The Guardian – Catalonia leader threatens to draw EU into independence row with Spain

Artur Mas points to Scottish referendum deal as he vows to ‘internationalise conflict’ if Spanish PM blocks a Catalan vote.

Catalonia in north-east Spain will issue a challenge to the EU as regional leader Artur Mas prepares to ask voters to declare whether they want an independent state within the EU.

A yes vote in the referendum would not just create a constitutional crisis for Spain, which has no mechanism for allowing the independence of one of its regions, but would also issue a clear challenge to the EU.

The EU has no system for the break up of a member state, and a new entity could have future membership blocked by just one member country.

Mas said he planned to ask the question, including the reference to the EU, during a four-year term that starts after regional elections on 25 November – even though Spain’s prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, has threatened to block a referendum.

The Catalan referendum would take place around the time of a similar vote in Scotland in 2014 and could be followed by an independence vote in the Basque country, where nationalists and separatists are expected to win elections this weekend.

Read @ The Guardian