Bishop of Newcastle – abuse and threats toward MPs unacceptable and risk to democracy

The Lord Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, following the Prime Minister’s Statement in the other place this afternoon, it is clear that we remain in a place of deep uncertainty. We are still asked to note the two dates of 12 April and 22 May, signifying that there are at least two, probably more, very different directions we might still take as a country.

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.

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Archbishop of York commends Brexit deal and Attorney General’s advice

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”

Bishop of Oxford warns against “four temptations” in Brexit debate

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: 

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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.

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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”

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.

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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:

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Bishop of Leeds repeats call for more honest language in response to Prime Minister’s EU Council statement

On 17th December 2018 the Leader of the House of Lords repeated a statement made in the House of Commons by the Prime Minister, about the EU Council meeting. The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, responded:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, would the Leader of the House agree with me that the language of the Statement is not helpful? It says:

“But let us not risk the jobs, services and security of the people whom we serve”.

​It is a fact that Brexit, of itself and the process we have gone through, has already done that. To say “Let us not further risk” might be more accurate. Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds repeats call for more honest language in response to Prime Minister’s EU Council statement”