The debate on Britain’s membership of the European Union reflects a loss of confidence, and is testing the goodwill of other members who are growing frustrated with it, the Bishop in Europe, Dr Robert Innes, said this week.
Speaking on Tuesday, after the Prime Minister’s announcement last Friday that the referendum on EU membership would take place on 23 June, Dr Innes said that he would be “very sad” if the vote favoured Brexit.
“We British inherit a huge stock of goodwill towards us but I am aware that that goodwill is being used up,” Dr Innes said on Wednesday. “At a time when Europe has some huge issues to deal with, people have been a little frustrated that Britain has actually used a huge amount of the time of its leadership in dealing with what seem to some rather small issues that only pertain to one country.”
He was “saddened”, he said, “that the debate seems to reflect a loss of confidence in Britain in dealing with our European compatriots and neighbours. We are a big player. . . I’d like to see us be a leader.”