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Brexit flags.jpg
PA
Brexit flags.jpg
PA
Politics

Churches' message to European colleagues - we're leaving the EU but we're not leaving you

by Marcus Jones

A number of church groups have issued an open letter to churches across Europe as the UK heads towards Brexit next week.

"The UK is leaving the EU, but we are not leaving Europe," reads the letter, signed by the Church of Scotland along with the Baptist, Methodist and United Reformed Churches 

They ask partner churches across the continent to pray for them as the country leaves the EU.

It also calls for a continued partnership: "We will continue to pursue the concerns we share with you, to ensure the welfare of all citizens and that our Governments are held to account for issues about security, freedom and the sharing of prosperity. 

"We will continue to work with you on the great challenges of our time; how European nations respond to forced migration, and how we adapt and respond to the climate crisis.

"We will continue to remain committed to the principles of solidarity, that have bound us together for many years and to which we must hold fast in a time of increasing xenophobia, religious discrimination, wealth inequality and national self-interest."

In a separate statement, ten church groups (including those already mentioned) have called for the UK to make bold choices on things like the climate crisis, global inequality and conflict.

It also calls for kindness, humility and respect from all sides ahead of Brexit's completion on 31st January.

"Brexit exposed and exacerbated divisions in British society," the statement reads. "The deeply held convictions that fuelled the Brexit debate will not simply go away, but our Christian faith urges us to be people of peace and reconciliation. 

"If the bitterness of the last four years is not to persist in polluting our national life, we will all need to resist the temptation to hold onto the hurts of the past, or to act in ways which will be perceived as triumphalist."

Other signatories include the Council of African and Caribbean Churches UK and the Scottish Episcopal Church.

The UK will end over three years of debate when it departs the EU next week.

All remain legislation finally passed through the House of Commons earlier this week.
 

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