COMPARISONS are often inevitably drawn between the indy aspirations of Scotland and Catalonia, and the stalemate that we now appear to be heading towards is the subject of much comment in Catalan media.

El Nacional highlights one of the main differences under the headline titled England is not Spain: London rules out bringing Sturgeon to justice, before reporting on Michael Gove’s remarks after the SNP fell one seat short of an absolute majority.

“‘No. We’re not going there,’ Gove replied as to whether the central government would go to court in case the Edinburgh Parliament tries to legislate unilaterally without prior agreement,” said the daily newspaper, which quoted Gove from his weekend TV interviews: “Of course Scotland is allowed to leave the UK, through a legal referendum that allows people to decide.”

READ MORE: Gerry Hassan: UK media's failure to reflect on nature of Union is endangering it

The paper added that Gove reiterated the priority was to rebuild the country after the pandemic, with a summit which First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been invited to, along with her opposite numbers in Wales and Northern Ireland.

That meeting will address “the future of the Union”, said El Nacional, after the elections which strengthened the SNP’s hand.

It also addressed Sturgeon’s warning that the polls had given the SNP a majority to seek a consultation on a new referendum: “The Scottish leader has said it would be ‘absurd and intolerable’ for the British government to consider appealing to the Supreme Court any law passed by the Scottish Parliament to hold a new referendum, after in 2014 Scotland had already rejected secession.

The National:

“‘For this to end in the courts, this would mean that the Government has refused to respect the will of the Scottish people,’ said Sturgeon, adding that it was a matter on which she said only ‘the people of Scotland’ can decide.”

The news portal VilaWeb takes a similar tack, saying Sturgeon is committed to pushing for a second referendum “if the Covid crisis allows”.

It quoted Sturgeon’s remarks about the unacceptability of Westminster challenging “Scottish democracy” by refusing a referendum passed by the Scottish Parliament.

In a leader, El Punt Avui said the result was a “very important victory” for the SNP, and Spain should watch how it unfolded: “Just yesterday, London said it would not take the case to court. It would be desirable for the Spanish state to learn how the United Kingdom tackles the Scottish question. And, surely, the Catalan parties could also learn how unity of action, despite the differences, also allows much more progress.”

READ MORE: Award-winning German reporter criticises UK media focus on SNP majority

Writing in Nacio Digital, Germa Capdevila said the Scottish experience had caused some envy in Catalonia. He wrote: “The UK’s stance on the Scottish secessionist impulse marks many differences that make it impossible to compare it with the Catalan case. In fact, following the Scottish elections provokes a lot of envy and shows that it is not just the difference between Spain and the UK, but that independence has a lot of work to do here in Catalonia if it wants to take advantage of the Scottish experience.”

He also noted Scottish electoral legislation, which allowed over 16s to vote, and anyone with leave to remain here, including refugees: “Great democratic contrast with the million citizens who in Catalonia cannot vote because they do not have Spanish nationality, even having been born here.

“What does not fit into the plans of any British politician today is the possibility of fighting Scotland’s independence with police, media or judicial repression.”

Capdevila added a final element to explain the results – the SNP’s record in government: “It understood the best way to convince Scots of the benefits of independence was to manage Scottish affairs well. Free education ... the extension of social and health services and efficient administration also explain the growing hegemony of sovereignty in Scotland.

“The second referendum and an independent Scotland seem more than likely. What envy.”