The head of the Church of England has thrown his weight behind a People’s Vote prompting leave voters to accuse him of attempting to “reverse the people’s decision”. The Most Rev Justin Welby told the House of Lords Parliament would be “unfit for the job” if it can not reach a Brexit consensus. He argued that no-deal would be disastrous for the “poorest and most vulnerable” in society before backing calls for a People’s Vote.
Mr Welby said if the Commons does not find a solution to Brexit “there will be, by default, a no-deal”.
He added: “That outcome would be not only a political and practical failure, but a moral one equally as serious as ignoring the result of the referendum entirely.
“A second referendum is not my preference but if Parliament fails in the task entrusted to it, then regrettably it may be required.”
The Archbishop said he has concerns that his own diocese could be among the worst affected by a no-deal Brexit with thousands of lorries expected to be backed up on Kent roads.
He said “If there are border delays as a result of no-deal, which will of course impact on the rest of the country, these lorries will take up an enormous amount of space.”
Mr Welby explained the total number of lorries which pass through Dover every day would stretch from the port all the way to Leicester, a distance of almost 200 miles.
He added: “If 10,000 lorries are stuck in east Kent daily, there are 10,000 drivers who will need to use the local facilities to eat, drink, to to the bathroom.
“This will have a major impact on local towns and villages as we saw in Operation Stack three or four years ago.
“This is not Project Fear. Having spoken to local officials, I’ve heard time and time again that Kent doesn’t currently have the structural capacity to cope with a no-deal Brexit, or time to prepare.
However the Archbishop of Canterbury’s interference was rejected by Leave campaigners who urged him not to meddle.
Roger Helmer, former UKIP Member of the European Parliament, took to Twitter to vent his frustration at the Archbishop’s intervention.
Mr Helmer, who served as MEP for the East Midlands from 1999 to 2017, tweeted: “No Archbishop.
“It would be delivering what the people voted for.
“All the other proposals (apart from Canada plus) are attempts to reverse the people’s decision.”
Meanwhile other Twitter users said they ‘did not care’ about the Archbishop’s views and suggested he had “got confused over his role.”