Many people mirror the argument of Catalonia's independence and separation from Spain to Brexit.
A major economic challenge Catalonia's economy will face if it gains independence is paying its debts to the Spanish government. Catalonia is in great debt to Spain. The Catalan government owes €77bn or 35.4% of Catalonia's GDP. Of that, €52bn is owed to the Spanish government. The separation will require Catalonia to pay much of its debt to Spain since Spain will treat Catalonia as any other separate country. The Catalan government does not know how much it is willing or is able to pay after independence. The large debt to Spain is a major factor that will make Catalonia unsuccessful as a sovereign nation. The lack of infrastructure in the new Catalan nation requires major economic power to overcome, another great challenge for Catalonia's economy upon its independence. The nation will need to build embassies, central banks, and other legal institutions necessary for any sovereign nation. Infrastructure requires a great amount of money and will add to the economic challenges of Catalonia. The economic uncertainty of a new nation creates mistrust amongst company partners. The debate on Catalonia’s independence made more than 3,100 companies move their legal headquarters out of the region, including major banks. The rise in mistrust in a new starting economy will make it more difficult for Catalonia’s economy to survive.  Catalonia's separation will add to the financial problems by leaving the European Union, which accounts for a large percentage of Catalan's exports. Leaving the EU will also mean that Catalonia must either mint its own currency or continue to use the Euro informally without printing rights or a seat at the European Central Bank. Catalonia can apply to rejoin the EU, but joining depends on a unanimous vote from all countries, including Spain, which is unlikely to approve of Catalonia. Leaving the EU will create more challenges for Catalonia, and these struggles hinder Catalonia's ability to support itself as an independent nation.
Catalonia has a great economy that can support itself independently. The Catalan economy is responsible for more than half of Spain's total startup investment. Millions of tourists choose Catalonia out of the Spanish areas to visit. These are important elements that show the ability of Catalonia to succeed as a sovereign nation.  Catalonia pays to the Spanish government in taxes much more than it receives in benefits. The Spanish government has also been unwilling to negotiate giving more autonomy to Catalonia. Some people say the question is not whether Catalonia can succeed independently from Spain, but whether Spain can support itself without Catalonia.