On 4th April 2019 the House of Lords considered the European Union (Withdrawal) (Number 5) Bill, which sought to require the Prime Minister to request a later exit date from the European Union and a further extension of the Article 50 period. Continue reading “Votes: European Union (Withdrawal) (Number 5) Bill”
On 26th March 2019 the House of Lords considered the REACH etc. (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. Labour Peer Lord Whitty tabled a Motion to Regret the Regulations, and the Bishop of Chester, Rt Revd Peter Forster took part in the vote.
Continue reading “Vote: REACH etc. (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019”
I shall not focus on the choices before us, but I note that, whether by intention or default, we will make a choice—a choice will be made—and, beyond that choice, we have to live together. We are experiencing a time of extraordinary turbulence and toxicity in our political life, and it is how we navigate and respond to that turbulence and toxicity now and in future that I shall address in the remainder of the time available to me this afternoon.
On 18th March 2019 the House of Lords debated a Motion to Approve the Immigration, Nationality and Asylum (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, it is striking how small a part asylum and resettlement have played in the conversation about a post-Brexit immigration system. Assuming—and praying—that we do not leave without a deal, I hope that discussion of these vital areas will not be limited to the margins of an already limited engagement with the immigration White Paper and the SIs. I have a series of questions for the Minister.
It might just be me, but I often struggle to see evidence of the Home Office applying the family test in SIs and other areas. Can the Minister assure me that the family test has been applied to these SIs?
On 12th March 2019 the House of Lords heard the repeat of a statement from the Attorney General on Brexit negotiations. The Archbishop of York, Most Revd John Sentamu, asked a follow up question:
The Archbishop of York: My Lords, I have had the chance to study the Attorney-General’s comments and I agree with the noble and learned Lord, Lord Mackay, that the Attorney-General is right. There will always be a legal risk and he would be wrong not to tell us that it remains. But that is the nature of risk. I am told that in Chinese the word “risk” is made up of two pictures—opportunity and danger. We have to look at the opportunities and then the danger, but not always concentrate on the danger. Continue reading “Archbishop of York commends Brexit deal and Attorney General’s advice”
On 27th February 2019 the House of Lords debated the Government’s EU Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration. The Bishop of Oxford, Rt Revd Stephen Croft, spoke in the debate. His full speech is below:
The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, I always rise to speak in this Chamber with some fear and trepidation but never more so than today: not only because of the expertise, passion and conviction in this Chamber but also the jeopardy in which we find ourselves as a nation and a Parliament. My journey through the Brexit process is that for seven years until the referendum year, I was the bishop in Sheffield and south Yorkshire, where some of the communities voted by almost 70% to leave the European Union. I moved shortly afterwards to the diocese of Oxford, where the three counties, by and large, are significantly in favour of remain.
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”