A FORMER president of Catalonia stood up for Scotland in the European Parliament today after it emerged Tories could ask the EU for help fighting independence.

A leaked memo revealed Boris Johnson’s government is looking at strategies to counter rising support for Scottish independence, with one option suggesting they pressure the EU to reject the idea of Scotland rejoining the bloc as an independent country.

Carles Puigdemont, an MEP who was forced to flee to Belgium following the Catalan independence referendum and has since been fighting extradition to Spain, spoke up for Scotland in a speech to the Parliament.

READ MORE: Catalans take to the streets to protest removal of their president

He urged Westminster not to repeat the actions of Spain, which jailed nine pro-independence figures including politicians and activists following the 2017 vote.

Addressing MEPs, Puigdemont said: “We are in the middle of one of the worst economic crises of our history, we are obliged not to worsen it with political games.

"On the other hand Brexit is a reminder that borders change as we all know. Today support for Scottish independence is sky-high in the latest polls with about 58% of the vote.

“The future of Scotland is in the Scottish hands and we all hope that Westminster will again give an example to the world on how to tackle these kind of situations. London needs to show again how a mature democracy behaves. The UK needs to remind the EU that a referendum is something to agree on, not an excuse to put political rivals in prison like Spain has done.

“Very soon Scotland will vote again to decide its future, and the house of European democracy must be wide open for their immediate return.”

The leaked memo, put together by a political consultancy firm with close links to the Conservative, explored a series of ways to delay and avoid a future Scottish independence referendum in the end of an SNP majority in the Holyrood election.

One way of trying to break the link between independence and remaining in the single market is by “co-opting the EU into demonstrating that there is no viable pathway to renewed membership,” the report said.

The 21-page memo said because of Brexit the conventional argument that the vote was “once-in-a-generation” is no longer effective, and Unionists cannot play solely to Brexiteers.