"Don't let Brexit turn us inwards": Archbishop's plea to Theresa May

Emma Haslett
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The Archbishop Of Canterbury Takes Part in The March Of Witness
Welby called for a cross-Parliamentary commission on Brexit negotiations (Source: Getty)

The Archbishop of Canterbury has issued a plea to Theresa May to form a parliamentary commission aimed at keeping the UK united during Brexit negotiations.

In a column for the Mail on Sunday, Justin Welby said the government must develop "some political tool which can hold the ring for the differences to be fought out, so that a commonly agreed negotiating aim is achieved".

He urged the government to avoid the temptation of taking "minor advantage domestically" from Brexit negotiations.

"The future of this country is not a zero-sum, winner take all, calculation but must rest on the reconciled common good arrived at through good debate and disagreement," he said.

"Brexit continues to divide us. Exit negotiations will be fierce and the differences on what we should aim for, and how, are very deep. They divide our politicians and our society.

"With a hung parliament, there is an understandable temptation for every difference to become a vote of confidence, a seeking of momentary advantage ahead of the next election."

This is not the first time Welby has urged the two sides to reconcile.

The Archbishop used his new year message to encourage Britons to bridge the divisions created by the EU referendum.

"Last year, we made a decision that will profoundly affect the future of our country - a decision made democratically by the people. The EU referendum was a tough campaign and it has left divisions," he said.

"But I know that if we look at our roots, our history and our culture in the Christian tradition, if we reach back into what is best in this country, we will find a path towards reconciling the differences that have divided us."

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