The Catalonian parliament has just voted to officially split from Spain and has in doing so claimed their independence. With 70 in favour, 10 against and two blank. Catalonia has done this only just before the Spanish government is to vote to impose direct rule on it which would see Madrid seize the region’s autonomous powers.

Rounds of applause broke out in the chamber as members of the parliament hugged and shook hands.

On Thursday Catalan president Carles Puigdemont had ruled out calling a snap election, thought to have been a potential way of defusing tension with the central government.

More to follow/Developing Story …

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