MADRID, September 17 (RIA Novosti) – Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has warned supporters of Scotland and Catalonia’s secession that they might face considerable difficulties while reapplying to the European Union if vote for independence.
"If a part of a state becomes separate, it becomes a third party in relation to the European Union,” Rajoy stressed speaking to members of Spanish parliament on Wednesday.
Reapplying may take years, as it requires the ratification of all the 28 member-states. “I’ve no sympathy at all for these processes. They’re bad for the state in question and for the whole of the European Union,” Rajoy stated, asked by a Basque lawmaker if he would help an independent Scotland stay in the European Union.
Rajoy described referendums like the Scottish one as "a torpedo below the waterline for European integration."
Representative of the Basque National Party (EAJ-PNV) Aitor Esteban called for the Prime Minister “to be a democrat” and follow the example of the British authorities, noting that refusing Catalans the right on a referendum does not correspond to the principles of European democracy.
Last Thursday, hundreds of thousands of Catalans took to the streets and formed a "V" for "vote" along two of Barcelona's main roads calling for their right to vote. Catalonia's President Artur Mas has previously promised to hold a vote on November 9. Catalan regional parliament is scheduled to vote on a resolution that could pave the way for a November referendum on independence from Spain on Wednesday.
The Spanish national government, however, is opposed to any steps of Catalonia toward independence, and the referendum may be considered legal only with the national government’s approval.
Scots will take part in an independence referendum on Thursday, September 18, and will be asked one question, "Should Scotland become an independent country?