Thursday, 13 June 2013

David Cameron: "let the people decide" and do not "ignore questions of nationality, independence, identity"

CNA

London (ACN).- The British Prime Minister David Cameron answered a question referring to Scotland’s self-determination process on Wednesday and he indirectly compared it to Catalonia’s situation. In a meeting with international journalists Cameron stated that he “doesn’t believe” that trying “to ignore these questions of nationality, independence, identity” is the right way. The British PM said “it’s right to make your arguments, take them on and then you let the people decide”. However, without being asked about it, he linked it to the Catalan case by immediately adding he “would never presume to tell people in Spain how to meet these challenges themselves”. Cameron concluded his answer by saying “it’s a matter for the Spanish Government and the Spanish Prime Minister” to decide how to handle the situation.

In a meeting with international journalists, David Cameron was asked about Scotland’s independence referendum. Nobody in the room had made any reference to Catalonia or Spain. However, Cameron indirectly referred to the Catalan case. This was the British Prime Minister’s literal answer: “I don’t believe that, in the end, [it's right to] try to ignore these questions of nationality, independence, identity... I think it’s right to make your arguments, take them on and then you let the people decide. But that’s the way I want to do things in the United Kingdom. I would never presume to tell people in Spain how to meet these challenges themselves; it’s a matter for the Spanish Government and the Spanish Prime Minister”.

In fact the British Government is handling the Scottish case in a very different way to how the Spanish Government is handling the Catalan claims for independence from Spain. While Madrid totally opposes the organisation of a self-determination referendum and refuses to hold any talks with the Catalan Government or political parties about the claims for independence democratically expressed by peaceful demonstrations and through the results of the last Catalan elections, London’s attitude is to allow a democratic vote.

The British Government listened to the independence claims expressed through the results of the 2011 Scottish Parliament Elections, when the Scottish National Party – supporting Scotland’s independence – won an overall majority. Accordingly, the British Prime Minister sat to negotiate with the Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond. On the 15th October of 2012, they both signed an agreement by which they engaged in working towards allowing the organisation of a legal referendum on Scotland’s independence. Finally, the British Parliament agreed to transfer power to Scotland to organise such vote. The British and Scottish governments negotiated over several months the legal formula for undertaking the referendum, the type of question, the constituency and the time for holding the vote. In the end, Scotland’s independence referendum will be held on the 18th of September, 2014. Furthermore, in the last few months, both governments have been issuing reports on the pros and cons of Scotland’s independence. London has been providing arguments for the “no” vote and Edinburgh for the “yes”, but it has been done in a civilised and democratic way.

  • david_cameron_reuters_investment_forum

  • The British Prime Minister, David Cameron at the last Global Investment Conference (by Reuters)