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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.

 

House of Commons
Disqualification of the President of Catalonia
EDM #936
 
 
Tabled 29 September 2020
2019-21 Session
That this House notes its great concern at the decision of the Spanish Supreme Court to remove the President of Catalonia, Quim Torra, from office by banning him from holding public posts; notes that that decision was taken because banners calling for support of the rights of Catalan political prisoners were displayed on government buildings and were not taken down immediately when the court ruled they must be taken down; believes that this case centres on the fundamental right to free speech and that the court’s verdict on this case is a severe blow to that right as well as to democracy; and calls on the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs to convey these concerns most strongly to the Spanish Government.

Signatures 

 

5 Joanna Cherry, Scottish National Party
30 September 2020
6 Ronnie Cowan, Scottish National Party,
30 September 2020
7 Carol Monaghan, Scottish National Party,
30 September 2020
8 Jonathan Edwards, Independent,
30 September 2020
9 Margaret Ferrier, Scottish National Party,
30 September 2020

10 Liz Saville Roberts, Plaid Cymru

30 September 2020

11 Ben Lake, Plaid Cymru

30 September 2020

The Speaker of the Catalan Parliament Visits Westminster

Roger Torrent, Speaker/President of the Catalan Parliament presents Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, with a history of the Catalan Parliament during their meeting on 12 March 2020

Despite being a Thursday and the Coronavirus situation MP's Pauline Latham (Con), Ronnie Cowan (SNP), Alex Sobel (Lab), Alex Maskey (SF) & Hywel Williams (PC) and Baroness Hooper (Con) attended a meeting with the Speaker of the Catalan Parliament Roger Torrent on 12 Marc 2020

Due to the health scare this event has been cancelled and will hopefully be re-arranged for a later date

 

You are invited to join Professor Paul Preston in conversation 

 

The preeminent historian of modern Spain will be discussing his new book, “Betrayed.” Professor Preston has written widely on the Spanish Civil War and his many books includes a biography of General Franco.

 

Wednesday 25 March, 1.30-2.30pm, Room A, 1 Parliament Street.

Inaugural Meeting All Party Parliamentary Group on Catalonia

Baroness Garden (Lib Dem), MPs Anna McMorrin (Labour), Daniel Kawcjynski (Con), Andrew Rosendell (Con), Douglas Chapman (SNP) hear Txell Bonet speak at Westminster.

 

The inaugural meeting of the APPG on Parliament was held on Tuesday 14 January at Portcullis House.

Nine MPs attended - Hywel Williams (Plaid Cymru), Gareth Johnson (Conservative), Anna McMorrin (Labour), Douglas Chapman (SNP), Andrew Rosindell (Conservative), Ronnie Cowan (SNP), Daniel Kawczynski (Conservative), Gavin Newlands (SNP), Margaret Ferrier (SNP) - and one Peer - Baroness Garden (Liberal Democrat).

The meeting agreed to refound the APPG, elected its new officers (listed below) and passed a motion on finance.

The Guest Speakers were Txell Bonnet, partner of Catalan Political Prisoner Jordi Cuixart and Elena Jiménez, Board member of Òmnium Cultural (Catalonia’s largest civic movement).

 

 

 

Members and Peers Supporting the APPG on Catalonia 2019 Parliament

 

Members and Peers Supporting the APPG on Catalonia 2017 Parliament

 

Hywel Williams MP- Chair

Douglas Chapman MP- Vice-Chair

Ronnie Cowan Vice Chair

Baroness Garden- Vice-Chair

Baroness Hooper- Vice-Chair

Lord Rennard- Vice-Chair

Andrew Rosindell MP- Vice-Chair

Lord Alderdice

Sir David Amess MP

Lord Berkeley

Sara Britcliffe MP

Deidre Brock MP

Sarah Champion MP 

Joanna Cherry MP

Martin Docherty-Hughes MP

Michael Fabricant MP

Marion Fellows MP

Margaret Ferrier MP

Neil Gray MP

Baroness Healy of Primrose Hill

Drew Hendry MP

Daniel Kawczynski MP

Ben Lake MP

Pauline Latham MP

Chris Law MP

Anna McMorrin MP

Angus MacNeil MP

John McNally MP

Gavin Newlands MP

Carol Monaghan MP

Lord Northbrook

Lloyd Rusell-Moyle MP

Liz Saville Roberts MP

Tommy Sheppard MP

Alex Sobel 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

 

Catalan Foreign Affairs Minister Meets MPs & Peers

 

Alfred Bosch, Catalan Foreign Affairs Minister visited Westminster on 21 October 2019 to brief MPs and Peers on the situation in Catalonia. Those pictured are from left to right: Ronnie Cowan MP, Marion Fellows MP, Alfred Bosch, Hywel Williams MP, Brendan O'Neill MP, Anna McMorrin MP, Martin Day MP, Douglas Chapman MP, Lord Wigley, Hannah Bardell MP, Philippa Whitford MP, Gavin Newlands MP and Stuart McDonald MP (Lord Alderdice had to leave before the picture was taken.

 

Jailing of Catalan political and civic leaders

Early Day Motion  #25

Tabled 15 October 2019

2019-20 Session

That this House expresses deep concern at the verdict of the Spanish Supreme Court in finding 12 Catalan political and civic leaders guilty of sedition, embezzlement of public funds and disobedience in relation to the 2017 referendum on Catalan independence and at the imposition of jail sentences of between nine and 13 years; notes that nine of those accused have already been held in preventive detention for nearly two years; rejects the proposition that bringing criminal charges is a way to resolve political differences; expresses further concern that this trial has further polarised opinion in Catalonia and has led to hostile and violent police action against peaceful, large-scale public protests; and calls for the annulling of these sentences and for the Government of Spain to engage in a proper and respectful process of dialogue with the Government of Catalonia.

 

Hywel Williams, Plaid Cymru

Jonathan Edwards, Plaid Cymru

Ben Lake, Plaid Cymru

Lix Saville Roberts, Plaid Cymru

Brendan O'Hara, Scottish National Party

Douglas Chapman, Scottish National Party

David Linden, Scottish National Party

Tommy Sheppard, Scottish National Party

Gavin Newlands, Scottish National Party

Stephen Gethins, Scottish National Party

Ronnie Cowan, Scottish National Party

Alison Thewliss, Scottish National Party

Tommy SheppardScottish National Party

Stuart Hosie, Scottish National Party

Sir Peter Bottomley, Conservative,

Marion Fellows, Scottish National Party

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Labour

Kelvin Hopkins, Independent

Chris Stepens, Scottish National Party

Anna McMorrin, Labour 

 

 

 

Spain and Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union procedure

Early Day Motion  #26

Tabled 15 October 2019

2019-20 Session

 

That this House calls on the Government to press the relevant EU institutions to consider launching a procedure under Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union in response to the Spanish state's actions in relation to the Catalan crisis, which include the prosecution and sentencing of Catalan political and civic leaders, on the grounds that there is a clear risk that Spain has committed a serious and persistent breach of the EU's founding values of respect for freedom, democracy, justice and human rights outlined in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union.

Signatures (12)

 

Hywel Williams, Plaid Cymru

Jonathan Edwards, Plaid Cymru

Lix Saville Roberts, Plaid Cymru

Ben Lake, Plaid Cymru

Brendan O'Hara, Scottish National Party

Douglas Chapman, Scottish National Party

David Linden, Scottish National Party

Ronnie Cowan, Scottish National Party

Tommy Sheppard, Scottish National Party

Gavin Newlands, Scottish National Party

Alison Thewliss, Scottish National Party

Chris Stephens, Scottish National Party

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Labour

 

House of Commons Debates Jailing of Catalan Leaders 15/10/19

 

After Hywel Williams MP, Chair of the APPG on Catalonia, asked an Urgent Question to Foreign Office Minister, Christopher Pincher, the House of Commons debated the jail sentences imposed on Catalan leaders by the Spanish Supreme Court.

Conservative, Labour, SNP, Liberal Democrat and Plaid Cymru MPs criticsed the verdict and sentences.

 

You can watch the full debate HERE

https://youtu.be/Klphng13-tA

 

You can read the full transcript of the debate HERE

https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2019-10-15/debates/2813E146-E4CD-458D-A983-7AF6029A5F7E/ImprisonmentOfCatalanLeaders

 

Letter Published in The Times 15 October 2019

CATALAN VERDICTS

Sir, We are deeply concerned over the verdict of the Spanish supreme court in finding 12 Catalan political and civic leaders guilty of sedition in relation to the 2017 referendum on Catalan independence, and imposing jail sentences of between nine and 13 years. Nine of those accused have been held in preventative detention for over a year.

We do not believe that criminal charges are a way to resolve political differences. That can only be done through dialogue. Polls show that this trial has also alienated a majority of Catalans, including some who do not support independence.

As parliamentarians we will press for the dropping of these prison sentences imposed on the 12.

Lord Alderdice; Douglas Chapman MP; Ronnie Cowan MP; Martin Docherty-Hughes; Marion Fellows MP; Gavin Newlands MP; Lord Rennard; Tommy Sheppard MP; Alison Thewliss MP; Hywel Williams MP
All-party parliamentary group on Catalonia

 

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/times-letters-clean-air-legislation-and-saving-the-planet-60gqf3m96

 

Letter to APPF on Catalonia Members from Diana Riba MEP

 

Barcelona, 14th October 2019

 

Dear parliamentarians,

 

Today the Spanish Supreme Court has found Catalan leaders who promoted the self-determination referendum on the 1st of October 2017 guilty of sedition and misuse of funds and handed down sentences of up to 13 years. Together with them, my husband Raül Romeva - former Catalan Minister of Foreign Affairs- has been sentenced 12 years. You might remember Raül because he was present on the founding meeting of All Party Parliamentary Group On Catalonia (APPG).

This verdict is unfair as well as a historical mistake. It might only worsen the already difficult relations between Catalonia and Spain. This has been a political trial, where elected politicians and civil society leaders have been imprisoned and sentenced for letting people vote and this, should never become a criminal offence in a democracy.  It is not only me saying but human rights organisations such as the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and EuroMed Rights, published a report denouncing serious irregularities in the trial.

For all these reasons, I encourage you to claim to the Spanish government the release of the prisoners, the end of repression and the need to find a democratic solution through dialogue. Now it is time for the international community to be involved in the resolution of the conflict, because the problem goes much beyond the borders of Spain since sets a very dangerous precedent.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Diana Riba I Giner

Member of the European Parliament

 

 

Letter of Thanks from Jordi Cuixart

 

Mr. Chris Bambery
House of Commons
SW1A 0AA,

London, UK
 

Dear Mr. Bambery,

 

I send you eternal thanks for your letter. A precious gift which fills the cell with strength and the prison with dignity.

With each of these letters we are writing an indispensable testimony to tell the story of the national transition of our country and the collective defence of justice and human rights. That is why the letter you sent to me will be stored in an archive that we are compiling in Òmnium Cultural, because the resistance is the memory and the word, that is to say, the culture.

We will continue sharing the struggle for freedom, militant in tenderness. As John Berger said, “the future that scares them so much will come, and then what will remain of us is the confidence that we have kept in the dark.” I take this opportunity to sincerely apologise if I could not respond personally; just in those first months in Soto del Real, I received more than 14,000 letters. Solidarity shakes and breaks down all the walls.

Reading a letter in prison is an indispensable help for facing the present. No repression will make us deny our commitment to democratic values. From the Supreme Court, from inside and outside prison and from wherever you are. Without fear. Disobeying unjust laws when needed to build a future of justice and hope. A republic of free and equal citizens.

Eternal thanks for being there. Together with more than 165,000 associates that form part of Òmnium Cultural we will continue to make culture, language and education the best tool for strengthening society.

An immense hug

With tenderness and love. Always onwards!

Jordi Cuixart
President of Òmnium Cultural
Soto de Real Prison, Madrid, June 2019

 

'Covert Spanish agents' spied on APPG Catalonia & MPs 

 

11 July 2019

 

The Chair of the APPG on Catalonia raises a Point of Order after it was revealed that the Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister, Josep Borrell, ordered spying on Parliamentarians at SWEstmionster, the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Parliament.

 

The Deputy Speaker responds that she takes the matter "very seriously." 

 

Hywel Williams MP (Arfon) Plaid Cymru

 

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. From documents lodged in a Barcelona tribunal by the Spanish Government, it appears that Members of this House from the Conservative party, the Scottish National party and Plaid Cymru have been the subject of covert surveillance by agents of that Government in respect of their activities as members of the all-party parliamentary group on Catalonia.

 

Reference is made to meetings of the APPG, including one addressed by Josep Costa, the Deputy Speaker of the Catalan Parliament, who on that occasion also met the Chairman of Ways and Means. The APPG meeting was a public event and there was no need for participants, even those from the Spanish Government, to hide their identities. Reference is also made to Elin Jones, Llywydd of the Welsh Assembly, to the First Minister of Scotland, and to many others, including our own Speaker, who, in responding to my point of order on 13 February about the imprisonment of Carme Forcadal, the Speaker of the Catalan Parliament, gave me a very favourable response.

 

The reference in the document is summed up by the headline this morning, “El speaker no es imparcial”. That was the Spanish Government’s opinion of our Speaker. For today, however, I seek your support, Madam Deputy Speaker, in confirming that the principles of openness and free debate are the bedrock of the workings of our House and its APPGs, and that “spying” by a supposedly friendly country—for that is what this is—has no place here.

 

Madam Deputy Speaker (Dame Eleanor Laing)

 

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his very serious point of order. Of course, I confirm that the principles of openness, honesty etc. are the bedrock of how our democracy works and must be respected at all times. I cannot take responsibility from the Chair here in the Chamber this morning for matters that occur in Catalonia, but I take very seriously the points the hon. Gentleman has made. I would suggest perhaps that he ought to make his points in writing to Mr Speaker, so that Mr Speaker can give this matter his proper, full consideration, rather than just momentary consideration here in the Chamber. That is what it deserves.

 

David T. C. Davies (Monmouth) (Con)

 

Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. That point was very important. Do you agree that Mr Speaker could perhaps make the point to the European Union that it is banning elected Members of the European Parliament from Catalonia, as reported in The Guardian? I am sure that the SNP and Plaid Cymru will want Mr Speaker to raise that issue with the European Union.

 

Madam Deputy Speaker

 

I understand that the hon. Gentleman makes a further and important point of order, but when allegations are made I cannot comment on them from the Chair. I do not know whether they are true or not, but if these allegations have any substance, I am quite sure that Mr Speaker will want to know about them. I suggest that the hon. Gentleman brings them to his attention. It is a matter of great importance that any elected representative from anywhere in the United Kingdom should be heard, wherever they are elected to.

 

https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2019-07-11/debates/73A7C50C-D7A5-46A8-9586-1FE45B3E8D5B/PointsOfOrder

 

Watch Hywel’s Question and the Deputy Speaker’s reply HERE

https://youtu.be/iCVPrU4dRHg

 

Read newspaper reports HERE

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7237389/MPs-claim-SPIED-Spanish-agents-links-Catalan-independence-movement.html

 

https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/spain-spied-on-scottish-mps-over-catalonia-issue-commons-hears-1-4963319

 

https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/17765371.spain-39-spied-mps-39-involved-parliamentary-catalonia-group/

 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/07/10/catalonia-accuses-spain-spying-uk-mission-order-revealed-get/

 

https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/politics/scottish-politics/933876/dundee-mp-was-spied-on-by-spanish-agents/

 

http://www.catalannews.com/politics/item/uk-deputy-speaker-takes-spain-s-surveillance-on-british-mps-very-seriously

 

https://www.elnacional.cat/en/news/scottish-mps-victims-borrell-espionage-spain_403147_102.html

 

https://www.elnacional.cat/en/news/video-borrell-espionage-british-mps-westminster_403141_102.html

 

 

 

 

The APPG on Catalonia Wins the Francesc Macià Award

Chris Bambery, Public Point of Inquiry for the APPG on Catalonioa, and APPG Chair, Hywel Williams MP, recveive the Francesc Macia Prize from Matthew Tree and Marta Vilata. 

 

 

Dear Sir / Madam,

 

The Fundació Josep Irla, in accordance with its foundational goals, annually convenes the Francesc Macià Award in order to distinguish a person and an organization known for their efforts in promoting the Catalan culture, language or nation.

 

Previously, this award was delivered, among others, to the Catalan Civil Rights Association, created by relatives of the Catalan political prisoners; or to the Centre Artesà Tradicionàrius, known for their work in promoting Catalan traditional folk music.

 

For this reason, it is our pleasure to inform you that our Foundation has chosen the All Party Parliamentary Group on Catalonia (APPGC) to be the Francesc Macià Award 2019. The decision was taken, this week, by a jury composed by: Carme Arenas, Liz Castro, Jordi Creus, Joan Manuel Tresserras, Marina Llansana, Guillem López Casasnovas, Isona Passola, Francesc Serés, Matthew Tree, Montserrat Treserra, Francesc Viadel and Eduard Voltas.

 

We would be honoured if you accept this Award. In that case, the prize, materialized in a sculpture of the former president Francesc Macià, will be delivered to the APPGC during a ceremony, the Irla Night, which will take place in Barcelona on June 20th .

 

Kind regards,

Joan Manuel Tresserras President of Fundació Josep Irla

Barcelona, May 28th 2019

 

Hywel Williams MP, Chair of the APPG, and Chris Bambery, Public Point of Inquiry for the APPG will attend the ceremony in Barcelona.

 

Exiled Catalan President Visits Westminster

22 May 2019: From Left to Right: Baroness Hooper, Tommy Sheppherd MP, Josep Costa, Deputy Speaker Catalan Parliament, Clara Ponsati, exiled Catalan Minister, Jane Foran, APPG on Catalonia, Carled Puigdemont, exiled President of Catalonia, Douglas Chapman MP and Tonyi Commins, exiled Catalana Minister

 

Chair of APPG on Catalonia Attends Trial At Spanish Supreme Court of the 12 Catalan Leaders

 

On Thursday 23 May 2019 Hywel Williams MP (right), the Chair of the APPG on Catalonia, attended the trial at the Spanish Supreme Court of 12 Catalan political and civic leaders, along with Chris Bambery, the APPG's Public Point of Inquiry.

 

Hywel did a number of interviews in Catalan and Britisah TV stations and newspapers including:

http://www.catalannews.com/catalan-trial/item/this-is-not-a-trial-between-equals-says-welsh-mp

 

http://www.catalannews.com/catalan-news-tv/item/mp-hywel-williams-shares-his-views-on-the-catalan-trial

 

https://www.elnacional.cat/en/news/catalan-independence-trial-welsh-mp_387547_102.html

 

http://www.elpuntavui.cat/politica/article/17-politica/1611279-el-diputat-gal-les-hywel-williams-al-suprem.html

 

Chris Bambery wrote of his impressions of the court HERE

https://braveneweurope.com/spain-the-political-prisoners-who-are-not-political-prisoners

 

Foreign Office Questions

Catalonia

 

02 April 2019

 

Marion Fellows (Motherwell and Wishaw) (SNP)

 

If he will take steps to promote human rights and self-determination for Catalonia in Spain. [910170]

 

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

 Thank you so much, Mr Speaker; I am ever grateful.

 

As I have previously made clear to the House, the situation in Catalonia is a matter for Spain. We remain clear that questions related to the issue of Catalan independence should be resolved within the proper constitutional and legal channels of Spain.

 

Marion Fellows

It is everyone’s responsibility—including this Government’s—to uphold human rights. Far from becoming the major global player that Brexiteers imagine, the UK appears more and more irrelevant on the world stage. Is it the case that the UK Government are not seeking to uphold self-determination for Catalonia because they need Spain’s help in further Brexit negotiations?

 

Sir Alan Duncan

No, it is because we uphold the rule of law, as we have discussed earlier in questions. We uphold the rule of law here with Scotland and we uphold it in Spain with regards to Catalonia. Certain accusations that Spain somehow has political prisoners are absurd. It does not have political prisoners; it has prisoners who happen to be political.

https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2019-04-02/debates/430CC169-3B4F-4393-8B00-0FEDABB0784F/Catalonia

 

Watch the exchange HERE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mardEoiVnQ0

 

 

Letter to The Times

CATALAN COURT CASE

Sir, On October 1, 2017 we were parliamentary observers of the Catalan independence referendum along with other parliamentarians from across Europe. We have been following the trial taking place in Spain’s supreme court of 12 Catalan leaders accused of rebellion and sedition. Under Spanish law rebellion is defined as a “violent, public uprising.”

In recent days officers of the Guardia Civil, the paramilitary police sent to Catalonia to stop the independence referendum, have described those days as being an “insurrectionary period,” and said that protesters attacked them.

The former Spanish secretary of state for security, José Antonio Nieto, admitted that Spanish police used force on October 1, 2017, but that was because the police were under threat and that some of their colleagues had been isolated or surrounded. On the day of the referendum all the protests that we witnessed against police raids on polling stations in order to seize ballot boxes, which involved on occasion forcible entry and the batoning of those trying to protect the polling stations, were entirely non-violent. Indeed, the only violence we saw was committed by the police.
Hywel Williams, MP; Lord Rennard; Joanna Cherry, MP; Douglas Chapman, MP

 

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/times-letters-indicative-votes-and-common-market-2-0-z5qnstqg5

 

CATALAN UK OFFICES YELLOW RIBBON
EDM #2245

 

 
 
Tabled 28 March 2019

That this House notes with puzzlement the decision of the Spanish Electoral Board, the body charged with the conduct of the forthcoming Spanish General Election, in ordering the removal of a yellow ribbon sign from the balcony of the Catalan Delegation to the UK's offices in Central London, the yellow ribbon being the symbol of solidarity with Catalan political prisoners; wonders how such a display could possibly influence Spanish voters in Spain; is further concerned that two members of the Electoral Board are also Supreme Court judges who are hearing the trial of 12 Catalan leaders on charges of rebellion and sedition in relation to the October 2017 independence referendum; and notes that while both judges abstained on the vote to ban the symbol they were in attendance at the meeting and returned to the resumed trial where a number of the accused are candidates in that election.

Hywel Williams MP

Ben Lake MP

Alison Thewliss MP

Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP

Ronnie Cowan MP

Paul Farrelly MP

Jonathan Edwards MP

Liz Saville Roberts MP

Andrew Rosindell MP

David Linden MP

Chris Law MP

Roger Godsiff MP

Patricia Gibson MP

 

https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/52765/catalan-uk-offices-yellow-ribbon

 

Hywel Williams MP, Chair of the APPG on Catalonia, Reacts to Carme Forcadell Citing Answer by Speaker John Bercow in Her Defence

 

On Tuesday 26 February Carme Forcadell quoted Speaker John Bercow's answer to Hywel's question regarding her trial in her defence. Hywel responded with this statement

Watch the video HERE

https://youtu.be/xNQMq8k1VUI

Watch the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, answer Hywel Williams MP on the case of Carme Forcadell

UK Parliament speaker says he would accept debate on independence

 

Hansard, 13 February 2019

 

https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2019-02-13/debates/54C825A9-705F-48D6-BFF6-E52B0B12620C/PointsOfOrder

J

 

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. This week, 12 Catalan leaders go on trial in Spain’s Supreme Court on charges of rebellion and sedition. If found guilty, they face sentences of up to 25 years in jail. Their supposed crime was organising a democratic referendum on Catalan independence in October 2017. One of their number was the President or Speaker of the Catalan Parliament, Carme Forcadell, whom you graciously welcomed to our House when she visited us as a free woman. Her alleged crime was allowing a debate on Catalan independence in the democratically elected Catalan Parliament.

 

Mr Speaker, I know that you cannot comment directly on these matters and I wish in no way to put you in a difficult position, but will you confirm that it would be in order for you to allow a debate on Welsh independence in this democratically elected House and for me to take part, and that neither you nor I would be likely to face arrest or long-term imprisonment for so doing?

 

I am very grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his courtesy in giving me notice of his intention to raise his point of order. Moreover, I am grateful for its substance, both because he raises an important point, to which I shall respond, and because it gives me the opportunity to say that I well remember welcoming Carme Forcadell when she came to this place—it was a privilege to do so.

 

On the substance of the matter, it is of course entirely orderly for there to be a debate in this House on Welsh independence. Members enjoy immunity for the words they utter in this Chamber and can come to no grief as a result of their freedom of expression. Moreover, I note in passing that as Speaker, I too enjoy immunity for the manner in which I preside over debates. Other people will fashion, and in many cases have done so, for better or for worse, their own arrangements. While ours are by no means incapable of improvement, and there are many people in this House who believe that there is much by way of parliamentary reform that can be accomplished, I think that on the matter that the hon. Gentleman has raised and the importance of democratic principle, we are very content with our arrangements. They could perhaps, in important respects, be imitated by others who proclaim a commitment to democracy. I hope that that is helpful to the hon. Gentleman.

Support at Westminster for the Catalan 12 on the opening day of their trial:David T.C. Davies MP (Conservative), Brendan O'Hara MP (SNP), Chris Stephens MP (SNP), Douglas Chapman MP (SNP), Ronnie Cowan MP (SNP), Neil Gray MP (SNP), Carol Monaghan  MP (SNP), Gavin Newlands MP (SNP), Marion Fellows MP (SNP), Andrew Rosindell MP (Conservative), Patricia Gibson MP (SNP) & Alan Brown MP (SNP)

Cross party support for Catalan 12 at Westminster: Joanna Cherry MP (SNP), Ronnie Cowan MP (SNP), Sarah Champion MP (Labour) & Andrew Rosindell MP (Conservative)

Plaid Cymru at Westminster in support of the Catalan 12: Ben Lake MP, Hywel Williams MP, Liz Saville Roberts MP, Jonathan Edwards MP & Lord Dafydd Wigley

POLITICAL TRIALS IN MADRID AND THE EU

 

Early Day Motion #2071

 

Tabled 12 February 2019

 

That this House condemns the political show trials of Catalan democrats in Madrid of democratically elected politicians who held a peaceful and democratically convened referendum; and calls on the leaders in Europe not to be silent.

Signatures

MacNeil, Angus Brendan , Scottish National Party

Monaghan, Carol, Scottish National Party

Saville Roberts, Liz , Plaid Cymru

Rosindell, Andrew,  Conservative

Newlands, Gavin, Scottish National Party

Godsiff, Roger, Labour

Gibson, Patricia, Scottish National Party

Docherty-Hughes, Martin, Scottish National Party

Edwards, Jonathan, Plaid Cymru

 

 

 

Our silence about these show trials in Spain is shameful.

Hywel Williams MP, The Times 12/02/19

The Chair of the APPG on Catalonia writes in The Times on the trial of 12 Catalan leaders https://www.

ReRea

Today 12 Catalan leaders go on trial in Spain’s Supreme Court, facing the medieval-sounding charges of rebellion and sedition. Their supposed crime: organising a democratic referendum on Catalan independence in October 2017.

It is impossible for us not to see this referendum through the lens of the UK’s current political context. And there is plenty of parallels that can be drawn. Perhaps you find some solace in the idea that other states are also facing political crises as a result of referendums.

But, for a moment, imagine being one of the 12 political prisoners. Today they will head into a dock, face a hostile set of judges, knowing that they will likely grow old behind bars for simply following the wishes of those who elected…

Read the full article HERE

thetimes.co.uk/article/e662a800-2e1d-11e9-b50c-c6da8f614c54 …

Early Day Motion 2027

 

Trial of Catalan Politicians

 

29/01/19

 

That this House expresses concern about the imminent trial of 18 Catalan politicians and civic leaders regarding their role in the 2017 independence referendum; notes that nine Catalan politicians and civic leaders are being held in preventive detention; further notes that all have been charged with sedition and rebellion, charges long removed from the statute book in other European democracies; understands that the former Speaker of the Catalan Parliament, Carme Forcadell, is being prosecuted for allowing a debate on independence, something supported by a majority of MPs; recognises the work by Amnesty International who will have observers at this trial and have called for the immediate release and dropping of charges against two defendants, Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sanchez, who have been held in preventative detention for 15 months; further expresses concern that among the judges who will hear the case are those that were politically appointed and some of whom are on record as opposing Catalan autonomy; and calls on the UK Government to condemn this case, which does not cast Spanish democracy in a good light.

 

Hywel Williams, Plaid Cymru

Jonathan Edwards, Plaid Cymru

Ben Lake, Plaid Cymru

Marion Fellows, Scottish National Party

Douglas Chapman, Scottish National Party

Chris Law, Scottish National Party

Angus Brendan McNeill, Scottish National Party

Ronnie Cowan, Scottish National Party

Joanna Cherry, Scottish National Party

Liz Saville Roberts, Plaid Cymru

Carol Monaghan, Scottish National Party

Andrew Rosindell, Conservative

Kelvin Hopkins, Independent

Ms Marie Rimmer, Labour

Mary Glindon, Labour

Hannah Bardell, Scottish National Party

Pete Wishart, Scottish National Party

Alan Brown, Scottish National Party

Graham Stringer, Labour

Drew Hendry, Scottish National Party

Chris Stephens, Scottish National Party

Alison Thewliss, Scottish National Party

Mr Roger Godsiff, Labour

Ruth George, Labour

sir Peter Bottomley, Conservative

 

Ronnie Cowan MP Raises Plight of Carme Forcadell in the House of Commons

 

On Tuesday 22 January 2019 Ronnie Cowan MP quizzed Foreign Office Minister, Alan Duncan, regarding the plight of Carme Forcadell, the former Speaker of the Catalan Parliament, held in jail since March 2018 awaiting trial on charges of rebellion, sedition and permitting a debate in the Catalan Parliament on independence.

 

 

Watch the exchange HERE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2zU5ayIuN0&feature=youtu.be

 

Josep Costa, Deputy Speaker of the Catalan Parliament, meetsa Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, as Westminster, accompanied by Hywel Williams MP

Early Day Motion 1907

 

Catalan Prisoners’ Hunger Strike

 

Tabled by Hywel Williams MP, 6/12/18

 

Signatories: Hywel Williams, Alison Thewliss, Chris Stephens, Deidre Brock, david Linden, Chris Law, Jonathan Edwards, Sir Peter Bottomley, Ronnie Campbell, Alan Brown

 

That this House expresses its deep concern over the decision of two jailed Catalan political prisoners, Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Turull, to commence an indefinite hunger strike in protest against the refusal of the Spanish Constitutional Court to respond to eight appeals filed by the defendants regarding the charges against them of rebellion and sedition, for which they are being held in preventative detention awaiting trial; notes that this refusal prevents the defendants taking their case to the European courts; accordingly expresses its support for Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Turull; regrets the way that their case is being handled; and calls on the Government to make representations to the Spanish Constitutional Court to respond immediately to their appeals.

 

https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/52380/catalan-prisoners-hunger-strike

Carme Forcadell visits Westminster July 2017

 

Chris Bambery reports on his prison visit to Carme Forcadell,

The National, 6 December 2018

 

“As President of the Parliament I had to fulfil my duty.

“I have committed no crime; the Spanish Constitutional Court cannot decide what the Catalan Parliament can debate and discuss.

“I had to uphold the sovereignty of the Catalan Parliament, elected by the Catalan people.”

 

Read the full article HERE

https://www.thenational.scot/news/17282051.catalan-political-prisoner-carme-forcadell-channels-gloria-gaynor/

Early day motion 1748

 

IMPRISONMENT OF THE FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE PARLIAMENT OF CATALONIA

That this House expresses concern at the ongoing imprisonment of the former President of the Parliament of Catalonia, Carme Forcadell, who has been imprisoned since March 2018; notes that the crime of rebellion of which she has been accused refers to the use of violence, of which there has been no evidence; further notes that this inconsistency was highlighted by the German judiciary when it was tasked with assessing, and ultimately denying, the Spanish Government's request to have the former Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, extradited and brought before a Spanish court; regrets attempts by the Spanish Government to interfere in the proceedings of the Catalan Parliament; supports the right of peoples to hold free and open discussions of ideas without state intrusion; calls on the resolution of these institutional and political conflicts through non-criminal channels; and further calls for the immediate release of former President of the Parliament of Catalonia, Carme Forcadell. 

Chapman, Douglas Scottish National Party Dunfermline and West Fife 26.10.2018
Cherry, Joanna Scottish National Party Edinburgh South West 29.10.2018
Cowan, Ronnie Scottish National Party Inverclyde 25.10.2018
Edwards, Jonathan Plaid Cymru Carmarthen East and Dinefwr 24.10.2018
Glindon, Mary Labour Party North Tyneside 25.10.2018
Lake, Ben Plaid Cymru Ceredigion 24.10.2018
O'Hara, Brendan Scottish National Party Argyll and Bute 30.10.2018
Rimmer, Marie Labour Party St Helens South and Whiston 29.10.2018
Saville Roberts, Liz Plaid Cymru Dwyfor Meirionnydd 24.10.2018
Stephens, Christopher Scottish National Party Glasgow South West 29.10.2018
Thewliss, Alison Scottish National Party Glasgow Central 31.10.2018
Williams, Hywel Plaid Cymru Arfon 24.10.2018

 

Early day motion 1611

WELSH ARTISTS PERFORM AT CATALAN FESTIVAL

That this House congratulates the two Welsh acts, multi-instrumentalist Jack Found from Llangollen and Cardiff-based Gareth Bonnello, known as the Gentle Good, who have been selected to perform at the prestigious Mercat de Musica Viva de Vic (MMVV), a four day music industry showcase festival based in the city of Vic, Catalonia which celebrates international acts to the global industry audience; and welcomes the partnership between FOCUS Wales, MMVV Festival and Catalan Arts.

Filter EDMs by:

Name Party Constituency Date Signed
Edwards, Jonathan Plaid Cymru Carmarthen East and Dinefwr 11.09.2018
Lake, Ben Plaid Cymru Ceredigion 11.09.2018
Law, Chris Scottish National Party Dundee West 12.09.2018
Saville Roberts, Liz Plaid Cymru Dwyfor Meirionnydd 11.09.2018
Shannon, Jim Democratic Unionist Party Strangford 12.09.2018
Williams, Hywel Plaid Cymru Arfon 11.09.2018

Ben Lake MP, Jonathan Edwards MP, Joanna Cherry MP, Liz Saville Roberts MP,  Anna Forn, Txel Bonet, Carles Suarez, ANC England, and Brendan O'Hara MP

Anna Forn (seated second from right) and Txel Bonet address the APPG on Catalonia

 

Relatives of Catalan Political Prisoners Visit Westminster

 

On Tuesday 10 July at 6pm Txell Bonet, the partner of Jordi Cuixart, the President of Omnium Cultural, Catalonia's largest cultural association, who has been held in a Spanish jail since 16 October 2017, and Anna Forn, daughter of Joaquim Forn, Catalan Minister of the Interior, in jail since 2 November 2017, visited Westminster to brief Parliamentarians on the situation regarding the Catalan political prisoners.

 

Along with 17 others they await trial on charges of rebellion and sedition, which carry sentences of 30 years.

 

Some 40 people crammed into the room to hear their report on the situation their relatives find themselves in. 

 

Both Texell and Anna belong to the Human Association for Civil Rights made up of the family members of those held in Spanish jails or in exile.

 

The briefing will be in Room Q, 1st floor Portcullis House, on Tuesday 10 July, 6-7 pm.

Early Day Motion: CATALONIA AND SPAIN

That this House welcomes the formation of new governments in both Catalonia and Spain and hopes that members of both parliaments can begin the necessary process of respectful, positive dialogue; and requests that Catalan political prisoners be released from jail and those in exile, not least Clara Ponsati in Scotland, be allowed to return home without the threat of imprisonment.

Filter EDMs by:

 
Name Party Constituency Date Signed
Bardell, Hannah Scottish National Party Livingston 13.06.2018
Brown, Alan Scottish National Party Kilmarnock and Loudoun 12.06.2018
Chapman, Douglas Scottish National Party Dunfermline and West Fife 07.06.2018
Cherry, Joanna Scottish National Party Edinburgh South West 07.06.2018
Cowan, Ronnie Scottish National Party Inverclyde 07.06.2018
Day, Martyn Scottish National Party Linlithgow and East Falkirk 08.06.2018
Edwards, Jonathan Plaid Cymru Carmarthen East and Dinefwr 11.06.2018
Gray, Neil Scottish National Party Airdrie and Shotts 11.06.2018
Hendry, Drew Scottish National Party Inverness Nairn Badenoch and Strathspey 12.06.2018
Lake, Ben Plaid Cymru Ceredigion 12.06.2018
Law, Chris Scottish National Party Dundee West 11.06.2018
Linden, David Scottish National Party Glasgow East 12.06.2018
Lucas, Caroline Green Party Brighton Pavilion 11.06.2018
Lucas, Ian Labour Party Wrexham 11.06.2018
Rimmer, Marie Labour Party St Helens South and Whiston 13.06.2018
Rosindell, Andrew Conservative Party Romford 07.06.2018
Sheppard, Tommy Scottish National Party Edinburgh East 11.06.2018
Stephens, Christopher Scottish National Party Glasgow South West 12.06.2018
Walker, Thelma Labour Party Colne Valley 14.06.2018
Williams, Hywel Plaid Cymru Arfon 07.06.2018
     

APPG on Catalonia Members with Elisenda Paluzie. Left to Right: Duglas Chapman MP, Joanna Cherry MP, Ronnie Cowan MP, Elisenda Paluzie, Hywel Williams MP,  Andrew Rosindell MP and Carles Suarez, ANC England

Elisenda briefs MPs and Peers

Elisenda highlights the plight of those in prison or exile

Elisenda meets with Khalid Mahmood, Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) (Europe)

Elisenda and Hywel Williams MP, Chair of the APPG on Catalonia

Elisenda Paluzie, President of the Catalan National Assembly (Assemblia Nacional Catalana) visited Westminster on Thursday 8 June. MPs and Peers from the APPG on Catalonia met with her before she gave a briefing on the situation in Catalonia to Paliamentarians. Alltogether she met with 15 MPs and two Peers from the Conservative, Labour, Plaid Cymru, Scottish National Party and Sinn Fein.

Topical Questions to the Foreign & Commonwealth Ministers

27 March 2018

Hansard, Volume 638

 

Gavin Newlands (Paisley and Renfrewshire North) (SNP)

 

Our silence over—indeed, our tacit support for—the wholly unacceptable and Franco-esque crackdown on democracy and human rights in Catalonia by the Spanish state is shameful and indeed makes us complicit. Will the Minister please rethink, speak to his Spanish counterparts and urge them to draw back from their counterproductive actions?

 

Sir Alan Duncan

I do not agree with the hon. Gentleman’s interpretation of what is happening in Catalonia. We fully support the Spanish Government in upholding the proper workings of the Spanish constitution.

 

https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2018-03-27/debates/E31F019B-CAEE-4C6F-8832-154DBBA7E790/TopicalQuestions

 Tuesday 27 March: MPs show solidarity with Catalan democracy and with the prisoners. Left to right: Hywel Williams (Plaid Cymry), Sir David Amess (Conservative), Gavin Newlands (Scottish National Party), Jonathan Edwards (PC), Liz Saville Roberts (PC) and Ben Lake (PC)

      

SPANISH THREAT OF DIRECT RULE ON LANGUAGE IN CATALONIA

 

Early Day Motion 969 Submitted 22 February 2018

 

That this House condemns the Spanish Government's plans to impose direct rule over language provision in Catalonian schools; recognises that Catalonia is an autonomous self-governing community and reserves the right to ensure Catalan is the working language used in its schools; rejects the Spanish Government's plans which would divide Catalonian students on a language basis; and urges the Government to make representations to the Spanish Government to respect the will of the people of Catalonia and find a peaceful and democratic solution to the ongoing instability.

 

https://www.parliament.uk/edm/2017-19/969

 

 

THE MINOTAUR  OF ‘78
REPORT ON INSTITUTIONAL VIOLENCE BY THE  SPANISH STATE AGAINST CATALONIA’S PROCESS  OF SELF-DETERMINATION, 2015-2017

Initiative of the mayor offices of Sabadell, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Argentona, Sant Martí Sarroca and Soriguera

 

"The Minotaur of '78" is a report on the institutional violence of the Spanish state against the self-determiantion process of Catalonia, during the period 2015-2017. It was launched last december 2017 in Barcelona. 

The report is an initiative of the local governments of Sabadell, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Argentona, Sant Martí Sarroca and Soriguera. It has also been presented at Geneva, at the Headquarters of the Human Rights Council, and at the World Organisation Against Torture. 

This document intends to be a summary on the repression at different levels against the self-determination process of Catalonia. From the open cases against freedom of expression, police violence under a framework of protest , the lack of judicial independence and of the General Prosecutor. 

You can download the report here.

http://cup.cat/sites/default/files/el_minotaure_del_78_revisat_angl.pdf

 

DECLARATION: European Call for Democracy in Catalonia 20th of December 2017

 

We, members of Parliaments in European countries, express our deepest concern regarding the current situation in Catalonia. In light of the dismissal of the democratically elected Catalan government and the later imprisonment of ministers and leaders of civil society organizations, we call on the Spanish government to cease in this excessive use of force.

 

Furthermore, we call on the Spanish government and on the international society to ensure the upcoming election for the regional Parliament in Catalonia be held in a democratic manner free from undue interference from the Spanish government.

 

We express our wish that the imprisoned minister and leaders of civil society organizations be released and we urge the Spanish government to avoid further use of force and engage in political dialogue with the regional government elected by the Catalans.

 

Signed by members of Parliaments in European countries:

 

  • Aaja Chemnitz, Greenland
  • Aengus Ó Snodaigh, Ireland
  • Alex Maskey, Northern Ireland
  • Andres Ammas, Estonia
  • Angus McNeil, Scotland
  • Artur Talvik, Estonia
  • Barry McElduff, Ireland
  • Bodil Valero, Sweden
  • Brian Stanley, Ireland
  • Caoimghín Ó Caoláin, Ireland
  • Caoimhe Archibald, Northern Ireland
  • Caral Ni Chuilin, Northern Ireland
  • Carol Monaghan, United Kingdom
  • Carol Nolan, Ireland
  • Cathal Boylan, Northern Ireland
  • Catherine Kelly, Northern Ireland
  • Chris Hazzard, Ireland
  • Christian Juhl, Denmark
  • Colm Gildernew, Northern Ireland
  • Conor Murphy, Northern Ireland
  • David Cullinane, Ireland
  • Declan Kearney, Northern Ireland
  • Declan McAleer, Northern Ireland
  • Denise Mitchell, Ireland
  • Dessie Ellis, Ireland
  • Dimitrij Rupel, Slovenia
  • Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, Ireland
  • Elisha McCallion, Ireland
  • Emma Rogan, Northern Ireland
  • Eoin Ó Broin, Ireland
  • Eva Flyvholm, Denmark
  • Finn Sørensen, Denmark
  • Fintan Warfield, Ireland
  • Fra McCann, Northern Ireland
  • Francie Molloy, Ireland
  • Gerry Adams, Ireland
  • Gerry Kelly, Northern Ireland
  • Helga Stevens, Belgium
  • Henning Hyllested, Denmark
  • Hywel Williams, United Kingdom
  • Ian Milne, Northern Ireland
  • Imelda Munster, Ireland
  • Jakob Sølvhøj, Denmark
  • Jemma Dolan, Northern Ireland
  • Jesper Kiel, Denmark
  • Joanna Cherry, Scotland
  • Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen, Denmark
  • John Brady, Ireland
  • John O Dowd, Northern Ireland
  • Jonathan O Brien, Ireland
  • Karen Mullan, Northern Ireland
  • Kathleen Funchion, Ireland
  • Krista Aru, Estonia Lars
  • Aslan Rasmussen, Denmark
  • Linda Dillon, Northern Ireland
  • Linda Fabiani, Scotland
  • Liz Saville-Roberts, United Kingdom
  • Lord Berkeley, United Kingdom
  • Louise O Reilly, Ireland
  • Magni Arge, Faroe Islands
  • Máire Devine, Ireland
  • Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, Northern Ireland
  • Maria Reumert Gjerding, Denmark
  • Mark Demesmaeker, Belgium
  • Martin Ferris, Ireland
  • Martin Kenny, Ireland
  • Mary Lou McDonald, Ireland
  • Maurice Quinlivan, Ireland
  • Megan Fearon, Northern Ireland
  • Michaela Boyle, Northern Ireland
  • Michelle Gildernew, Ireland
  • Michelle O Neill, Northern Ireland
  • Mickey Brady, Ireland
  • Mikko Kärnä, Finland
  • Niall Ó Donnghaile, Ireland
  • Nikolaj Willumsen, Denmark
  • Olli Immonen, Finland
  • Orlaithi Flynn, Northern Ireland
  • Pádraig MacLoughlain, Ireland
  • Pat Buckley, Ireland
  • Pat Sheehan, Northern Ireland
  • Paul Gavan, Ireland
  • Paul Maskey, Ireland
  • Peadar Tóibín, Ireland
  • Pearse Doherty, Ireland
  • Pelle Dragsted, Denmark
  • Pernille Skipper, Denmark
  • Peter luykx, Belgium
  • Philip McGuigan, Northern Ireland
  • Rasmus Nordqvist, Denmark
  • Raymond McCartney, Northern Ireland
  • Ronnie Cowan, United Kingdom
  • Rose Conway Walsh, Ireland
  • Rune Lund, Denmark
  • Seán Crowe, Ireland
  • Sean Lynch, Northern Ireland
  • Sinead Ennis, Northern Ireland
  • Stine Brix, Denmark
  • Søren Egge Rasmussen, Denmark
  • Søren Søndergaard, Denmark
  • Trevor Ó Clochartaigh, Ireland
  • Veiko Spolitis, Latvia

 

 

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

Michael Fabricant MP

Marion Fellows MP

Hugh Gaffney MP

Neil Gray MP

Drew Hendry MP

Susan Ellen Jones MP

Daniel Kawczynski MP

Ben Lake MP

Pauline Latham MP

Chris Law MP

Anna McMorrin MP

Angus MacNeil MP

John McNally MP

Gavin Newlands MP

Carol Monaghan MP

Lord Northbrook

Lloyd Rusell-Moyle MP

Baroness Sharples

Liz Saville Roberts MP

Alex Sobel MP

Tommy Sheppherd 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)