British and Irish Quakers mark Brexit with statement of friendship and unity

By agency reporter
February 1, 2020

Quakers in Britain and on the island of Ireland have reaffirmed their shared friendship and unity as the United Kingdom leaves the European Union. Their joint statement recognises Brexit as but a step in relations, and not an endpoint.

The statement reads:

"As the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, Quakers in Britain and on the island of Ireland reaffirm their shared friendship and unity.

"Regardless of the changing political situation, the ties that bind us at the deepest level – those of love and human connection – remain as they ever did. We are committed not only to maintaining our relationship as Quakers, but deepening it. We are Friends, and will remain so in a way which transcends how our countries and governments relate to each other. All boundaries and divisions are human constructs; we seek to see beyond these and relate to each other as children of God.

"We recognise that Brexit is not an endpoint, but a step in the continuing relationship between our respective countries. We know that there will be a wide range of emotions felt in our Quaker and wider communities about our arrival at this point, and we ask Quakers to be truthful but tender with those around us. We all have to continue to live together, and we should act in ways that encourage this.

"We also maintain our shared commitment to peace in Northern Ireland. Both our Quaker communities have worked for many decades to support and embed peace in Northern Ireland, and we are aware how fragile it can be. We urge that all people, politicians, people of faith and others, act in ways that help maintain and strengthen this peace."

The statement is signed

"In loving Friendship,

Denise Gabuzda, Clerk, Ireland Yearly Meeting
Clare Scott Booth, Clerk, Britain Yearly Meeting."

* Quakers are known formally as the Religious Society of Friends. Around 23,000 people attend 478 Quaker meetings in Britain. Their commitment to equality, justice, peace, simplicity and truth challenges them to seek positive social and legislative change.

* Quakers in Britain

* Quakers in Ireland


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