Collective thinking on independence

They knew it was going to be big. But not that big. As ­Barcelona throbbed last Tuesday night to the sound of more than one million Catalans on the streets, under the banner “Catalonia: a new European State”, shockwaves spread across the continent.

In Madrid, Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s prime minister curtly dismissed the “big gesture” and said the ­focus should be on the economy and jobs.

In Brussels, European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso and a commission spokesman muddled their way through explanations of what might or might not happen if part of an EU state were to secede. In Edinburgh, those comments kicked off another round of tit-for-tat about the uncertainties that a “Yes” vote in the forthcoming independence referendum would trigger.

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