'A no-deal Brexit is gambling with the basic needs of our poorest citizens'
An open letter to the new Prime Minister Boris Johnson from leaders of seven Christian denominations expresses concern that failing to agree a deal on Brexit will 'hit those held back by poverty very hard indeed'.
The Church leaders say they have been 'compelled' to write to the new Prime Minister because of his position that leaving the European Union without a deal is acceptable.
The letter states that 'At a time when increasing numbers of families have difficulties putting enough food on the table, we believe it is irresponsible to consider a course of action that is expected to make that situation worse.'
The Church leaders say that 'It is notable that assurances about our ability to cope with a no-deal Brexit, while frequent, are yet to be supported by substantial evidence” and ask the Government to publish evidence of the impact a no-deal Brexit on disadvantaged communities.'
The letter also invites the Prime Minister to visit one of the many social actions projects run by churches to support millions of citizens who live in poverty.
The letter is signed by our General Secretary Lynn Green; Alan Donaldson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland; and Judith Morris, General Secretary, Baptist Union of Wales; alongside leaders from the Methodist Church of Great Britain, the United Reformed Church, the Salvation Army, Quakers in Britain and the Scottish Episcopal Church, which together have approximately 700, 000 members.
Specific concerns over food supply, pricing as well as availability of medical supplies and energy are raised in the letter.
The letter warns that, in the event that a deal is not reached, 'In essence, the Government will be relying on the hope that our former EU partners are willing to co-operate even without an agreement – a huge gamble to take with the basic needs of our poorest citizens and communities.'
Others can add their names to the Brexit letter to the Prime Minister be signing here. By the week beginning 19 August, the letter had garnered more than 2200 signatures, including a significant number of Baptist ministers.
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