Archbishop of Canterbury on the future for the United Kingdom after the EU Referendum

On 5th July 2016 the House of Lords debated a motion “That this House takes note of the outcome of the European Union referendum.” The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd & Rt Hon Justin Welby, spoke in the debate. His speech is below in full, followed by extracts from the speeches of other Peers. 

2ABCEUdebateThe Archbishop of Canterbury:  My Lords, the events of the past two weeks have led to some of the most traumatic and dynamic changes that we have known. The course of the campaign was robust—as it properly should be on such great issues—but at times veered over the line on both sides: it was not merely robust but unacceptable. Through such comments were created cracks in the thin crust of the politeness and tolerance of our society, through which, since the referendum, we have seen an outwelling of poison and hatred that I cannot remember in this country for very many years. It is essential, not only for this House but for the leaders of both sides and throughout our society, to challenge the attacks, xenophobia and racism that seem to have been felt acceptable, at least for a while.

Just over a week ago, at Lambeth Palace, at the breaking of the fast of Ramadan, I shared an iftar with the new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and the Chief Rabbi. There were more than 100 young people of every faith and of no faith there. That sense of hope and energy for the future carried us through the rest of the week. It is there and we can reach for it. If, however, we are to thicken the crust through which the cracks have come, if we are to move to a place where we are not yet speaking of reconciliation but beginning to get on a path where in future healing and reconciliation will begin to happen, we need to beware. St Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, says to them at one point:

“Love one another, cease to tear at one another, lest at the end you consume one another”.

We are in danger of doing that in the way that our politics is developing at the moment. If we are to tackle that, we have to put in place some fundamental issues to be capable of creating the agile, flexible, creative, entrepreneurial and exciting society—full of the common good and of solidarity and love for one another—which is the only way that this country will flourish and prosper for all its citizens in the world outside the European Union of the future. Continue reading “Archbishop of Canterbury on the future for the United Kingdom after the EU Referendum”

Bishop of Ely urges Government to speak out against attacks on EU citizens living in UK

On 4th July 2016 Lord Soley asked Her Majesty’s Government “what role they see for the United Kingdom in relation to the European Union”. The Bishop of Ely, Rt Revd Stephen Conway, asked a follow up question.

ElyThe Lord Bishop of Ely: Whatever happens in the long term, in the meantime will the Government speak up trenchantly against the ugly and unseemly behaviour of some of our fellow citizens in the way they speak to and are violent towards citizens from the EU who are resident here, and who are productive citizens in our midst?

Baroness Anelay of St Johns: The right reverend Prelate is of course not only right but clearly has the complete agreement of this House. This country has proved throughout its history that it not only tolerates but welcomes those who come here to contribute to our society. I deplore attacks upon them.


Bishop of Chelmsford calls for action to counter fear and race hatred after EU referendum

Chelmsford 251115On 27th June 2016, Baroness Stowell of Beeston repeated a statement on the result of the EU Referendum, made by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons. The Bishop of Chelmsford, Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, asked a follow up question:

Lord Bishop of Chelmsford: My Lords, some commentators have said that the result of the referendum was a resounding victory for Brexit. I am not sure that I see it that way: 52 to 48 is, to my mind, a rather narrow victory. Where there is no overwhelming consensus, there is an overwhelming need to take account of the views of others. Nobody likes a bad winner. There has been too much hyperbole and spite in this debate. Yes, one side did win, the result is clear and we have to act on it. Those who advocated leave obviously need to take the lead in the negotiations that will take place. But we urgently need the sort of wise leadership that can build consensus. We need some sort of national Government—a coalition of good will where we can work together.

I serve the diocese of Chelmsford, which is, “east London in and Essex out”. Yesterday I spoke to a head teacher who said that the children were frightened when they went to school on Friday and that she had seen an increase in race hatred and intolerance. What plans are there to address the lack of unity in our nation and to counter the fear and race hatred that is on the rise? Can we ensure that those who lost this vote, as well as those who won, can be part of the planning going forward? Continue reading “Bishop of Chelmsford calls for action to counter fear and race hatred after EU referendum”

Bishop of Leeds asks about effect of UK leaving the EU on UK nationals living abroad

BpLeeds2On the 4th, 9th & 14th March 2016 the Bishop of Leeds received written answers to questions about the implications for UK citizens overseas if the UK should decide to leave the EU.

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the implications of a decision by the UK to leave the EU for those UK nationals resident in other EU member states. [HL6398]

Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds asks about effect of UK leaving the EU on UK nationals living abroad”

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