WHILE Catalan government supporters celebrated the news of their region’s independence, their up-beat atmosphere will not last, as the question on everyone’s lips is not if but how soon it will be before the Spanish government acts.

In the UK, Prime Minister Theresa May supported Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy by saying her Government did not recognise Catalonia as an independent country. But the First Minister of Scotland and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said her government respected Catalonia as an independent country.

No surprises there as First Minister is obsessed with Scottish Independence even after she lost half a million Scottish votes and a third of her seats in the last election.

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The Spanish government must have had excellent intelligence because even before the illegal Catalonian referendum there were on YouTube videos of lots of military hardware heading to Catalonia as early as late September.

The Spanish government must have been anticipating that Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont would win his referendum and there would be civil disobedience by pro-independence supporters.

There is now speculation that Mr Rajoy will have to send in elite members of the armed forces, possibly airborne or the Spanish foreign legion or both, as a last resort to restore law and order.

Anything can happen. The situation is very fluid and exceptionally unpredictable. The world’s eyes will be on Spain.

Alistair Rutter, Woodland, Bishop Auckland