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In June, acting Spanish foreign minister Josep Borrell, who on 1st December will take over as EU high representative for foreign affairs, fired Miguel Ángel Vecino, Spain's consul in Edinburgh. That followed reporting in a Scottish newspaper that the consul had written in a letter that Spain wouldn't veto a hypothetical independent Scotland from joining the EU.

Now, Vecino has accused Borrell of having given him "unconstitutional orders" during the six months he was consul general to Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England.

According to digital newspaper Vozpópuli, Vecino has written a letter to the Board of the Diplomatic Service in which he says that Borrell "blocked the visit of a delegation of all the parties of the Catalan Parliament to the Scottish Parliament". The aim, he says, was to prevent any Catalan presence in Scotland in the run-up to the 28th April Spanish general election, to avoid "harming Pedro Sánchez's government" in that election. "It's at least playing dirty," Vecino writes.

The former consul adds that the minister blocked a visit by the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce to Barcelona, and another by a delegation of Catalan businesspeople to Scotland, "with the aim of Catalan entrepreneurs not being in touch with the Scots".

Finally, he says that among Borrell's orders was one to "keep an eye on the PNV", the Basque Nationalist Party, without providing specific details.

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