On the 17th December 2015 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP, answered four oral questions in the House of Commons about Syrian refugees, fossil fuel investments and the protection of hedgehogs.
“There must be more to this referendum than a calculation of the temporary individual economic benefit or disbenefit of membership of the Union in its present form” – Bishop of London 13/10/15
The Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, in a matter as grave as the future relations between Britain and the European Union, there is perhaps a case for a referendum, which one hopes would settle the direction of travel for a generation. The referendum habit has elsewhere proved contagious. They tend to be run again if those in power do not get the answer they want. There must be a very strong case to justify an exception from our settled preference for a representative democracy that permits the kinds of compromises that the art of government requires. Continue reading “EU Referendum Bill – speech by the Bishop of London”
On 26th February 2015, the Bishop of Worcester, the Rt Revd John Inge, received answers to two written questions, on the subject of security in Russia and Eastern Europe.
The Lord Bishop of Worcester: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking, as a member of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, to bring about renewed discussions with Russia on a possible Euro-Atlantic security community. [HL5013] Continue reading “Bishop of Worcester – Russia and Eastern Europe (Written Answers)”
On 2nd April 2014 the Bishop of Wakefield, Rt Revd Stephen Platten, received answers to written questions on EU and UK relationships with the Republic of Moldova, which borders Ukraine. The questions focused on:
- the EU’s Association Agreement
- election monitoring
- political and military assurances about territorial independence and sovereignty
- Ministerial contact
- EU visa waiver programme
- Tensions between Moldova and the autonomous regions of Transnistria and Gagauzia.
Lord Harries of Pentregarth asked Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the current situation in Georgia
The Bishop of Wakefield asked a supplementary question:
The Lord Bishop of Wakefield: My Lords, I begin by declaring an interest as the Church of England’s lead bishop on Georgian affairs. Last year, I had the good fortune to meet the outgoing President Saakashvili and, independently, some of his associates. I then met a number of members of the present Government. The antagonism could be felt in both directions and was seriously affecting stability and development. The previous Government had done some good work on corruption, tax collection and so on. If the economy is to prosper, the next thing that needs to happen is a building up of the infrastructure. Can Her Majesty’s Government assure noble Lords that the new Government will do that?
Lord Wallace of Saltaire: My Lords, on my last visit to Tbilisi I had lunch with MPs from both the governing party and the opposition party. That would not have been possible in Armenia or Azerbaijan. One has to put these things in perspective. Yes, of course we are assisting with developing the infrastructure in Georgia. The European neighbourhood partnership is putting a lot of money into Georgia and, of course, BP and other foreign investors are also assisting with the development of the country.