Jonathan Edwards is a Welsh MP at Westminster for Plaid Cymru. He has recently tabled an early day Motion in the House of Commons supporting Pep Guardiola and his stance in favour of Catalan political prisoners. The motion regrets the “undemocratic actions taken by the Spanish Government to have imprisoned their political rivals” and “condemns the decision by the Football Association to charge Pep Guardiola for wearing a yellow ribbon”

Why did you enter an Early Day Motion on that issue?
—We have been following the events in Catalonia for a number of years now. We at Plaid Cymru also fight for the feedom of our country, so the interest in Catalonia and the exciting events happening there is easy to understand. That’s also why we support Pep Guardiola’s right to wear a yellow ribbon. Guardiola is expressing his concern about events happening in his homeland and he should be able to do so. It’s his right to freedom of speech.

On Sunday, chief executive Martin Glenn from the Football Association compared Guardiola’s yellow ribbon to a swastika, among other symbols.
—It’s very sad. I think this kind of comments are absolutely unhelpful, but they show the level of thinking inside the FA.

What do you expect from the motion?
—At the moment we are collecting signatures for this and a similar Early Day Motion sponsored by our Scottish colleagues from the SNP. We will keep insisting on the plight of the Catalan people at the House of Commons, as we are very critical towards the actions of the Spanish Government. Unfortunately, Westminster is very supportive of the Spanish Government.

Why do you think the British Government acts like this?
—Well, let’s not forget that the Spanish Government also showed its support during the Scottish referendum and backed the idea that an independent Scotland would be vetoed from the EU. And now in the times of Brexit, I guess the last thing Westminster would like to do is upset the Spanish Government. However, I don’t see how the UK Government can’t be concerned about the breach of human rights in Catalonia.

Are you worried about the current situation in Catalonia?
—I was horrified after seeing the pictures of the 1 October referendum and the brutal police attacks on peaceful voters. My colleague Adam Price was there as a member of an international delegation and told us about shocking scenes. This scale of indiscriminate violence is just not acceptable and the EU should not turn a blind eye to it! And now there are political leaders in prison and in exile, it’s just hard to believe. That’s why I labelled the actions of the Spanish State against Catalonia as “tyrannical” in the House of Commons.

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Vicent Partal
Director de VilaWeb