Nicola Sturgeon's independence plans have been dealt another blow
Fuming MEPs could not hide their contempt for efforts by the tiny Spanish region to split from the rest of the country and made it plain they would not welcome it into the bloc.
They fired volley after political volley at its plans for an independence referendum, which were touted by three Catalan MEPs at a highly controversial conference in Brussels this week.
The level of anger directed at secessionist politicians in Spain does not bode well for Ms Sturgeon, who wants to haul Scotland out of the UK in order to keep it in the single market.
Spanish MEPs in particular are likely to take a dim view of any attempt by Edinburgh to stay in the bloc as an independent country, given the encouragement it would provide to Catalonia.
Eurocrats have made it clear that Scotland would have to vote to leave the UK and then apply to become a member of the EU, accepting all its terms including adopting the euro.
The European Parliament would have to vote to approve Scotland's application which would also have to be unanimously agreed by the EU Council, leaving Spain with an all-powerful veto.
Catalonia's independence referendum plan was branded 'illegal' by an MEP
Three Catalonian MEPs held a conference at the EU Parliament last night
Spanish MEP Maite Pagazaurtundúam, the vice-president of the liberal ALDE group, said: “We are facing a very serious case of populism and what is an obviously an advanced form of political pathology."
She blasted Catalonia's secessionist dreams as “extremely serious for the rule of law” and said the independence movement was “not only bad for Spain but also bad for the wider European Union".
Ms Pagazaurtundúa also branded the region's plans to hold an independence referendum as "illegal" and urged senior eurocrats not to engage with its politicians.
She called them “people that lie, people that lie about what Catalonia is, speaking in favour of an illegal referendum, committing a crime and, by repeating and repeating it, it will spread, appear normal and that is absolutely ridiculous”.
They are ministers of a country that does not exist. It is very absurd.
Spanish MEP Maite Pagazaurtundúa
And she urged Brussels: “I hope that they are not received as usual by European Parliament leaders, given the lies they have told through pure propaganda to get there.
"They have lied even about their own record, since they are ministers of a country that does not exist. It is very absurd.”
She made the remarks after three Catalan MEPs controversially organised a conference at the European Parliament yesterday evening to promote their independence cause.
The trio sparked controversy after they used ALDE branding to advertise the event, bringing a stern rebuke from party leader Guy Verhofstadt who insisted it was entirely unauthorised.
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Spanish MEP Esteban González Pons was also scathing in his assessment of the region's planned referendum, calling it “an unconstitutional act, which goes not only against Spain, but also against the deepest principles and values of the EU”.
And he warned top eurocrats not to attend the conference, raging: “Your presence could be used to create the false impression that the European Parliament supports this call for an illegal referendum”.
Last week Spanish foreign minister Alfonso Dastis vowed to fight “any attempt to justify the unjustifiable” in relation to a Catalan referendum, although Catalan Generalitat Carles Puigdemont has previously insisted the EU will recognise his region as an independent state.
But he received little encouragement from EU Commission spokesman Margaritas Schinas yesterday, who went to lengths to distance eurocrats from the event saying it was a matter for the EU parliament and the organisers.