Catalonia

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office – in the House of Commons on 2nd April 2019.

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Photo of Marion Fellows Marion Fellows SNP Whip, Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Small Business, Enterprise and Innovation)

If he will take steps to promote human rights and self-determination for Catalonia in Spain.

Photo of Alan Duncan Alan Duncan Minister of State

Thank you so much, Mr Speaker; I am ever grateful.

As I have previously made clear to the House, the situation in Catalonia is a matter for Spain. We remain clear that questions related to the issue of Catalan independence should be resolved within the proper constitutional and legal channels of Spain.

Photo of Marion Fellows Marion Fellows SNP Whip, Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Small Business, Enterprise and Innovation)

It is everyone’s responsibility—including this Government’s—to uphold human rights. Far from becoming the major global player that Brexiteers imagine, the UK appears more and more irrelevant on the world stage. Is it the case that the UK Government are not seeking to uphold self-determination for Catalonia because they need Spain’s help in further Brexit negotiations?

Photo of Alan Duncan Alan Duncan Minister of State

No, it is because we uphold the rule of law, as we have discussed earlier in questions. We uphold the rule of law here with Scotland and we uphold it in Spain with regards to Catalonia. Certain accusations that Spain somehow has political prisoners are absurd. It does not have political prisoners; it has prisoners who happen to be political.

Photo of Richard Graham Richard Graham Conservative, Gloucester

Tolerance of people of different faiths and sexualities is incredibly important for the promotion of human rights. Does my right hon. Friend therefore share the disappointment of many that tomorrow the kingdom of Brunei—a key Commonwealth partner and long-term ally of the UK—is introducing the death penalty for homosexuality?

Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Speaker of the House of Commons, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Commons Reference Group on Representation and Inclusion Committee

No, no, no—sit down. The question is about Catalonia. [Interruption.] Well, I have been advised, and I am afraid that the question did not strike me as in order. We must move on. The hon. Gentleman can try again later.