CATALAN President Quim Torra has urged the Spanish Government to follow the UK’s example of granting Scotland’s 2014 referendum and allowing the people of Catalonia to vote on independence.

He is due to meet First Minister Nicola Sturgeon next week and told the Catalan Parliament yesterday that the UK and Scottish governments had reached a “peaceful and democratic agreement” to settle the independence question. He said Spanish President Pedro Sánchez should follow the example of former Prime Minister David Cameron and allow a similar vote.

READ MORE: Clara Ponsati’s fate depends on laws from 14th-century England

READ MORE: Catalan president Quim Torra to meet Nicola Sturgeon and Clara Ponsati in Scotland

The president said: “Why should we settle for lesser democratic standards than other Europeans – are we less European or do we have less rights than the Scottish?”

Torra also compared London’s reaction to the Scottish independence movement with that of Madrid and Catalonia.

He said: “Could you imagine the British police raiding polling stations to beat Scottish citizens trying to vote – could you imagine Scottish politicians in prison or in exile for organising a referendum?”

He asked if MPs could envisage the Queen making a speech similar to that by King Felipe on October 3, when he condoned the heavy-handed tactics of the thousands of National Police and Civil Guard officers sent to stop the vote, which Spain had deemed illegal.

Images of officers lashing out wildly at people trying to vote caused fury and were condemned by the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, the Council of Europe and charities such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. Nine Catalan political and civic leaders are in prison and seven in exile for their role during the campaign. Outside the jails where they are being held, Saltires and the Catalan Estelada yesterday flew with the flags of Germany, France and other countries as pro-indy demonstrators called for their release.

They gathered behind a banner reading “We will fight until you are free” from the time the first of the politicians arrived there yesterday afternoon, overseen by the Catalan Police the Mossos d’Esquadra. Further demonstrations are planned for this weekend.

Prosecutors in Scotland, meanwhile, confirmed at Edinburgh Sheriff Court that they plan to use a centuries-old law to try to send former Catalan minister and St Andrews academic Professor Clara Ponsati back to Spain to face trial, where she faces charges of rebellion and misuse of public funds.

Crown prosecutors confirmed they would use the Treason Felony Act of 1848 to extradite her, particularly the offence of “levying war in the realm”, which dates back to 1351.