Dr Mark McNaught of Demos Scotland gives an update on his quest to create a Scottish constitution
ON 10 September, with elected members of the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) Friends of Catalonia group in Barcelona for la Diada the following day, we brought together three members of the Catalan parliament, and members of Constituïm who have developed a prototype draft constitution for Catalonia.
The purpose was to lay the groundwork for further cooperation between Scotland and Catalonia as it seems increasingly likely that both nations will have unilateral independence referendums within the next two years.
While the meeting was mostly focused on building trust and getting familiar with each other, it became abundantly clear that Scotland and Catalonia face many of the same issues on their roads towards independence, and mutual cooperation and solidarity is indispensable to overcoming the contrived hurdles thrown up by the Spanish and UK monarchies.
The areas of potential cooperation include, but are by no means limited to the following:
- How to reassure citizens that the future Catalan and Scottish republics will truly be better and more democratic for ordinary citizens than the present monarchy they 'enjoy'. If the new states are as corrupt and oligarchic as the old ones, independence will have been a total waste.
- How to structure tax collection, welfare, and pension agencies in each future independent state so that both nations’ resources are fully deployed and invested in their peoples and infrastructure, rather than squandered elsewhere.
- To share ideas on drafting a written constitution. The Constituïm draft is a truly innovative, democratic, egalitarian and humane document. It has many ideas which could inform a Scottish constitution, and the Constitutional Commission, the Common Weal and other groups in Scotland have excellent ideas for Catalans to consider.
- Making joint requests to the EU for continued seamless adhesion, including requesting legal opinions on how the EU plans to exclude Scotland and Catalonia from the EU if either votes for independence, as some threats have conveyed, so they can plan accordingly.
It became abundantly clear that Scotland and Catalonia face many of the same issues on their roads towards independence, and mutual cooperation and solidarity is indispensable to overcoming the contrived hurdles thrown up by the Spanish and UK monarchies.
- Agreeing to be the first nations to recognise each other upon successful independence referendums.
These are just a few areas of potential collaboration, around which meetings and conferences will be organised in the months to come.
It is important to recognise that this cooperation cannot yet be conducted at the highest levels of the Scottish and Catalan governments. At the very least, not alienating EU member states who have their own internal independence movements prevents that for the time being.
However, that does not prevent Scots and Catalans in the civil and political substrata from cooperating on independence and constitutional issues. The
people already involved have direct access to the 'higher-ups', and would keep them abreast of the discussions. Hopefully they will join us soon.
Future articles will follow to keep Scots abreast of our progress.
Picture courtesy of Fredrik Rubensson
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