Votes: European Union Withdrawal Agreement

On 28th January 2019 a vote took place on an Opposition Motion on the outcome of Government negotiations with the European Union. Two bishops took part. Baroness smith, who moved the amendment, explained its purpose here. Continue reading “Votes: European Union Withdrawal Agreement”

Bishop of Chester speaks during Trade Bill amendments on Customs Union

On 23rd January 2019 the House of Lords considered the Government’s Trade Bill during its Committee stage.  The Bishop of Chester, Rt Revd Peter Forster, spoke during debate on Amendment 24, moved by Lord Stevenson of Balmacara, which sought to keep the UK in a customs union with the European Union.

After Clause 5, insert the following new Clause—“Customs union​. It shall be the objective of Her Majesty’s Government to take all necessary steps to implement an international trade agreement which enables the United Kingdom to participate after exit day in a customs union with the European Union.”

The Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, it is always a pleasure to listen to the noble Lord, Lord Patten of Barnes, especially when religious imagery creeps into his speech with gospel truth and sacerdotal approaches. His opening remark reminded me of Trollope’s definition of hell: an eternity of listening to one’s own sermons. I do not know whether the noble Lord, Lord Patten of Barnes, has similar feelings about his speeches, but they are always wonderful to hear.

Bishop of Leeds appeals for more welcoming language on EU citizens in UK

On 16th January 2019 Lord Greaves asked the Government “what support they are giving to citizens of European Union countries who have been resident in the United Kingdom since before the United Kingdom joined the European Economic Community.” The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, asked a follow-up question: 

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, is it possible that the language could be changed? I spoke to a German woman who has been here for 67 years and finds the language of “You may be allowed to stay” quite difficult, as opposed to “You belong”, when she has children and grandchildren, she has been a taxpayer and all that. This goes deeper than simply being allowed to stay. Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds appeals for more welcoming language on EU citizens in UK”

Archbishop of York asks Government about consultation process for new pension regulations

On 15th January 2019 the House of Lords debated a Motion to Approve the Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018.  The Archbishop of York, Most Revd John Sentamu, spoke during the debate:

The Archbishop of York: My Lords, I just wanted to ask the Minister: how much consultation was undertaken with industry before the first regulations were produced? Did industry suggest, rightly, that this would cause trouble for the Pensions Regulator and others because it was bigger than just the United Kingdom? Continue reading “Archbishop of York asks Government about consultation process for new pension regulations”

Votes: EU Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration

On 14th January 2019 the House of Lords voted to pass a ‘Motion to Regret’ the Government’s EU Withdrawal Agreement, tabled by the Leader of the Opposition Baroness Smith of Basildon. Five bishops voted, and whilst the Archbishop of Canterbury attended and spoke in the debate, he abstained in the vote. 

House of Lords Division Lobby

Baroness Smith of Basildon moved ‘That this House, while noting that it is for the House of Commons to determine the matter, considers that a no deal outcome to negotiations under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union must be emphatically rejected, and regrets that withdrawal from the European Union on the terms set out in the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration laid before Parliament would damage the future economic prosperity, internal security and global influence of the United Kingdom.

Continue reading “Votes: EU Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration”

Bishop of Lincoln urges tolerance and respect for diversity in Brexit debate

On 14th January 2019 the House of Lords debated the Government’s EU Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration. The Bishop of Lincoln, Rt Revd Christopher Lowson, spoke in the debate. His full speech is below:

The Lord Bishop of Lincoln: My Lords, I am honoured to speak after the noble Baroness—honoured and a little daunted. This is the first time I have spoken on this issue. I therefore want to say something about my context of Lincoln and then consider what a Bishop might usefully add to this debate.

As your Lordships know, Lincolnshire is one of the parts of the United Kingdom that voted most emphatically in favour of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, with 66% voting to leave. I have thought hard about why that should be the case. There are the obvious reasons—the tip of the iceberg, if you like. Nationally, these would be described in terms of sovereignty and immigration.

Continue reading “Bishop of Lincoln urges tolerance and respect for diversity in Brexit debate”

Archbishop of Canterbury – a no deal Brexit would be a political, practical and moral failure

On 9th January 2019 the House of Lords debated the Government’s EU Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd Justin Welby, spoke in the debate. His full speech, and extracts of the speeches of others across the three days of debate, are below:

Continue reading “Archbishop of Canterbury – a no deal Brexit would be a political, practical and moral failure”