Catalonia is an important part of Spain, comprising four provinces in the north eastern part of the country. There are only 7.6 million folk who live there so when on 11 September Catalonia day 1.8 million of them form an eleven kilometre line in the shape of a “V” to symbolise their wish for a referendum to decide whether Catalonia should be an independent nation, then it is clear that there are strong independence feelings in that part of the world.

Spain resists the legitimacy of any call for independence. This was the same reaction that the European union had to the referendum in Crimea, even though it was clear that a legal referendum would have had no different result from the referendum that was alleged to be illegal. The European Union is interested in expanding its borders and the authority of its government and not interested in encouraging or facilitating independence movements, unless it can expand into new territory.

Spain also opposes any settlement which would reduce the size of span; politicians like to govern large numbers of people in preference to small numbers of people.

The forthcoming referendum vote in Scotland will inspire the Catalans to seek their own vote. No doubt parts of other nations will find that there are secessionists who will seek their own referendum. The world has become a small place. If Scotland Catalonia and others become small independent nations (genuinely independent that is and not quasi independent) then the world will become a bigger place and a better world for that.