A KEY figurehead in Catalonia’s struggle for independence will meet MPs in Westminster after a turbulent year in Spanish politics, which saw her pro-independence party thrust back into the spotlight.

Clara Ponsati will meet members of the all-party parliamentary group on Catalonia, chaired by SNP MP Douglas Chapman, on Tuesday.

Afterwards she will give an exclusive interview to The National to update on the political situation in Catalonia, which is in a period of fragile stability after Ponsati’s party Junts agreed a coalition deal with Pedro Sanchez’s Socialist Party to help him into a third term in office.

In exchange, members of Junts and the wider Catalan independence movement, were last year promised amnesty from prosecution for their roles in an unsanctioned wildcat referendum in 2017.

The National: Carles Puigdemont

Ponsati was a minister in the devolved Catalan government which held the ballot, and was dismissed from her position before going into exile in Brussels with former president Carles Puigdemont (above).

Having worked at St Andrews University before going into politics, she returned to Scotland in 2018 and worked at the university.

READ MORE: Spanish PM strikes last-minute deal with pro-independence Catalan MPs

She was then elected to be a Spanish member of the European Parliament but remained the subject of international, European and national arrest warrants – fighting an extradition battle in the Scottish courts – until June last year, when her indictment was reduced to the crime of disobedience.

While disobedience does not carry a prison sentence, it could make Ponsati ineligible for political office and she has called it a violation of her immunity as a member of the European Parliament.   

Ponsati will address MPs who are members of the all-party parliamentary group on Catalonia alongside Francesc Claret, the Catalan government’s representative in the UK, who will tell members about green energy projects there and give an update on the political situation in Spain.

Junts, of which both Ponsati and Puigdemont are members, struck a deal last year to keep the Socialist Party in power against rising levels of support for the right in Spain.

Their deal saw Puigdemont, as well as other pro-Catalan independence politicians and activists, promised amnesty from prosecution.