#France has said it will not recognise Catalonia if the regional government presses ahead with a unilateral declaration of independence from Spain, and urged both sides to negotiate their way out of the crisis triggered by last week’s referendum.
“If there were to be a declaration of independence, it would be unilateral, and it would not be recognised,” France’s European affairs minister, Nathalie Loiseau, said.
“Catalonia cannot be defined by the vote organised by the independence movement just over a week ago,” she told CNews television. “This crisis needs to be resolved through dialogue at all levels of Spanish politics.”
Loiseau also repeated the European commission’s warning that an independent Catalonia would find itself outside the European Union and obliged to reapply for membership.
“If independence were to be recognised – which is not something that’s being discussed – the most immediate consequence would be that [Catalonia] automatically left the European Union.
The Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, is due to bring the results of the referendum before the regional parliament on Tuesday.
According to the Catalan government, 90% of participants voted for independence in the referendum on 1 October, with 2.3 million of Catalonia’s 5.3 million registered voters casting a ballot.
It remains unclear whether Puigdemont will opt merely to recognise the referendum result or whether he will push ahead with a unilateral declaration of independence.