Former Scottish Minister, Jim Mather, in Barcelona

Very interesting initiative by the Cercle Català de Negocis, a lobby of Catalan Businesspeople for the independence of Catalonia. They invited Jim Mather, the former Scottish Minister of Enterprise, Energy and Tourism, to give a conference named: “Why “small” means “more” in the wealth of nations” especially aimed at Catalan Businesspeople at the Universitat de Barcelona.

Out of the main concepts he spoke about (link in Catalan) and from an interview to online newspaper Nació Digital (link in Catalan), I’d highlight three concepts that apply to both countries:

  1. For small countries like Scotland and Catalonia the best way to take advantage of the opportunities globalisation brings is to have their own state. In fact, out of the 20 richest countries in the world, 11 are small.
  2. Both in Scotland and in Catalonia the unionist points of view are based in negative (based on fear) or emotional reasons. There are no solid arguments for Scotland to remain in the United Kingdom or for Catalonia in Spain
  3. Convincing the businesspeople is a key factor to advance towards independence. In Catalonia’s case the middle classes are already favourable to independence. But not so much the businesspeople, who are still scared of a negative reaction in the Spanish market when independence arrives. Luckily, this trend seems to be slowly changing, and the CCN are doing a great job in demistifying those fears by analysing the actual economical impact independence would have and its advantages

This is a great initiative and it is extremely important that the pro independence movements both in Scotland and Catalonia cooperate since we’ll have to go down similar roads to become states inside the European Union sooner rather than later.

However, I’m quite envious since in Scotland the SNP are taking the lead and working from the institutions openly for independence while in Catalonia CiU are slowly being pushed by society towards more pro independence positions.

photo by twak

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