18 Mar 2019

Bishop Robert: Brexit latest

Bishop Robert has called for “an end to Brexit uncertainty” in a series of BBC interviews.

There is “Brexit bafflement, bewilderment and bemusement all round” with what is currently happening at Westminster, Bishop Robert said.  He emphasised that, even though the House of Commons had passed several votes last week on no deal, and possible extension of Article 50, Parliament would still need to repeal the Withdrawal Act before 29 March for Brexit not to happen on that date.  

“People in my Diocese are at the sharp end of this, we’re on a cliff-edge, and the uncertainty must end to give people a sense of stability.  The uncertainty of Brexit is paralysing people’s lives and decisions about their future”, Bishop Robert added.

He noted efforts underway on Brexit across the Diocese in Europe to: keep people informed about Brexit developments; bring people together to talk about Brexit; and our advocacy work on key Brexit issues, notably with Dame Caroline Spelman MP on healthcare concerns in a no deal.

Bishop Robert spoke also of his sensitivity to the range of heartfelt emotions people feel about Brexit, including in his interview with Radio Sussex, “for British people living in continental Europe for a long time, a sense of exile.”  In the Brexit context, Bishop Robert emphasised the power of Scripture to support Christian disciples, notably God’s pilgrim people in Exodus.  And he noted that he and clergy colleagues had themselves just completed a pilgrimage walking along the border from Trier in Germany to Echternach in Luxembourg.

As guided by Archbishop Justin, Bishop Robert said we needed to learn to ‘disagree well’ when talking about Brexit, and that politicians now had to come together to address huge national divisions.  Asked about a possible delay to Brexit, Bishop Robert said he would personally favour a long delay to enable the country to think carefully about its future.

You can listen to Bishop Robert’s full interview with Radio Sussex at this link. Scroll to 2 hrs 24 minutes on the recording.

In a full spread of interviews, Bishop Robert also discussed Brexit with a range of other BBC radio stations:  Bristol, York, Newcastle, Tees, Berkshire, Nottingham, Wiltshire, Coventry & Warwickshire, Gloucestershire, Derby and Lancashire.