Brexit3-300x225Brexit Britain: what now for the nation?

This is the third in a three-part series of blogs by Martin Charlesworth on Brexit. Read the first part here and the second part here.

From where I stand, here are the four most important and obvious issues that the UK faces in post-Brexit Britain:
 
The first issue is political leadership.
 
I’ve been in Westminster recently. The paparazzi and the media circus has been buzzing around Parliament relentlessly in the uncertain and tense circumstance of both major parties concerning their leadership following the EU referendum. Walking past a press photographer poking his lens through the railings of the Houses of Parliament I asked what he was looking for. “Oh just a glimpse of Michael Gove,” he replied half-heartedly and despondently.
 
It will take extraordinary political leadership in Westminster and elsewhere in the UK to negotiate the multiple political, constitutional, social, legal and economic issues that lie ahead. We have a new Prime Minister, but it’s still an uncertain road ahead with many opportunities and many dangers. Christians need to commit themselves firmly at this time to praying for our leaders.
 
The second issue is economic stability.
 
There have been significant economic jitters since the Brexit decision. I’ve been keeping an regular eye on stock markets, business news, investment trends, currency exchange rates and the statements of the governor of the Bank of England. It is too early to say what the economic fallout of Brexit will be, but all the evidence seems to point to high risk of some negative economic factors affecting us ongoing for a time. We need to be aware – and to pray.
 
The third issue is social harmony.
 
I’ve discussed this a little in my previous post. Part of this is the issue of attitudes to immigrants. Another part of it is dealing with the social divisions that came to the surface, such as the divisions between London and the regions, between the old and the young, within families where differing opinions are held, etc. Churches need to address this in their congregations, but they also need to be a reconciling force in their wider communities.
 
The fourth issue is national unity.
 
I’m in London as I write this. Many Londoners are horrified to find themselves part of the Brexit process that they vigorously opposed. Similar feelings are shared by the majority of Scots and in Northern Ireland. National unity has been severely strained by the EU referendum – another of those many unintended consequences of the referendum. Christians need to focus on these realities and seek ways to relate to those concerns wherever they appear across the UK.
 
Every challenge is an opportunity: there is no doubt that the Church has real opportunities in the strange new world of Brexit Britain. Jubilee+ is on the frontline. I trust you are too!


Martin Charlesworth, 26/07/2016


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