The Archbishop of Canterbury is proposing to groups of MPs his intention to chair “citizens’ assemblies” to stop a no-deal departure from the EU.
First question: who are the “citizens” who will make up these so-called “citizens’ assemblies”? Citizens – though, since the people of Britain are not French republicans, we call ourselves “subjects” – voted decisively to leave the EU in the 3016 referendum. Not for the first time, Welby, under his pretence of a desire for more democracy, is bent on overturning our democratic decision to leave the EU. And Welby must be made to understand that this wasn’t any old hole-and-corner affair: more people voted to leave the EU than have ever voted for anything in British history.
Thus Welby has set himself in arrogant opposition to the will of the people
Welby has held talks in which he expressed his desire to chair citizens’ assemblies at Coventry Cathedral in September with prominent MPs to discuss tactics to oppose our leaving the EU “without a deal” on 31st October.
Unsurprisingly, Welby’s deceitful plan has come in for some criticism. Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith responded: “I generally don’t criticise the Archbishop but he shouldn’t allow himself to be tempted into what is essentially a very political issue right now.”
Mark Francois, vice-chairman of the European Research Group of Eurosceptic Tory MPs, said Britons were exhausted from being told why the result of the referendum should be overturned. He said: “I suspect Britons will not be overjoyed by having it rubbed in by the Archbishop of Canterbury to boot.”
Welby was also criticised by the Labour MP Kate Hoey and Brexit MEPs who demanded of the Archbishop that he stops his interference in the Brexit process. Ms Hoey said, “Welby should be in talks about why fewer people are attending church rather than pretend he is just trying to stop a no deal. He wants to stop us leaving!”
Of course he does! This concept of “leaving without a deal” is a red herring. Remainers, such as Welby, who wish to deny the referendum result, are craftily using the word “deal” to ensure that in actuality we never leave the EU. That was May’s ruse and it is being tried on again by her disciple Justin Welby.
The truth is we already have a deal and the deal is simply that we leave.
Welby is – let me retain my usual politeness – a shambles. He has already shown himself to be the enemy of justice and truth by his insistence that there remains “a significant cloud” over the head of Bishop George Bell – and that despite the fact that Lord Carlyle’s official enquiry cleared Bell of any sexual impropriety. Now in his deviations and machinations by which he means to ignore the expressed will of the people, Welby is very particularly at odds with his own church members.
Speaking before the referendum, Welby declared himself against Brexit. But in the vote his fellow Anglicans strongly supported it. Linda Woodhead of Lancaster University conducted an exit poll of 3,242 UK adults immediately after the referendum. This showed that exactly two-thirds of those declaring themselves members of the Church of England voted to leave the EU. That was significanlty higher than for England as a whole, where 53% chose Leave.
We do retain a rational use to the word “leave”: Welby should be told to leave our decision to leave alone.
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