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Archbishop Justin Welby says Christians must be reconcilers in face of Brexit division

The Archbishop of Canterbury believes churches must "strive for reconciliation" in the face of Britain's withdrawal from the European Union, as some politicians try to "drive a wedge between people".

Most Rev Justin Welby also urged Europe's politicians to deliver "fair and sustainable solutions" for the UK-EU relationship after Brexit.

In a joint message released with German Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, he said: "European relationships are changing, not least as a result of Brexit.

 

"We do not know what will happen and what the relationship between the UK and EU will look like after 29th March 2019.

"However, what we do know is that the relationship between the Church of England and the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland goes back over many centuries - long before the European Union.

 

Bishop Heinrich, the council chair of the Evangelical Church in Germany, has been on a two-day visit to London hosted by Archbishop Justin.

Their statement continued: "As churches, we urgently appeal to all politicians to find fair and sustainable solutions for the future coexistence of the UK and the EU."

 

"As some politicians and political forces seek to drive a wedge between people so it is all the more important that the churches continue to strive for reconciliation and to speak out prophetically for a Europe where the values of human rights and human dignity are central, based in the great Christian traditions of our two countries when at their best."

In August 2017, Archbishop Justin drew criticism from several MPs when he said that the chances of negotiating a deal before the UK's planned EU exit date of March 2019 were "infinitesimally small".

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