EU referendum result


Here are statements issued by church leaders following the declaration of the result of the EU referendum.

EU referendum: Statement by Archbishops of Canterbury and York

Friday 24th June 2016

Archbishop Justin Welby and Archbishop John Sentamu have issued this joint statement today after the UK voted to leave the European Union: 
On Thursday, millions of people from across the United Kingdom voted in the referendum, and a majority expressed a desire that Britain’s future is to be outside the European Union

The outcome of this referendum has been determined by the people of this country. It is now the responsibility of the Government, with the support of Parliament, to take full account of the outcome of the referendum, and, in the light of this, decide upon the next steps. This morning, the Prime Minister David Cameron has offered a framework for when this process might formally begin.

The vote to withdraw from the European Union means that now we must all reimagine both what it means to be the United Kingdom in an interdependent world and what values and virtues should shape and guide our relationships with others. 

As citizens of the United Kingdom, whatever our views during the referendum campaign, we must now unite in a common task to build a generous and forward looking country, contributing to human flourishing around the world. We must remain hospitable and compassionate, builders of bridges and not barriers. Many of those living among us and alongside us as neighbours, friends and work colleagues come from overseas and some will feel a deep sense of insecurity. We must respond by offering reassurance, by cherishing our wonderfully diverse society, and by affirming the unique contribution of each and every one.

The referendum campaign has been vigorous and at times has caused hurt to those on one side or the other. We must therefore act with humility and courage – being true to the principles that make the very best of our nation. Unity, hope and generosity will enable us to overcome the period of transition that will now happen, and to emerge confident and successful. The opportunities and challenges that face us as a nation and as global citizens are too significant for us to settle for less.

As those who hope and trust in the living God, let us pray for all our leaders, especially for Prime Minister David Cameron in his remaining months in office. We also pray for leaders across Europe, and around the world, as they face this dramatic change. Let us pray especially that we may go forward to build a good United Kingdom that, though relating to the rest of Europe in a new way will play its part amongst the nations in the pursuit of the common good throughout the world.

Locally in Leicester Diocese:

The Rt Revd Martyn Snow, Bishop of Leicester said "In view of the referendum result and the decision of Prime Minister David Cameron to stand down in October, we now enter a new era in British politics. I hope and pray that this new era will be marked as much by a debate about how we conduct our politics as by the personalities and issues involved. The Church of England in Leicester and Leicestershire is committed to working with leaders of other faith communities to promote careful and thoughtful debate and local action which builds up our common life and ensures that the cries of the weakest and most vulnerable in our society are heard. I will be issuing a special call to prayer in our churches asking that they pray for local as well as national politicians and public servants."

The Very Revd David Monteith, Dean of Leicester said "The direction is set. A new vision of our community will need to be created. Leicester Cathedral and all our churches can help build unity and common purpose at a time of uncertainty. We remain especially committed to the poor, asylum seekers and the vulnerable who invariably are most affected by radical political change".


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