EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill: Archbishop of York supports protecting rights of EU nationals, opposes amendment as vehicle to deliver

On 1st March 2017 the House of Lords considered the Government’s EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill in its second day of committee. An amendment was tabled by Labour Peer Baroness Hayter, requiring Ministers to bring forward proposals for guaranteeing continued rights for EU nationals residing in the UK, no more than three months after the formal negotiations to exit the EU had begun. The Archbishop of York, Most Revd and Rt Hon John Sentamu, argued against the amendment on the grounds that this was the wrong vehicle to address such serious and important matters. They would, he said, be better and more speedily dealt with if they were not enshrined in legislation that had the single purpose of giving Government authority to begin the Article 50 negotiation process. Peers voted t back the amendment in the subsequent vote.The Archbishop’s speech is in full below, followed by excerpts from some of the speeches that referred to his remarks:

 aby-010317The Archbishop of York: My Lords, Uganda was referred to by the noble Viscount, Lord Hailsham. It was regrettable that Idi Amin kicked out two types of Asians—British citizens and Ugandan citizens. My opposition to him was over the Ugandan citizens, who were the largest number. He kicked them out and my coming here in 1974 was as a result of my opposition to such behaviour. So I know how minorities can feel in a place. I know that we need to reassure our European friends who are resident here and want to remain here.

However, I have one great difficulty. Your Lordships’ House can scrutinise and revise legislation, but this simple Bill is simply to confer power on the Prime Minister to notify under Article 50 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union that there is an intention to withdraw. It is giving her the power which I believe only Parliament—not the royal prerogative—can give her. Continue reading “EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill: Archbishop of York supports protecting rights of EU nationals, opposes amendment as vehicle to deliver”

Votes: EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill

On 1st March 2017 the House of Lords considered the Government’s EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill at committee. A vote was called on an amendment from Labour Peer Baronss Hayter. Five Lords Spiritual took part. Continue reading “Votes: EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill”

EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill: Bishop of Newcastle highlights contribution of Newcastle University to North East economy

Newcastle 8On 27th February 2017, Labour Peer Baroness Quin moved an amendment to the Government’s EU (Notification of Withdrawl) Bill, requiring Government to undertake an impact assessment of the impact of Brexit on the North-East of England. The Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt Revd Christine Hardman, spoke to the amendment to highlight the contribution of Newcastle University to the North-East economy. The amendment was later withdrawn after debate.


Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, I declare an interest as a member of the court of Newcastle University. The amendment tabled by the noble Baroness, Lady Quin, and the noble Lord, Lord Shipley, asks for an impact assessment of the effect of Brexit on the economy of the north-east. When we think about that economy, perhaps our thoughts turn first to the EU funding that the economy receives and then to the manufacturing sector. But the city of Newcastle is deeply enriched by the presence of two first-class universities, and there are 50,000 students in Newcastle. Tomorrow a report will be released to the media which details the extraordinary contribution of Newcastle University to the economy of the north-east. Continue reading “EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill: Bishop of Newcastle highlights contribution of Newcastle University to North East economy”

EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill – speech by Bishop of Southwark

On 20th February 2017 the House of Lords held the first in a two-day debate on the Government’s EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill. The Bill would give the Government authority to begin the process of withdrawal from the European Union. The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, spoke in the debate:

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The Lord Bishop of Southwark:As many in your Lordships’ House are aware, my diocese covers most of south London and east Surrey. The voters there opted to remain in the European Union on 23 June 2016 by some margin; in the borough of Lambeth, where I live, nearly 80% of those voting opted to remain. Only in Sutton and in Surrey did votes tip the other way. What I have occasionally heard articulated, but have yet to see in action, is how the aspirations of those people—and indeed, if one thinks more widely, Londoners in general, or Scots, or the people of Northern Ireland or simply people under the age of 45—are to be taken into account. The majority of all these groups voted to remain. If we adopt a model for leaving the EU that ignores them, we risk a regional divide, generational resentment and a threat to the union.

Continue reading “EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill – speech by Bishop of Southwark”