VV’s Diary

6 October: The only common ground is a legally binding, mutually agreed referendum

I’ve recently had a friendly chat with people who voted Yes on September 27 and others whose vote was counted as a No (although not all of them feel comfortable with that). They voted for the Catalan socialist party (PSC), Catalunya Sí que es Pot (“Catalonia Yes We Can”); some voted for Unió Democràtica (UDC) and there were others who voted for Ciudadanos, too.

We discussed how the current muddle could be sorted out. None of us think it’s possible for either side to impose its solution on the other. Both sides have dug in their positions. The prospect of an endless, bitter tie is a terribly dull one.

So what common ground is there? A new fiscal deal for Catalonia is no longer an acceptable negotiated way out. A constitutional reform? To what end? Those of us who discuss the matter (and are not in office and merely represent ourselves) usually end up agreeing that we would all accept the verdict of a legally binding, mutually agreed referendum, where we would be asked to choose between independence and a broad-base offer from the State to ensure Catalonia’s continuity within Spain. And may the best man win.

To us, such a referendum seems the only possible common ground (and we’d vote differently), the only way to sort out the current muddle we are in. We’ll either get a referendum eventually or we don’t know what we’ll get in the end, assuming there’s an end. And all of us want it to end. Without any drama.