The Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) attempted to launch a charm offensive in Spain this week in an effort to get Spanish support for its dream of staying in the European Union and single market. A high-level SNP official headed for Madrid to try and meet representatives of the Spanish government and the ruling Partido Popular. It appears that no one wanted to meet the SNP in Madrid, and the Scottish nationalists were even prepared to turn their back on their Catalan allies in return for support from the Spanish government.

At the moment the Spanish government has rather thrown a spanner in the works, indicating that it will veto any attempt by an independent Scotland to join the EU. Spain fears that if Scotland is able to join the EU as a breakaway nation, this might stoke the fires of independence in Catalonia. The SNP has made good friends amongst the Catalonia nationalists who are bitterly opposed to the Spanish government and the Partido Popular. The problem facing the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon is if they are unable to convince Spain not to use its veto, then Scotland will not be joining the EU. If Sturgeon is not able to show Scotland that an independent nation would be given membership of the EU , then her dream of a breakaway could end in tears. Spain holds the trump card and judging by the reaction to the SNP in Spain at the moment, the government of Mariano Rajoy has put the SNP dream on hold.