SPAIN: Catalonia Parliament Approves “Binding” Secession Vote, PM Vows To Block Via High Court

The BBC reports:

Parliament in Spain’s restive Catalonia region has approved an independence referendum on 1 October which Madrid has vowed to outlaw. Separatist parties which hold a slim majority backed the referendum law and legal framework needed to set up an independent state.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has asked the constitutional court to nullify it. He will hold an emergency cabinet meeting on Thursday and meet other party leaders. His deputy earlier accused secessionists of trampling on democracy.

Spain’s wealthy north-eastern region already has autonomous powers but the regional government says it has popular support for full secession. The Catalan government has a majority in the regional parliament made up of the separatist Junts pel Si (Together for Yes) coalition and the left-wing CUP party.

More from the Guardian:

The Spanish government has accused the Catalan parliament of committing a “constitutional and democratic atrocity” by approving legislation to allow next month’s bitterly disputed independence referendum to go ahead.

On Wednesday night, the region’s ruling, pro-sovereignty coalition – which has a majority in the Catalan parliament – managed to get the referendum law passed despite angry objections from opposition MPs, who complained that usual parliamentary procedures had been disregarded.

The legislation passed by 72 votes after 52 opposition MPs walked out of the chamber in Barcelona in protest at the end of an ill-tempered, 11-hour session. The move was denounced by the Spanish government, which once again said it would do everything in its legal and political power to stop the vote from going ahead on 1 October.