Daily Mail

New vote could cause civil un­rest, says Sen­tamu

- By Court­ney Bartlett Brexit · European Politics · UK News · Politics · British Politics · House of Lords · Theresa May · John Sentamu

A SEC­OND Brexit ref­er­en­dum would un­der­mine trust in democ­racy and could lead to ‘civil un­rest and vi­o­lence’, the Arch­bishop of York warned yes­ter­day.

The Most Rev John Sen­tamu, 69, said: ‘Our first con­cern must be main­tain­ing re­spect for demo­cratic law-mak­ing in­sti­tu­tions, which are un­der heav­ier pres­sure to­day than for more than a cen­tury.’

He added that a sec­ond ref­er­en­dum ‘sub­verts agreed de­ci­sion-mak­ing pro­ce­dures af­ter the event and that un­der­mines trust’.

The arch­bishop, who an­nounced in the House of Lords yes­ter­day that he will back Theresa May’s Brexit deal, called on MPs to em­brace the Prime Min­is­ter’s ‘com­pro­mise’ for the good of the coun­try.

He crit­i­cised MPs op­pos­ing the deal for ‘abus­ing their power’ by cre­at­ing more chaos for the coun­try in the com­ing months. Dr Sen­tamu, who cam­paigned for re­main in the 2016 ref­er­en­dum, urged politi­cians to help mend the rift in Bri­tish pol­i­tics.

Writ­ing in The York­shire Post, he said: ‘As the African proverb says, “When two ele­phants fight, the grass gets hurt”. This is the time to find a still small voice of calm and be­gin the process of heal­ing any di­vi­sions.’

He also took a swipe at hard­line Brex­i­teers, say­ing: ‘The idea of a “pure” or “max­i­mal” Brexit, which would some­how make a clean sweep, was a child­ish dream, and no se­ri­ous politi­cian should have en­ter­tained it.’

He ar­gued that the Com­mons has a ‘re­spon­si­bil­ity’ to forge con­sen­sus, and to vote against Mrs May’s deal with­out a vi­able al­ter­na­tive would be ‘to be­tray the trust we place in our rep­re­sen­ta­tives’.

He signed off by say­ing he will walk into the con­tent lobby in the Lords and that to do oth­er­wise would be a dere­lic­tion of duty.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK