Aversion to centralised power is destabilising states across Europe. The EU ignores this growing desire for regional autonomy at its own risk

Catalonia is wrong. Madrid is right. There is a Spanish constitution which clearly lays down the sovereignty and integrity of the Spanish state. There is no provision for breaking away. Catalonia, despite its distinctive past, has long acquiesced in the Spanish constitution and has no legal right to become independent. On that point the law is clear.

Related: Beyond Catalonia: pro-independence movements in Europe

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