THERE are four facts, not opinions, that justify Catalonia becoming a new state within the European Union.

The first is the extreme corruption of the Spanish Government for many years and the fact that Europe does not manage to solve it. In Catalonia there are cases of corruption but, according to international reports, they are infinitely remote from those of the Kingdom of Spain.

In fact, according to these studies, Catalonia has a high level of transparency in its administrations. This is an important reason for many new supporters of an independent Catalonia.

The second cause for an independent Catalonia within the European Union is the economic downfall that the Spanish Government has imposed in Catalonia for a long time. Spain has invested millions and millions in trains, airports and other large public works outside of Catalonia. These investments have given little or no benefit at the state level while Catalonia continues to benefit the Kingdom of Spain. In fact, the fiscal balance of Catalonia has always been negative. In other words, Catalonia provides more money to Spain than it gets back.

The third reason for independence is the past history where Spain has never helped too much in Catalonia. Moreover, the different Spanish governments have always tried, to a lesser degree, to make Catalan language, institutions and culture disappear.

And finally, the last reason for an independent Catalonia lies in the different language and culture that the Catalans have with respect to the Spanish. There are links, but many have been imposed such as the Castilian language, the Borbon Crown and the sentences of the Constitutional Court.

While all this happens, and with the gaze on the other side of the European Union, the Spanish Government is growing more and more, departing from democracy to impose what it believes – opinions – and not what is in front of it: the facts.

Dr David Rabadà i Vives

Generalitat de Catalunya

IT is good news for our EU students knowing that, for now, they will still be eligible for free tuition up to and including the academic year 2019-2020. With any independence success this will surely be extended. However, there does appear to be a possible fly in the academic ointment, and that is Mrs May’s jar of Brexit Welfare Ointment.

It is a progressive ointment that appears to make the skin worse the longer you use it. So far, it is a combination of two products, one European and the other dare I say British. Last December, the two sides negotiated a formula that was designed to help both EU citizens in the UK and British expats in Europe. The formula reads that all EU nationals who have been in the UK for more than five years will be expected to be granted a use of the ointment that would allow a settled UK status for them and their families. This would give them indefinite use, to remain with the same access to other public-services ointments as they have currently.

Those EU citizens who have been resident for a much shorter period (no time length given) but who arrived before the Brexit ointment cut-off date, currently expected to be March 29 2019, will also be able to stay and get settled ointment status once they have been in the UK for five years.

My problem here is that while EU nationals can study here in Scottish universities free of any tuition fees for courses beginning in the academic year of 2019-2020, what happens if they cannot get access to free NHS departments, free medication, voting rights or any other equal rights which they are accustomed and have access to right now?

Alan Magnus-Bennett