BRITAIN’S five senior Archbishops last night launched an astonishing attack on the government’s Brexit plans.
The group slammed the Internal Markets Bill, being debated in Parliament today for allowing the government to tear up parts of the Brexit divorce deal.
The blistering letter, printed in today’s Financial Times, is likely to spark accusations they are overstepping the mark by meddling in politics.
Ministers have admitted the IM Bill breaks international law, but says it is needed to stop Brussel putting trade barriers up between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
The letter, which has been signed by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, branded the bill a “disaster”.
It fumes: “The Bill is, of course, not just concerned with domestic law. It currently asks the country’s highest law- making body to equip a government minister to break international law.
“This has enormous moral, as well as political and legal, consequences.
“We believe this would create a disastrous precedent. It is particularly disturbing for all of us who feel a sense of duty and responsibility to the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement – that international treaty on which peace and stability within and between the UK and Ireland depends.”
They add: “If carefully negotiated terms are not honoured and laws can be ‘legally’ broken, on what foundations does our democracy stand?
“We urge lawmakers to consider this Bill in the light of values and principles we would wish to characterise relationships across these islands long after the transition period.”
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The letter is signed by Archbishop of Armagh John McDowell, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church Mark Strange, Archbishop of Wales John Davies and Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell.
Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, a leading Brexiteer, said: “I hope this is not a distraction form the difficulties the Church of England has been in with the inquiry into Child Abuse, which reported back last week.
“I hope this is not an attempt at distraction from the Church of England’s own internal troubles.”
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