Rachel Allison on David Davis’s resignation, the future of Brexit and disagreeing well.
This weekend has seen a big shift in not only our expectations for the England football team but also the final deal on Brexit. On Friday the cabinet met to settle their Brexit policy and formulate a negotiation position for the next round of talks. All seemed to be going well, and we were told that the cabinet had come to an agreement. In a letter to Tory MPs May outlined that “collective responsibility is now fully restored”.
This collective responsibility was undermined last night, however, when David Davis resigned as Secretary of State for Exiting the EU. Davis said that the “current trend of policy and tactics” was making it “look less and less likely” that the UK would leave the customs union and single market.
The cabinet consensus has collapsed, amid rumours that a letter is being circulated asking for May’s resignation. Without Davis, the cabinet is going to find it very hard to get the backbench Brexiteers on side, especially with a statement which many of them see as a ‘soft Brexit’.
Was it a mistake for May to attempt to impose collective responsibility? Some would argue that this is one of the first times she has shown decisive leadership around Brexit, however, on the issue as divisive as Brexit is there any way to impose collective responsibility? It seems that across the political spectrum, people are finding it hard to disagree well on Brexit.
In our churches there are many different and conflicting opinions on all sorts of issues – including Brexit – but we commit to living with these contradictory convictions. This is because when it comes to living with difference, Christians have something special to offer. You just need to take a look at the early Church to see how long we’ve been disagreeing with each other for. We believe that we are called to love our God and to love our neighbour as ourselves – found in Mark 12:30-31. Loving our neighbour means loving all people regardless of their political/moral opinions, it is a radical statement on which all our churches should be built.
As churches, we resolve to:
engage with each other openly, honestly, prayerfully and graciously
treat each other with respect and dignity, recognising the sincerity of the faith of those who may see things differently
seek to learn from one another as we travel forward together as fellow pilgrims
A word of advice for Dominic Raab as he takes over as Secretary of State for Exiting the EU:
If you’re looking for help on reconciling difference, Christian principles offer some great advice- to hold everyone together in the love regardless of differences in opinions and commit to learning from one another as we travel through these uncharted territories.
If you want to encourage more conversations in your church why not take a look at our resource ‘Conversation Welcome’…