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 Leeds asks Government about impact of US sanctions on Iran and migration

On 17th, 20th & 21st December 2018 the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, received written answers to three questions about US sanctions on Iran and migration from Iran. 

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many Iranian citizens made asylum applications in (1) 2015, (2) 2016, (3) 2017, and (4) 2018; and how many applications have been granted.

Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds asks Government about impact of US sanctions on Iran and migration”

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”

Bishop of Leeds comments on Prime Minister’s EU Withdrawal statement

18.12.05 Leeds Brexit deal debateOn 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”

Bishop of Leeds speaks in debate on EU Withdrawal Agreement

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”

Bishop of Leeds calls for honesty in discourse and about deep challenges UK faces with Brexit

On 20th November 2018 Government Minister Lord Callanan led a debate in the House of Lords on the motion “That this House takes note of the statement by the Prime Minister repeated by the Lord Privy Seal on 15 November relating to the European Union exit negotiations.” The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, only four months remain before we walk arm-in-arm to the sunlit uplands where the easiest deal in history will have been made and everybody will be happy—except we know that this is not the case.

Other noble Lords will concentrate on the details of the deal—a word I loathe because it reduces an existential question simply to a matter of trade and transaction—and the position in which it leaves us. I want to pick up on one line of the Prime Minister’s Statement to the House last week, which I questioned in the short debate on Thursday:

“If we get behind a deal, we can bring our country back together and seize the opportunities that lie ahead”.—[Official Report, Commons, 15/11/18; col. 1982.]

I asked if the promise to bring our country back together was credible and achievable and, if so, how it was to be done. The answer was simply a repeat of mantras about the deal. Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds calls for honesty in discourse and about deep challenges UK faces with Brexit”

Bishop of Leeds asks if PM’s aim to bring country back together after Brexit is credible and achievable

On 15th November 2018 the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, responded to a Government statement on Brexit negotiations:

Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds asks if PM’s aim to bring country back together after Brexit is credible and achievable”