LIKE most of your readers, I watched with growing disbelief and increasing outrage as events developed in Barcelona and other parts of Catalonia on Sunday. It was truly distressing to see that a so-called modern democracy was prepared to deploy such disproportionate force against its citizens.

Maybe I should have been more prepared, given the earlier seizure of ballot boxes and voting papers, arrests and prosecutions of mayors, politicians and other officials. Nevertheless the sheer brutality, when it came, was truly shocking.

My incredulity and anger have been compounded by the reactions of our political representatives. The UK Foreign Office response has been totally inadequate and pathetic – all it is prepared to say is that Spain is a key ally and we don’t want to interfere. Our First Minister should be commended for her forthright condemnation of the scenes we have been witnessing.

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One of the most disappointing features has been the EU’s lack of criticism and action against the Spanish government. As I understand it, Spain is in breach of Articles 2 and 7 of the EU Treaty and should therefore be at risk of suspension. Yet all that its response did was refer to the illegality of the Catalonian referendum and suggest the two sides should enter into dialogue.

To an extent I can understand the UK’s lack of action: it is mindful of indyref2 being unfinished business and does not wish to be seen in any way showing sympathy with anyone seeking independence. The response by the EU, however, is more difficult to understand for those who are pro-indy and pro-EU. Jim Sillars may turn out to be right in his assertion that a commitment to EU membership will no longer be an incentive for voting Yes in our next referendum.

Even though the UK does not have a written constitution or constitutional court as Spain does, can we be confident that the EU is aware of these differences? Would it be helpful or obstructive in any conflict situation?

It would be rash, however, to let the heart overrule the head and abandon the notion of EU membership. An independent Scotland outside of the EU would find itself burdened with all the same disadvantages of Brexit but subject to all the perils and vengeances that rUK might wish to extract.

So I will pinch my nose a bit harder and carry on believing that there is more to be gained from being within the EU than being out. We should above all be ready to learn the lessons from Catalonia’s tragedy.

Westminster might be encouraged in trying to block a Section 20 order in the belief that it might get away without any criticism. We must show that we will not be denied our referendum and if it is withheld are prepared to take it. No more lying down to bullies!
JF Davidson

I CAN see huge deflections coming along about Catalonia which will be used to our disadvantage. The discussions will probably be all about the absolutely appalling behaviour of the Spanish government in Catalonia and about the (entirely predictable) initial EU response to it.

The discussion should, however, be about the inalienable right to self-determination of the people of Catalonia. This will be swept under the table or, if it is referenced at all, it will be met with a fusillade of legal and constitutional nonsenses.

I hope the Scottish Government recognises the importance of this.

A constitution and its laws are only legitimate if they are supported by a majority of the people who live under them. If a majority in Catalonia reject the provisions of the Spanish constitution it has no validity or legitimacy in Catalonia. It’s called “democracy”.
Dave McEwan Hill
Sandbank, Argyll

THE EU’s support for the Spanish government’s breach of human rights in Catalonia is shameful and disturbing. But those who argue that we should therefore leave the EU have the wrong end of the stick. The EU representatives in question don’t just happen to “be there” for no reason.

The EU Parliament consists of MEPs democratically elected by their respective regions. We vote for them.

The EU Council consists of democratically elected ministers from the governments of its member states. We vote for those governments.

The EU Commission consists of 28 commissioners proposed by the democratically elected governments of the member states, and approved by the (democratically elected) MEPs. We vote for those governments and those MEPs.

If we want an EU that reflects our humanitarian and democratic views, we need to make sure we elect our MEPs and our governments (who propose and select EU councillors and commissioners) accordingly. That’s really all.
Sonja Cameron
Address supplied

IT is patently obvious why the UK Government, including my local MP David Mundell, has failed to condemn Spain for its use of force in opposing the Catalan referendum. This failure could mean that it reserves the right to use similar force against a future Scottish referendum.

It will be delighted that the Spanish government managed to defend its laws and disrupt the vote without actually creating martyrs, as the British government did in Ireland in 1916.

It may well now regard what happened in Catalonia as the right model to follow.
Ronnie Black