I WAS on holiday in Catalonia recently and, without doubt, a large majority of Catalans want their independence from Spain.

There were Catalan flags everywhere, outnumbering those of Spain by at least ten to one. All those Catalans I spoke to favoured separation.

The Catalans have their own culture, language and national identity. What is more, they have never forgotten the Spanish Civil War and the atrocities inflicted on them by Franco’s fascists.

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Following the recent disputed referendum and declaration of independence, Spain has imposed direct rule, forcing Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, and his colleagues, faced with charges of rebellion and sedition, to flee to Brussels.

The only form of definitive referendum the Spanish government will consider would allow all Spaniards and Catalans to vote, guaranteeing a government victory.

In contrast to Spain, the British government has dealt fairly with demands for both Scottish independence and Brexit. What is more, once the results were known, there was, generally, respect for them, even from those with contrary opinions.

With the threat of a second civil war hanging over them, I bet both Spaniards and Catalans wish they had honest, good old British democracy.

Steve Kay, Redcar & Cleveland councillor