Catalonia has declared independence from Spain following a parliamentary vote, according to reports.
The resolution was passed in a secret vote of the Catalan Parliament this afternoon, following a motion put forward by the separatist Junts Pel Si coalition and the left-wing CUP movement.
Following the vote, the Parliament has instructed the Catalan Government, headed by Carles Puigdemont, to begin the independence process.
The resolution apparently includes a proposal that "we will constitute the Catalan Republic as an independent state."
The vote eventually passed by a motion of 72 votes to 10, according to local reports.
Representatives of two conservative parties, Partido Popular and Ciudadnos, abandoned the Parliament before the motion.
Catalonia, held an official referendum on October 1, which resulted in an overwhelming majority in favour of independence.
However Spain has maintained that the referendum was illegal and will not respect the result.
In response to today's vote in Catalonia, Spain has approved the implementation of article 155 - which grants it the power to take direct control of Catalonia.
Using the powers conferred by article 155, Spain could remove Puigdemont as Catalan leader and take over key institutions such as the police and media.
Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, has said that nothing will change in response to Spain's relationship with the European Union, and suggested Catalonia will not be recognised.
Tusk said that "Spain will still be the only representative" in a message released following today's independence vote.