Brexit: Church of England bishops condemn ‘unacceptable’ rhetoric

The strong criticism comes following a furious backlash to the language used by Boris Johnson about the EU divorce.

More than 100 Church of England bishops have come together to brand MPs’ fiery language around Brexit as “unacceptable” and “not worthy of our country”.

In the wake of angry exchanges at Westminster, the leading Anglican clerics issued a joint statement warning against “further entrenching our divisions”.

It also called for the 2016 Brexit referendum to be honoured and for the rule of law and impartiality of the courts to be upheld.

Rachel Johnson said the language her brother used was 'reprehensible'
Boris Johnson’s sister brands his remarks ‘tasteless’. Image copyright: Sky News

The intervention came after Boris Johnson faced a furious backlash when he dismissed as “humbug” a complaint by one Labour MP that his “inflammatory” rhetoric risked provoking attacks on politicians.

He has also been accused of fuelling tensions by describing efforts to block a no-deal Brexit as a “surrender act”.

Even his own sister Rachel Johnson has condemned his comments in parliament as “tasteless” and “highly reprehensible”, after he said the best way to honour the murdered Remain-supporting MP Jo Cox was to “get Brexit done”.

Meanwhile, the prime minister’s top aide Dominic Cummings has said MPs will stop getting threats and abuse if they “respect” the EU referendum result.

Entering the row, the College of Bishops said: “In the last few days, the use of language, both in debates and outside parliament, has been unacceptable.

“We should speak to others with respect. And we should also listen.”#Brexplainer: Your questions answered simply by Sky News expertsMany things divide Remainers and Leavers, but most agree that Brexit is complicated stuff

Following Mr Johnson’s defeat in the Supreme Court, where judges ruled his prorogation was unlawful, the statement added: “We call on politicians to adhere rigorously to the rule of law and on all to respect and uphold the impartiality of the courts and our judiciary.”

It went on: “It is easy to descend into division and abuse – climbing out and finding unity again takes far longer.

“Further entrenching our divisions, whether from uncertainty or from partisanship, is not worthy of our country nor the leadership we now need.”

First published 27.09.19:


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