EUROPEAN independence movements are closely watching developments in Scotland’s battle to leave Westminster behind.

Observers from the Basque Country, in the north of Spain, and Catalonia, in the east of the country, have said they followed closely the Supreme Court case last week, with one member of the European Parliament describing it as an “example” for others.

Jordi Sole, an MEP for the Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (the Republican Left of Catalonia), said he and fellow Catalan independence supporters had been following the case.

He said: “The countries are different and the situations are different but we have always regarded the Scottish case or the example to follow when exercising the right to self-determination.

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“For us, Scotland is the model. We have always said we wanted to do the same but unfortunately the Spanish government and the Spanish authorities did not behave like the British government back in [2014, when Scotland first voted on independence].”

The court case will be determined on the basis of law, but Sole said independence was ultimately a political decision – though the Spanish state has effectively outlawed votes on secession, telling opponents they must first change the country’s constitution before they are allowed to hold referendums on independence.

The Catalonian independence movement “already know the answer” to the question of a referendum, he said, after the 2017 vote was declared unlawful and resulted in a crack-down by the Spanish government.

While Catalonia itself cannot “follow” Scotland’s example, because the avenues in the UK are so far not entirely blocked, the region – which spans the eastern coast and interior of Spain as well as islands such as Majorca and parts of southern France – is interested in developments here because they show there are different ways of achieving the goal of independence, Sole added.

He said: “Whatever the legal opinion is finally, Scotland is a nation, every nation has the right to self-determination, so keep going to find ways to give a voice and a say and a vote to the people.

“This is a matter of democratic rights, it is a matter of democracy.

“If the judgement goes against the interests of the Scottish Government and Parliament, keep putting pressure on the British institutions.”

Ander Larunbe, a Basque independence supporter from Pamplona who has links to the Scottish Yes movement, said his nation was still laying the groundwork for independence, and the area was still struggling to gain rights it had been promised more than 40 years ago.

He said there was widespread support for Basque leaving Spain and that across Europe, left-wing independence movements were gaining traction, in opposition to inward-looking right-wing governments.

Larunbe added: “We understand the rationale of why it’s been taken there [to the Supreme Court].

“But it seems to be a symptom of a lack of political will on the part of the UK Government and the UK institutions to allow nations contained within the UK to decide about their own future. In a sense, it represents a failure of politics from the side of the Tory government.

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“There are a number of nations – Scotland, Ireland, Flanders, Catalonia, the Basque Country, perhaps even Corsica – that have seen for decades but in the last few years especially, a strengthening of pro-sovereignty, pro-independence, pro-right to decide movements.

“And interestingly these movements and parties are progressive. Whereas we see that the old nation-state nationalisms are going further and further to the right, which is a very worrying trend.”

There is a “fear or refusal” across the continent to confront debates about sovereignty and the right to self-determination in an “open and democratic manner”, according to Larunbe.

He added: “It behoves us, independence movements, to make the conversation so strong and backed in the electoral terms and the grassroots terms, to make the case…for democracy and eventually, for independence itself.”