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The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has said this lunchtime that Europe would respect a 'yes' victory in the Catalan independence referendum on 1st October. He even went further, discussing the steps an independent Catalonia would have to go through to join the EU.

In an interview with the international station Euronews, he explained that the European Commission "does not take part in internal debates" as long as they are "democratic, acceptable and accepted". He said that his commission "respects the Constitutional Court and the Parliament of Spain". However, he then said something that no European leader has said previously: "if Catalan independence sees the light of day, we will respect that choice".

These comments came less than 24 hours after US State Department spokesperson, Heather Nauert, said that the USA would not "interfere" and would work "with whatever government or entity comes out of it".

The European Commission president went on to say that Catalonia wouldn't become a member of the EU "the morning after the vote", rather that it would have to follow the same process as the countries that have joined since 2004.

The vice-president of Catalonia, Oriol Junqueras, was quick to reply on Twitter, saying "Very important these statements from the president of the EU Commission, Juncker, respecting the result of the referendum."