Bishop of Chester asks Government about nature of backstop in EU Withdrawal Agreement

On 10th December 2018, the Prime Minister’s statement on the UK’s exit from the European Union was repeated in the House of Lords. The Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster, asked a question in response:

The Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, I want to take the House back to the concept of a backstop. Is not the nature of a backstop that it must be a backstop? ​A backstop that one party can unilaterally abrogate somehow ceases to be a backstop. How can you negotiate away a backstop and it still remain a backstop? Continue reading “Bishop of Chester asks Government about nature of backstop in EU Withdrawal Agreement”

Bishop of Leeds comments on Prime Minister’s EU Withdrawal statement

18.12.05 Leeds Brexit deal debateOn 10th December 2018, the Prime Minister’s statement on the UK’s exit from the European Union was repeated in the House of Lords. The Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, asked a question in response:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, the Prime Minister says in her Statement that those who continue to disagree need to shoulder the responsibility of advocating an alternative solution that can be delivered. Surely that is everybody’s responsibility. She goes on to ask people to be honest about the implications of what they want. However, it seems to me that people have been honest for the last couple of years but they have not been listened to. Has the time now come for the Prime Minister and the Government to stop playing a zero-sum game and, on a cross-party basis, find a credible way ahead?

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Bishop of St Albans asks about upholding human rights

StAlbans051218On 10th December 2018, Baroness Berridge tabled an Oral Question ‘To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the publication produced by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief, Commentary on the State of Freedom of Religion or Belief; and what steps they are taking to mark International Human Rights Day.’ The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a supplementary question:

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Week in Westminster, 3rd-7th December 2018

This week in Parliament bishops spoke in the House of Lords debate on the Government’s EU Withdrawal Agreement, and asked questions on Asia Bibi, Pakistan, executive pay links to carbon emissions, greening towns and cities, the two-child limit on welfare benefits, internet safety, and support to organisations helping Christians and other minorities returning to Syria.  In the House of Commons the Second Church Estates Commissioner answered a question about Christ Church college, Oxford. Continue reading “Week in Westminster, 3rd-7th December 2018”

Bishop of Carlisle asks if Nigerian Government can be asked how Fulani herders are getting weaponry

On 6th December 2018 Baroness Cox asked Her Majesty’s Government “whether they plan to revise their assessment of the situation in northern and central belt states of Nigeria, following the report by local church leaders of the killing and maiming of 6,000 civilians by Fulani Islamist terrorists between January and June and figures from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees that almost two million people have been displaced by jihadist attacks.” The Bishop of Carlisle, Rt Revd James Newcome, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, this violence is clearly organised and systematic. Will Her Majesty’s Government ask the Government of Nigeria to make available information regarding the sources and provision of sophisticated weaponry to the Fulani herders? Continue reading “Bishop of Carlisle asks if Nigerian Government can be asked how Fulani herders are getting weaponry”

Bishop of Leeds speaks in debate on EU Withdrawal Agreement

On 5th December 2018 the House of Lords debated a motion to take note of the Government’s EU Withdrawal Agreement, alongside an Opposition motion to regret it. The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, I wish that I could pack as much into a single speech as the noble Lord, Lord Bilimoria, but I defy the challenge.

It is perhaps not a bad idea at this stage in the debate just to take a step back and to remember what the point of all this is. I was doing “Thought for the Day” on Radio 4 this morning and picked up on three words from the title of a Theos think-tank report on resilience in the north-east of England—people, place and purpose. They are three words that offer us a lens through which to see what all this is about. I endorse what the most reverend Primate said this morning in his speech.

Whatever the ultimate outcome, one of the legacies of the Brexit process thus far is, as I have said before, a corruption of public discourse, polarisation between people and communities, and a too frequent reduction of the polity to the merely economic. People are now too often categorised as either Punch or Judy; argument and nuance are dismissed in favour of emotive ad hominem judgment.

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Bishop of St Albans asks about linking executive pay to carbon emission reduction targets

On 5th December 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a question he had tabled to Government about linking executive pay to carbon emission reduction targets. The reply, his follow-up question and those of other Members is below:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to encourage oil and gas companies to link executive pay to carbon emission reduction targets.

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