What a complete waste of time! I can't understand why Catalonia is pushing ahead with plans for a referendum on independence when the Spanish government will rule the whole process is illegal. The Spanish government has made it very clear; there will be no split from Spain for Catalonia.

As I have said in this space on numerous occasions I do not understand why the Spanish government doesn't give the people of Catalonia a vote on their future. The government is stoking the fires of independence by not allowing the vote but the Catalan government is not doing itself any favours by pushing ahead with what will be an illegal vote. Both sides need to sit down and discuss the issue. Dialogue is key. At the moment both sides are big on the rhetoric but do not listen to each other. No one doubts that Catalonia and its capital Barcelona could stand on its own two feet but at the same time no one doubts that the Spanish government isn't going to let it happen.

Catalonia is key to Spain while Spain is key to Catalonia. The Catalan government has to realise that it will never get independence without the blessing of Madrid. And this has to be the way forward. At the moment it appears that both sides are on a collision course and it is difficult to see who will be the overall winner. I doubt that anyone will be. The only problem is that this issue will continue to split Spain and could cause some serious problems.