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Justin Welby calls for Remainers to 'stop whingeing' and accept the result of the Brexit referendum

Justin Welby calls for Remainers to 'stop whingeing' and accept the result of the Brexit referendum

By Edward Malnick, SUNDAY POLITICAL EDITOR
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/
31 AUGUST 2019

The Archb9ishop of Canterbury, calls for Remainers to 'stop whingeing' and accept the result of the Brexit referendum accept the result of the Brexit referendum.

The Most Rev Justin Welby said those who voted to stay in the EU must now "take seriously the fact that the majority voted Leave", stating: "We may not like it, but that is democracy."

Last week it emerged that Archbishop Welby was in talks to chair a proposed "citizens' forum" intended by MPs to help avoid a no-deal exit from the EU. The disclosure prompted Mark Francois, a prominent Conservative Brexiteer to suggest that the archbishop was joining politicians lecturing voters "about why we should overturn their democratic decision."

But in comments made during a question and answer session two days before it emerged that he was in talks to chair the forum, Archbishop Welby stated that he was a "democrat" and did not support the campaign for a second Brexit referendum.

In remarks reported by the Church Times, he added: "We have to take seriously the fact that the majority voted Leave. We may not like it, but that is democracy; and that means we have to stop whingeing about it and do something about reuniting the country."

Addressing the Greenbelt faith and arts festival last weekend, Archbishop Welby said the Church of England could help to facilitate a process of reconciliation between Leave and Remain voters.

The Government has announced it will ask the Queen to suspend Parliament in advance of a Queen's Speech. Boris Johnson has said the move is not intended to help the Government to pass new legislation, not to run down the clock on Brexit.

Archbishop Welby suggested that MPs were being "broken" by "hatred and division" over Brexit, the Church Times reported.

The archbishop, who succeeded Rowan Williams in 2013, insisted that a so-called "People's Vote" - the name given to the official campaign for a second referendum -- was not the answer. "Do I know how we move forward? No, I don't, but I'm a democrat, and I'm sticking to it."

Archbishop Welby was invited by a cross-party group of MPs to chair a citizens' assembly that would be convened this month and be tasked with submit proposals to Parliament on solving the Brexit impasse. MPs on both sides of the debate said they hoped it would help prevent a no-deal exit.

But in his response to the invitation, the Archbishop set out a series of conditions, including that the forum "should not be a Trojan horse intended to delay or prevent Brexit in any particular form."

But the archbishop said: "In the past this kind of gathering has, in many places and in difficult situations, opened the way for careful deliberation, if at the right time and genuinely representative."

The MPs behind the initiative include Yvette Cooper, the former Labour minister, and Dame Caroline Spelman, the ex Conservative environment secretary, both of whom have spearheaded efforts to block a no-deal exit from the EU.

In a letter first reported by The Times, wrote: "Since the referendum there has been no government process to involve people in the detail of the debate or to bring people together." The group said the assembly could be a "helpful supplement" to the work of
parliament. The MPs suggested that a forum of 100 people could meet at Coventry Boris Johnson: 'The EU understands what needs to be done'.

END

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