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”
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”
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”
On 12th December 2018 Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty’s Government “what representations they have received on a People’s Vote on Brexit.” The Archbishop of York, Most Revd John Sentamu, asked a follow-up question:
The Archbishop of York: My Lords, would the Minister agree with the African sentiment that when two elephants fight, the grass gets hurt? Is it now time to look for reconciliation as a nation and move forward? Is it now time to stop point-scoring and actually listen to one another with a sense of humility, humbleness and kindness and to have more civil discourse? Otherwise, elephants are fighting and the grass is getting hurt. Continue reading “Archbishop of York calls for reconciliation and a more civil Brexit debate”
On 10th December 2018, the Prime Minister’s statement on the UK’s exit from the European Union was repeated in the House of Lords. The Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster, asked a question in response:
The Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, I want to take the House back to the concept of a backstop. Is not the nature of a backstop that it must be a backstop? A backstop that one party can unilaterally abrogate somehow ceases to be a backstop. How can you negotiate away a backstop and it still remain a backstop? Continue reading “Bishop of Chester asks Government about nature of backstop in EU Withdrawal Agreement”
On 10th December 2018, the Prime Minister’s statement on the UK’s exit from the European Union was repeated in the House of Lords. The Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, asked a question in response:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, the Prime Minister says in her Statement that those who continue to disagree need to shoulder the responsibility of advocating an alternative solution that can be delivered. Surely that is everybody’s responsibility. She goes on to ask people to be honest about the implications of what they want. However, it seems to me that people have been honest for the last couple of years but they have not been listened to. Has the time now come for the Prime Minister and the Government to stop playing a zero-sum game and, on a cross-party basis, find a credible way ahead?
Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds comments on Prime Minister’s EU Withdrawal statement”
On 5th December 2018 the House of Lords debated a motion to take note of the Government’s EU Withdrawal Agreement, alongside an Opposition motion to regret it. The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, I wish that I could pack as much into a single speech as the noble Lord, Lord Bilimoria, but I defy the challenge.
It is perhaps not a bad idea at this stage in the debate just to take a step back and to remember what the point of all this is. I was doing “Thought for the Day” on Radio 4 this morning and picked up on three words from the title of a Theos think-tank report on resilience in the north-east of England—people, place and purpose. They are three words that offer us a lens through which to see what all this is about. I endorse what the most reverend Primate said this morning in his speech.
Whatever the ultimate outcome, one of the legacies of the Brexit process thus far is, as I have said before, a corruption of public discourse, polarisation between people and communities, and a too frequent reduction of the polity to the merely economic. People are now too often categorised as either Punch or Judy; argument and nuance are dismissed in favour of emotive ad hominem judgment.
Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds speaks in debate on EU Withdrawal Agreement”