Votes: EU Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration

On 14th January 2019 the House of Lords voted to pass a ‘Motion to Regret’ the Government’s EU Withdrawal Agreement, tabled by the Leader of the Opposition Baroness Smith of Basildon. Five bishops voted, and whilst the Archbishop of Canterbury attended and spoke in the debate, he abstained in the vote. 

House of Lords Division Lobby

Baroness Smith of Basildon moved ‘That this House, while noting that it is for the House of Commons to determine the matter, considers that a no deal outcome to negotiations under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union must be emphatically rejected, and regrets that withdrawal from the European Union on the terms set out in the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration laid before Parliament would damage the future economic prosperity, internal security and global influence of the United Kingdom.

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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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Vote: Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill

On 17th December 2018 the House of Lords voted to pass an Opposition amendment to the Government’s Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill. The Bishop of Lincoln took part and voted for the amendment. Continue reading “Vote: Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill”

Bishops of Lincoln and Coventry respond to Government statement on Gosport Independent Panel report

On 20th June 2018 a Government statement about the Gosport Independent panel, chaired by the former Bishop of Liverpool, was repeated in the House of Lords. The Bishops of Lincoln and Coventry spoke after the statement to ask questions of the Minister. Their exchanges are below:

The Lord Bishop of Lincoln: My Lords, I declare an interest as my wife is a lead clinician in the office of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. My friend the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Portsmouth cannot be in his place today as he is in his cathedral church with the families of those whose loved ones were patients at Gosport War Memorial Hospital, as they properly received the report prior to it being laid before Parliament. On his behalf, and sharing his profound concern and with some anger as a vicar and archdeacon in that area at that time, I politely remind the Minister of the evidence of disregard for human life, a culture of deliberately shortening life, and a regime of systematic overuse of opioids and of the way in which those raising concerns were treated as troublemakers. Continue reading “Bishops of Lincoln and Coventry respond to Government statement on Gosport Independent Panel report”

Bishop of Lincoln asks Government about mental health provision in rural areas

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On 20th June 2018 Lord Cotter asked Her Majesty’s Government “what proportion of mental health treatment is funded by the National Health Service nationally as against local funding.” The Bishop of Lincoln, Rt Revd Christopher Lowson, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Lincoln: My Lords, I speak for one of the most rural parts of England. Does the Minister recognise the higher level of suicide in rural areas? In part, this is due to rural isolation and the sparsity of mental health provision. What plans do the Government have to increase local and accessible provision in these areas? Continue reading “Bishop of Lincoln asks Government about mental health provision in rural areas”

Vote: EU (Withdrawal) Bill

On 18th June 2018 the EU (Withdrawal) Bill returned to the House of Lords for consideration of the Commons amendments. Viscount Hailsham tabled an amendment on a  ‘meaningful vote’ for MPs in a no-deal scenario. The Bishops of Durham, Lincoln and Worcester voted on the amendment: Continue reading “Vote: EU (Withdrawal) Bill”

Bishop of Lincoln appointed to Lords Committee on Regenerating Seaside Towns and Communities

On 17th May 2018 the House of Lords approved a motion to create a Committee to meet for a year, to consider the regeneration of seaside towns and communities. The Bishop of Lincoln, Rt Revd Christopher Lowson, was appointed as one of the Members of the Committee:

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