionate use of force by police against civilians is contrary to international law. What representations has the Minister made to his Spanish counterparts about the treatment by Spanish police of civilians voting in the Catalonian independence referendum?

 

Sir Alan Duncan

People understand that we do not wish to see scenes such as that, but it is the duty of everyone in this House personally to uphold the rule of law. I very much regret that Scottish National party Members considered it appropriate to call themselves “official” observers at what was an illegal referendum…

 

Joanna Cherry (Edinburgh South West) (SNP)

 

On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Speaker

 

I believe that the point of order springs directly out of questions, and for that reason I will take it now—otherwise it would come after statements—but it must be done briefly.

 

Joanna Cherry

 

I seek an apology from the Minister for Europe and the Americas, the right hon. Member ​for Rutland and Melton (Sir Alan Duncan), who is no longer in his seat. The SNP did not send official observers to the Catalonian referendum. The Catalonian Government invited observers from across Europe and the Israeli Knesset. In addition to me, other Members of the House and a peer of the House of Lords, Lord Rennard, were present. We were there as international parliamentary observers, just as Conservative Members were in Gibraltar in 2002 at the request of the Gibraltar Government, despite that being an illegal referendum. I would like an apology and the record set straight.

 

Mr Speaker

I have understood the hon. and learned Lady, but we do not need to delve into the archives and refer back to 2002 and comparable examples. I recognise it is something that a distinguished legal practitioner is accustomed to doing, but we are short of time. If Ministers want to apologise, they can, but they are not under any obligation to do so.

 

Hansard, 17 October 2017

 

 

 

Report Back From Parliamentary Observers of the Catalan Referendum

 

 

 

Wednesday 18 October 2017, 6-9pm

Committee Room 17, Upper Committee Corridor, Palace of Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA

 

Hywel Williams MP, Joanna Cherry MP, Douglas Chapman MP and Lord Rennard reported back on their visit to Catalonia to be International Observers of the 1 October referendum. A lively question and answer session followed.

 

The meeting agreed to invite the New York Times's reporter in Spain, Raphael Minder, to address the November meetng of the APPG on the subject of his new book, "The Struggle for Catalonia."

 

 

Thanks For Your Support

Letter to APPG Members from the President of the Catalan Parliament

 

 

Dear APPG Catalonia members,

 

I sincerely appreciate the article you’ve wrote days ago in relation to the current political situation in Catalonia. We especially value international support that raises this case and is expressed through initiatives such as yours.

 

The people of Catalonia are only legitimately and peacefully asking to vote freely and democratically to decide their political future. Unfortunately, the Spanish government refuses to listen to this request and has begun judicial repression against Catalan institutions, public servants, citizens and civil society organisations. This repression does not respect the democratic guarantees that Spain theoretically recognises.

 

Although the referendum is not a crime under the Spanish penal code, they have made any action aimed at organising it criminal. They have taken control of the Catalan Government’s finances. They have sent police officers to raid the headquarters of the Government of Catalonia and have arrested public servants. And when the public have demonstrated peacefully to protest against these attacks, the Spanish Government has responded judicially with accusations of “sedition”.

 

Given the seriousness of these actions, if I may I would ask you to follow the evolution of the events that take place in Catalonia in the immediate future. Your support is essential to preserve peace, democracy, civil liberties and fundamental rights in Catalonia.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Carme Forcadell i Lluís
Presidenta

Parc de la Ciutadella. 08003 Barcelona
Tel. 933 046 500 – Fax 933 046 506

oficina.presidencia@parlament.cat

www.parlament.cat

 

 

 

Letter From Members and Supporters of the APPG Catalonia on the Current Situation in Catalonia

 

c/o Hywel Williams MP                                                                                21 September 2017

Houses of Parliament

Westminster

London 

SW1A 0AA

 

E-mail: info@appgcatalonia.org.uk

 

We, the undersigned, have a range of opinions on whether Catalonia should be independent or remain part of Spain. However, we all agree that the issue should be decided by the people of Catalonia in a democratic and peaceful way.

 

Consequently we are extremely disturbed by the measures taken by the Spanish Government to prevent the referendum, agreed to by the Catalan Parliament, taking place on 1 October.

 

These measures include: taking to court 700 Catalan mayors for allowing preparations for the vote to go ahead, seizing campaign material and ballot papers, threatening to cut off power to polling stations, arresting and charging a newspaper editor accused of aiding the preparations for the referendum and banning a public meeting called in Madrid to discuss the issue. The Spanish government are taking further steps daily and have now sent in the Civil Guards to occupy government buildings, with ministers and officials arrested, and the Spanish Government has taken control of the Catalan Government’s finances.

 

Both King Felipe V1 and the Prime Minister of Spain, Mariano Rajoy, have publicly called on Catalans not to vote. We believe, however, that the democratic way to proceed would for opponents of Catalan independence to campaign for their position in the referendum. That was the stance of the UK government in respect of the Scottish independence referendum in September 2014.

 

This referendum was democratically agreed to by the Catalan Parliament. To attempt to impede or stop it through sanctions, criminal charges and direct action by the Spanish state is an affront to democracy and threatens to embitter relations between Catalonia and the rest of Spain.

 

We call on the Spanish Government to allow this democratic test of Catalan opinion to go ahead on 1 October without further hindrance.

 

Hywel Williams MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Catalonia

Lord Berkeley

Deidre Brock MP

Douglas Chapman MP

Joanna Cherry MP

Ronnie Cowan MP

Martin Docherty-Hughes MP

Patricia Gibson MP

Neil Gray MP

Drew Henry MP

Ben Lake MP

Chris Law MP

Stewart McDonald MP

Angus B. MacNeil MP

Carol Monaghan MP

Gavin Newlands MP

Lord Rennard

Andrew Rosindell MP

Tommy Sheppard MP

Chris Stephens MP

Martin Vickers MP

Lord Wigley

 

This was published in The Guardian on 22 September 2017

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/21/spains-dangerous-bid-to-block-catalan-vote

 

 

Speaker of the House of Commons welcomes the President of the Catalan Parliament to Westminster

 

The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, welcomes the President of the Catalan Parliament, Carme Forcadell, to the Chamber of the House of Commons.

 

 

 

[Mr Speaker in the Chair]

 
  •  
     

    Colleagues, we are pleased to be joined today by Speaker Carme Forcadell, the Speaker of the Parliament of Catalonia, who is visiting London, and whom we are delighted to see. Welcome to you.

 

 

The APPG on Catalonia meets with the President of the Catalan Parliament, Ms. Carme Forcadell

 

The Rt. Hon. Ms. Carme Forcadell with some of the MPs and Peers who attended the meeting with her on Monday 3 July 2017 in Parliament. From left to right: Baroness Hooper, Lord Berkeley, Chris Law MP, Ronnie Cowan MP, Chris Stephens MP, Ms. Carme Forcadell, Hywel Williams MP, Sergi Marcen, Head of the Catalan Delegation to the United Kingdom and Ireland, and Douglas Chapman MP.

 

Hywel Williams MP is the new Chair of the APPG on Catalonia. The group's Vice-Chairs are Douglas Chapman MP, Baroness Hooper, Lord Berkeley, Andrew Rosindell MP, Lord Rennard, Roger Godsiff MP and Baroness Garden.

 

Six Parliamentarians agreed to add their names in support of the APPG: Lord Berkeley, Deidre Brock MP, Ronnie Cowan MP, Chris Stephens MP, Ben Lake MP, and Pete Wishart MP.

 

It was agreed the APPG would send a delegation of Parliamentarians to Catalonia in September prior to the Catalan referendum. 

 

 

 

Carme Forcadell, President of the Catalan Parliament, addresses MPs and Peers of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Catalonia at the conclusion of her visit to Westminster.

 

 

Members and Peers Supporting the APPG on Catalonia 2017 Parliament

 

Hywel Williams MP- Chair

Douglas Chapman MP- Vice-Chair

Baroness Garden- Vice-Chair

Roger Godsiff MP- Vice-Chair

Baroness Hooper- Vice-Chair

Lord Rennard- Vice-Chair

Andrew Rosindell MP- Vice-Chair

Lord Alderdice

Sir David Amess MP

Lord Berkeley

Deidre Brock MP

Sarah Champion MP

Joanna Cherry MP

Ronnie Cowan MP

Martin Docherty-Hughes MP

Marion Fellows MP

Hugh Gaffney MP

Neil Gray MP

Drew Hendry MP

Ben Lake MP

Pauline Latham MP

Chris Law MP

Angus MacNeil MP

John McNally MP

Gavin Newlands MP

Carol Monaghan MP

Lord Northbrook

Baroness Sharples

Liz Saville Roberts MP

Tommy Shepphard MP

Chris Stephens MP

Alison Thewliss MP

Catherine West MP

Lord Wigley

Pete Wishart MP

 

Public Enquiry Point:

Chris Bambery

info@appgcatalonia.org.uk

07986 085162

 

 

Meeting At Westminster With Raul Romeva, Catalan Minister of Foreign Affairs

 

It was standing room only as over 100 people crammed to hear Raul Romeva, the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Catalan Government explain why there is growing tension between Barcelona and Madrid over the Catalan Government's wish to hold a referendum on independence in late 2017.

The Minister addresses an audience of MPs, Peers, diplomats, academics and the general public and then took part in a lively question and answer session.

 

The following day he was interviewed in The National which you can access HERE

http://www.thenational.scot/news/15155919.Catalan_independence_referendum____should_be_based_on_Scotland_s_2014_poll_/

 

Media Coverage in English

 

Catalan News Agency

Romeva at Westminster: “There is more interest in discussing the Catalan question here than in Spain”

http://www.catalannewsagency.com/politics/item/romeva-sees-more-interest-in-discussing-the-catalan-question-at-westminster-than-in-spain

 

Catalan News Agency Videos

For film reporyt follow this link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGgA2TWer4Q

 

Media Coverage in Catalan and Spanish

 

El Punt Avui

El diputat escocès George Kerevan lamenta que el procés català no hagi arribat “ni a la taula de negociació”

http://www.elpuntavui.cat/politica/article/17-politica/1093975-el-diputat-escoces-george-kerevan-lamenta-que-el-proces-catala-no-hagi-arribat-ni-a-la-taula-de-negociacio.html

 

Vilaweb

Romeva diu que hi ha més interès per a tractar la qüestió catalana a Westminster que no a l’estat espanyol

http://www.vilaweb.cat/noticies/romeva-assegura-que-hi-ha-mes-interes-per-tractar-la-questio-catalana-a-westminster-que-a-lestat-espanyol/

 

El Pias

El Parlamento de Westminster se abre a Cataluña

http://www.elpais.cr/2017/03/15/el-parlamento-de-westminster-se-abre-a-cataluna/

 

Diari de Girona

Romeva presenta un grup sobre Catalunya a Londres

http://www.diaridegirona.cat/catalunya/2017/03/15/romeva-presenta-grup-sobre-catalunya/834641.html

 

<<

Minutes of Inaugural the All Party Parliamentary Group on Catalonia

Held in Room Q, Portcullis House, 1 March 2017, 6.30pm

Minutes of the Meeting

 

Parliamentarians Present:

Margaret Ferrier MP, George Kerevan MP (chairing), Chris Law MP, John Nicolson MP, Lord Rennard, Andrew Rossindell MP, Tommy Shepphard MP, Hywel Williams MP

 

  1. The Proposed Statement of Purpose was agreed:

 “The APPG on Catalonia aims to develop links between parliamentarians in this country and in Catalonia; to keep MPs and Peers abreast of the on-going debates and events pertaining to the issue of Catalan self-determination and to help ensure that debate is carried out in the most democratic way.”

  1. The Proposed List of Officers was agreed:

Chair: George Kerevan MP (SNP)

Vice Chairs: Andrew Rosindell MP (Conservative), Margaret Ritchie MP (SDLP), Roger Godsiff MP (Labour), Lord Rennard (Liberal Democrat), Lord Wigley Plaid Cymru), Douglas Chapman MP (SNP)

It was also agreed to add Margaret Ferrier MP (SNP) and Chris Law MP (SNP) as Vice Chairs

     3) It was agreed the Public Enquiry Point

Chris Bambery, Parliamentary Assistant to George Kerevan MP

  1. It was agreed that the APPG on Catalonia will host a meeting at the Palace of Westminster with the Catalan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva, on Tuesday 1 March in Committee Room: 12 Palace of Westminster, 6-8pm. All MPs and Peers are invited to hear and question Mr. Romeva,

The meeting was closed.

 

 

Chair:

George Kerevan MP (SNP)

 

Vice Chairs:

Andrew Rosindell MP (Conservative), Margaret Ferrier MP (SNP), Margaret Ritchie MP (SDLP), Roger Godsiff MP (Labour), Chris Law MP (SNP), Lord Rennard (Liberal Democrat), Lord Wigley (Plaid Cymru), Douglas Chapman MP (SNP)

 

Public Enquiry Point:

Chris Bambery, Parliamentary Assistant to George Kerevan MP:

bamberyc@parliament.uk, 0208 219 6770, 07986 085162

 

MPs and Peers Supporting APPG on Catalonia 2015-2017 Parliament

 

Lord Alderdice (Liberal Democrat)

Sir David Amess (Conservative)

Phil Boswell (SNP)

Chris Bryant (Labour)

Douglas Chapman (SNP)

Martin Docherty-Hughes (SNP)

Margaret Ferrier (SNP)

Baroness Garden of Frognal (Liberal Democrat)

Roger Godsiff (Labour)

Baroness Hooper (Conservative)

Lord Jones of Cheltenham (Liberal Democrat)

George Kerevan (SNP)

Pauline Latham (Conservative)

Chris Law (SNP)

Paul Monaghan (SNP)

Lord Rennard (Liberal Democrat)

Andrew Rosindell (Conservative)

Liz Saville Roberts (Plaid Cymru)

Baroness Sharples (Conservative)

Tommy Shepphard MP (SNP)

Lord Wigley (Plaid Cymru)

Hywel Williams (Plaid Cymru)

 

RaulRomeva, Catalan Minister of Foreign Affairs, addresses an audience in Committee Room 12 of the House of Commons on Tuesday 14 March 2017. Listening intently in the front row is Geoff Cowling, former British counsel in Barcelona. To Raul's left are George Kerevan MP, Sergi Marcen, Delegate of the Catalan Government to the UK and Ireland, Lord Wigley and Roger Godsiff MP

Platform from Left to Right: Raul Romeva, George Kerevan MP, Sergi Marcin, Lord Wigley, Roger Godsiff MP and in front of Roger Baroness Hooper.

Mark Durkan MP joins the platform (far right)