MEMBERS of the Catalan parliament have voted to declare independence from Spain putting them on a collision course with Spain’s national government in Madrid.

The motion from the ruling coalition Junts pel Si (Together for Yes) and their allies from the left-wing Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) seeks “open negotiation with the Spanish state” without pre-conditions, and urges the international community and European Union officials to “stop the ongoing civil and political rights violations and to follow up on the negotiating process” with Spain.

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The National:

The motion which passed

Opposition MPs boycotted the vote, which saw a 70-10 majority for Yes, with two blank papers.

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Thousands of demonstrators waving Catalan flags and chanting “independence” and “freedom”, had gathered outside Ciutadella park in Barcelona, where Catalonia’s parliament is located, and cheered as news of the decision broke.

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Spain opposes the independence bid and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government is discussing moves to take over control of the north-eastern state.

Rajoy had earlier urged the Spanish Senate to grant unprecedented constitutional measures under Article 155 of the constitution, which would allow central government to take control of Catalonia's autonomous powers.

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