British PM warns warns Catalonia against secession
British Prime Minister David Cameron warned Friday that if Catalonia breaks away from Spain it will be at the "back of the queue" to get back in the European Union.
Speaking in Madrid, Cameron said he had the same stance on Catalonia's contested drive for independence as he did on Scotland, which a year ago voted against breaking away from Britain.
"We are better off together, stronger together, more prosperous together. We should stay together, whatever situation we're faced with," he told a news conference with his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy.
"If one part of a state secedes from that state, it is no longer part of the European Union and has to take its place at the back of the queue, behind those other countries applying to become members of the EU," Cameron added.
The conservative British prime minister took a similar stance to Rajoy, who fiercely opposes Catalan independence. The difference between them is that Cameron granted Scotland the right to vote in a referendum on independence -- a move which Rajoy has staunchly resisted for Catalonia.
Pro-independence Catalan leaders want Catalonia's regional election on September 27 to serve as a de facto vote on independence.
Their bid is the most delicate political issue Rajoy faces as he tries to cement Spain's recovery from an economic crisis.
© 2015 AFP