Bishop Mike: Europe - In or Out?

    From the Bishops
    21 March 2016
    Bishop Mike

    flag european union

    The campaign race to the vote on the EU is starting to gather pace. Voters will be given the opportunity to decide whether they are for Europe or against.

    Immediately there is a problem. Who do you believe? Voters are in great danger of having to make the difficult choice of which side’s misinformation you believe most!

    It’s not my job to tell readers how to vote. That is your choice, but I do want to encourage you not to simply respond to the scare-mongering of both sides or make some short term choice. This is your opportunity to exercise your democratic right and decide what you want for our nation for the foreseeable future.

    Many of the arguments for and against are economic. How shall we progress our lust for increased prosperity? Certainly prosperity is a factor, but I don’t think it should be the only factor. True, membership back in the 1970’s was all about economic opportunity, but since then membership has involved much more, some of which has had a profound effect on our culture. You will have to decide whether you like this change…

    Prior to last year’s election the Bishops wrote a Pastoral letter (only bishops would come up with something fifty pages long!). The detail of this is not important now, but the bishops’ spoke of something you might like to think about as you exercise your vote. We talked about a new vision of politics and society in which all human beings might flourish.

    So, when you come to exercise your vote you might like to start by asking the question, “what kind of society do I believe in”? The next question, and this is not easy in the light of everything you will hear in the run-up to the vote, is whether or not continued membership of the EU will help realise the kind of society you believe in – or not!


    March 2016