Why is Catalan referendum set for November?

I must admit that I had not given much thought to this aspect of the proposed referendum on Catalan independence. That is until I read an interesting little piece by Liz Castro, in which she explains the thinking behind the choice of November 2014. Previously the most favoured date was early September to more or less co-incide with the date of our referendum here in Scotland. So what has brought about the decision to postpone the Catalan referendum until after Scotland has voted? The reason it seems has all to do with the EU. The Catalan government, like the Scottish government, are strongly of the opinion that in the event of a Yes vote, the EU would quickly act to ensure a smooth and rapid transition to full membership of the EU. It would be above all a political decision. However the Catalan government clearly does not have the same confidence that I expressed yesterday that the EU will, before the referendums, officially pronounce on how it will respond to a Yes vote in Catalunya and Scotland. The Catalans expect the EU to continue to avoid making any positive statements, thus ensuring that doubts remain about an independent Catalunya’s continuing membership of the EU.

Their solution is to postpone the Catalan referendum until after the Scottish referendum. In this way if there is a Yes vote in Scotland, the EU will rapidly set out the process by which Scotland can remain in the EU as a full member state. Thus by the time the Catalans vote there will no longer be any doubt about EU membership. This of course assumes a Yes vote in Scotland. But according to Liz Castro, even if Scotland votes no, this will have little effect on how the referendum turns out in Catalunya. You can read her article here. It is in catalan and as yet I have not found an English language version.

From what I can gather, Liz Castro is an American who now lives in Barcelona. She describes herself as a neo-rural computer book writer, publisher, and Catalanist.

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Filed under European Union, Scotland

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