On 17th January 2017, Lord Bridges of Headley repeated a Government statement on Britain’s withdrawal from thew EU. The Archbishop of York, Most Revd and Rt Hon John Sentamu, asked a follow up question.
The Archbishop of York My Lords, there are good things in the Prime Minister’s Statement. I have no intention of turning it into a Christmas tree on which to hang many baubles so that it collapses under the weight of them. Nevertheless, although the Prime Minister referred in her Statement to immigration and to welcoming the brightest and the best, I am surprised that, as a former Home Secretary who worked hard on immigration and the issue of asylum seekers in particular, she made no reference to asylum seekers.
Lord Bridges of Headley Let me first thank the most reverend Primate’s colleagues in the Church of England for so ably assisting me in meeting other faith groups as well as other representatives of the Church of England. We had a very good discussion about Brexit at Lambeth Palace shortly before Christmas. At that discussion, issues were raised along the lines of those just mentioned by the right reverend Primate, especially around immigration. Now is not the opportunity for me to set out in detail the Government’s approach to immigration post Brexit. His remarks are very well made; I absolutely note them. I know that my right honourable friend the Prime Minister, the Home Secretary and others are looking in detail at how we can continue to build on our reputation as a country that is welcoming, open and tolerant to those in greatest need.