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  1. Catalan President Carles Puigdemont says he will deliver on independence vote
  2. He asks parliament to suspend the result of the referendum to enable talks
  3. The disputed 1 October vote saw mass protests and violence between national police and demonstrators
  4. Madrid says the vote was illegal and has promised to block any move towards secession
  5. Catalan police are posted outside parliament in Barcelona, sealing off the grounds to the public

Live Reporting

By Jasmine Taylor-Coleman, Ellis Palmer and Gareth Evans

All times stated are UK

What are the options now?

We're closing our live coverage, so here's what has happened in the last couple of hours:

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont told the regional parliament that Catalonia has earned its right to be independent, but stopped short of issuing a unilateral independence declaration.

Instead, he asked parliament to suspend the effect of the 1 October independence vote to enable negotiations to begin with the authorities in Madrid.

Mr Puigdemont condemned the actions of the Spanish government, including the use of force by police sent from outside Catalonia in order to stop the vote - declared illegal by the Constitutional Court.

It is unclear what Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will do next.

So what is likely to happen? Read our piece here to find out.

'Threats still on the table'

Tom Burridge

BBC correspondent in Barcelona

The incredible game of cat and mouse between the Madrid government and the Catalan devolved government continues.

That's been the tactic all along from the Catalan government. It's been putting threats on the table, it's been speaking to the media and saying: "I will go ahead and declare independence from Spain come what may"; "I will hold that referendum of more than a week ago even though it has been declared illegal by the Spanish state, even though they try to arrest officials and try to break it up".

And now Carles Puigdemont is saying: "I am still going to declare independence from Spain, but I am giving them some time, a window."

That is a window where there can in theory be mediation - and we are hearing that there are mediation efforts tonight by an international organisation - according to our sources involving very very senior international political figures.

In a sense his stark warnings haven't changed. But he will still be under pressure, not only from his own party but other pro-independence Catalan parties which he depends on for a majority in parliament to actually keep this whole project going.

He's given them maybe enough, but is their patience going to run out? And then there's the other dimension in this - the Spanish government in Madrid.

Madrid rejects 'tacit' independence declaration

The Spanish government has rejected Catalonia's "tacit" independence declaration, AFP reports.

A central government spokesperson told AFP: "It's unacceptable to make a tacit declaration of independence to then suspend it in an explicit manner."

Watch: Pro-independence supporters disperse

The BBC's Anna Lindsay has posted a video showing muted pro-independence supporters dispersing after the speech.

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'Disappointed faces'

The BBC's Maria Byrne is in Barcelona and says the mood among pro-independence supporters is downbeat.

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'Millions of Catalans will not be silent'

More on what opposition leader Inés Arrimadas, from the centre-right Citizens party, had to say.

"This has been the chronicle of a blow to democracy, Parliament, Spain and the European Union", she said.

"They (the Catalan government) have managed to wake up the silenced majority, through their speeches, through their media. Those millions of Catalans will not be silent again."

'Playing for time'

The BBC's Tom Burridge is in Barcelona watching events unfold. He has some early thoughts on what just happened.

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What did Puigdemont say?

Here are the key points from Catalan President Carles Puigdemont's speech.

  • He acknowledged that his people voted for independence from Spain.
  • But he asked the regional parliament in Barcelona to suspend the effect of the independence vote so talks with the Spanish government could begin.
  • Mr Puigdemont said he wanted to "de-escalate" the tension around the issue.
  • He condemned the Spanish government's response - including the violence caused by police trying to stop the vote.

WATCH: Key moment in speech

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont says he wants to "follow the people's will for Catalonia to become an independent state".

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'Nationalism represents division'

Inés Arrimadas, the leader of the main opposition party, the centre-right Citizens, is now speaking.

"Nationalism represents division, our path is the European Union, which represents unity," she says.

BreakingPuigdemont: Suspend effects of declaration of independence for talks

"Today I assume the mandate for Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic," says Mr Puigdemont.

But he adds: "We're suspending the declaration of independence for a few weeks, because we want a reasonable dialogue, a mediation with the Spanish state."

BreakingCatalan leader wants to 'follow people's will for independent state'

"The ballots say Yes to independence this is the will that I want to go forward with," Mr Puigdemont tells parliament.

"At this historical moment as the president of Catalonia, I want to follow people's will for Catalonia to become an independent state."

'Message of serenity' to Spaniards

The Catalan leader says he wants to send Spaniards who may be concerned about the independence push "a message of serenity and respect and a will of dialogue".

"We are not mad... we are not rebels, we are just normal people who want the vote," he says.

"We have nothing against Spain - it's the oppose, we want to have a better understanding."

Puigdemont: All we wanted was a Scottish-style referendum

"We asked 18 times," Mr Puigdemont says. "All we wanted was a Scottish-style referendum where both sides were able to put their views forward. We were denied, time and time again."

Puigdemont gives history lesson

Mr Puigdemont is talking about the history of the independence efforts in Catalonia. You can read about it here in our helpful explainer.

Puigdemont: People went against fear to vote

Mr Puigdemont goes on to condemn the actions of Spanish authorities to block the banned referendum on 1 October. Police officers prevented some people from voting, and seized ballot papers and boxes at polling stations."The objective was to create panic and fear and make people stay at home," says the Catalan leader.

"But it went wrong – they didn’t achieve their objective because more than two million people went against that fear."

Carles Puigdemont
Carles Puigdemont is addressing the Catalan parliament

Puigdemont: I'm not planning any threats or insults

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont takes the stand and starts by explaining he will talk about the consequences of the controversial referendum on 1 October.

"It has become obvious that it is not an internal issues any longer. Catalonia is now an European matter," he says.

He says he is "not planning any threats or any insults" but instead wants to "de-escalate the tension".


And we're off

The session has started.

Sitting and waiting

The BBC's Europe editor Katya Adler is outside the parliament building where pro-independence demonstrators are waiting to hear Mr Puigdemont.

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Catalan leader expected to give delayed speech

Members of Catalan's parliament appear to be gathering again. Mr Puigdemont is expected to give his address shortly, after it was delayed by an hour.

Couple divided by Catalan crisis

Pablo Insa Iglesias and Elisabeth Besó - on opposite sides

Couple divided by Catalonia question

What would direct rule look like?

Josep Maria Castellà, constitutional law professor at the University of Barcelona, has told the BBC the process of Spain enacting direct rule would take less than a week.

"Article 155 allows for many possibilities, with the limit being a total suspension of autonomy," he explains.

"Other options include the suspension of certain competencies, such as security. The important thing for the state will be to ensure control of ports, airports, communication centres and borders by forces of the Spanish state."

Could Spain impose direct rule?

BBC producer Bruno Boelpaep explains

Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy

Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy has said he will take all measures necessary to ensure any declaration of independence has no practical effect.

This is the procedure the Spanish government would follow if it was to trigger Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy:

  1. Mr Rajoy would convene an extraordinary Cabinet meeting either Tuesday evening or first thing in the morning
  2. If the Cabinet decides to trigger Article 155 the PM will send a formal letter to Mr Puigdemont giving him between 24 and 48 hours to stop acting unconstitutionally
  3. If the Catalan leader doesn’t comply, or doesn’t answer, the Cabinet will meet to approve a plan to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy and intervene directly. The plan must detail what actions the central government intends to take.That will be submitted to the Senate, the upper house of Spain’s parliament, where Mr Rajoy's party has a majority
  4. The Senate will meet todebate the plan and then vote. If approved by a majority then Catalonia’s autonomy will be suspended under Article 155 - a drastic step than has never been taken before.

Reasons for shock delay debated

Speculation is rife about the reasons Mr Puigdemont's address was delayed at the very last minute:

  • Some Spanish sources say there is a possibility of international mediation - something the Catalan leader has previously called for
  • Others are reporting that his party's coalition partners, the left-wing CUP party, were not happy with the text of his speech
  • A third possibility being discussed is that national politicians from PM Mariano Rajoy's conservative PP and the centrist Ciudadanos have tried to have his parliament appearance cancelled

The view from above

The BBC's Gavin Lee gives us a sense of how many people have turned out to watch the speech outside the Catalan parliament.

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Tractor rally

Farmers have driven tractors decorated with the Catalan separatist flag into Barcelona to show their support for independence.

Tractors in central Barcelona
Tractors in central Barcelona

What options for Catalonia?

The BBC's Tom Burridge explains on the possible next moves for separatists and for Spain's government after the disputed referendum.

Catalan vote: What will happen next?

Why the delay?

The BBC's Guy Hedgecoe, who is in Barcelona, wonders whether the postponement of Mr Puigdemont's speech could indicate a significant change of position.

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Puigdemont speech 'delayed by an hour'

We're hearing that the Catalan leader's address has been put back, reportedly while party organisers hold a meeting.

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IMF: Catalan situation 'worrying'

The International Monetary Fund has described the Catalan situation as "worrying" during a news conference in Washington DC.

Maurice Obstfeld, chief economist at the IMF, said it "causes a lot of uncertainty for both the Catalan and Spanish economies."

He said that both sides should "not act hastily, and negotiate. There are many potential benefits for both parties if they do."

Scotland's Sturgeon: Catalans have right to determine future

Catalonia's future is of particular interest in Scotland, which held its own independence referendum in 2014 - the difference being that it was legal under UK law.

Speaking ahead of Mr Puigdemont's much-anticipated address, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called for dialogue and said it was "time for the Spanish government to sit down with the government of Catalonia".

She said: "It is time for them to talk and find a way forward – a way forward that respects the rule of law, yes, but a way forward that also respects democracy and respects the right of the people of Catalonia to determine their own future.”

Nicola Sturgeon

What next for Catalonia?

Is Catalan independence unstoppable? What are the options for Spain? Read our BBC News analysis of the situation.

Activists in Barcelona
EPA/Getty Images
Pro-unity protester (left) and Catalan independence activist

Catalan leader in focus

Photographers jostled to get the perfect picture of Mr Puigdemont as he arrived at parliament just a short while ago.

President of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, arrives at Catalan Parliament
Getty Images

Tusk: Independence declaration 'bad for whole of Europe'

European Council President Donald Tusk is among those to have urged Mr Puigdemont not to declare independence. In his latest comments on the crisis, the EU leader said the consequences would be "obviously be bad for the Catalans, for Spain and for the whole of Europe".

"Let us always look for what unites us and not for what divides us. This is what will decide the future of our continent."

Ada Colau, the mayor of Barcelona

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has faced growing pressure not to declare independence - including from influential Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau. Speaking on Monday, she called for de-escalation.

l'll again address Carles Puigdemont and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy - I ask them not to take any decision that might blow up the possibility of any space for dialogue and mediation. That's without any doubt the most valiant act they can do now.

Ada ColauBarcelona mayor

Puigdemont arrives at Catalan parliament

With only a short time to go, the Catalan leader has arrived at the region's parliament where he will give an address. BBC News producer Maria Byrne is outside the building where supporters have gathered.

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Will he won't he?

It is unclear whether Mr Puigdemont will follow through on his threat to make a unilateral declaration of independence. At a news conference in Barcelona earlier, the spokesman for Catalonia's regional government, Jordi Turull, revealed little about what Mr Puigdemont intends to say, but instead hit out at the Spanish government and lauded Catalonia's prosperity.

I want to denounce the pressure applied by the Spanish state that is intended to harm us, but is harming everyone... I have great confidence because the Catalan economy is very strong.

Jordi Turull

BBC teams on the ground

Our correspondents are following the latest developments in Barcelona and we'll also get the reaction in Madrid.

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#Catalan President + senior cabinet have been quiet for 48 hours. Policy of 'loose lips sinks ships' applied ahead of independence speech.

Supporters gathering

The BBC's Maria Byrne has been photographing pro-independence crowds in Barcelona.

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How did we get here?

Catalan referendum: Yes or No?

Mr Puigdemont's address, which is due at 18:00 local time (16:00 GMT), comes after a vote on 1 October, which Catalan officials say resulted in almost 90% of voters backing independence. Turnout was put at 43%.

The vote was deemed illegal by Madrid and suspended by Spain's Constitutional Court. "No" voters largely boycotted the ballot and there were several reports of irregularities. National police were involved in violent scenes as they manhandled voters.