“If there were a declaration of Catalan independence, it would be unilateral and it wouldn’t be recognised.”

France’s minister for European affairs, Nathalie Loiseau said this on Monday.

Pressure has mounted on Catalan president Carles Puigdemont to back down after hundreds of thousands of protesters last week rallied to defend national unity.

“This crisis needs to be resolved through dialogue at all levels of Spanish politics,” she urged.

The minister also reiterated Brussels’ warning that an independent Catalonia would “automatically” be out of the EU and have to reapply to join.

“We are allies and partners with Spain, and Spain is a major democracy, so we are not going to meddle in the internal affairs of Spain.”

She said Catalonia, which borders France, already has “considerable autonomy”.

FOR MORE INTERESTING SPORTS STORIES, DOWNLOAD BOUNCE NEWS APP HERE

IPOB AGITATION: WHY HISTORY MUST NOT REPEAT ITSELF (DOCUMENTARY)