The EU In or Out?

On 23 June 2016, voters in the UK will have an opportunity to vote on staying in or leaving the EU. The debate has already been going on for some time, with many people complaining that there is too little 'fact' and too much 'spin'.

This page will point you to a number of websites which seek to present the issues from the perspective of a Christian worldview. The list is by no means exhaustive, but seeks overall to point to resources which present both sides of the argument. Some of the resources are clearly written by those who have a preference to Remain or to Leave, but whether we agree with them or not, the issues they raise are important for us all to consider before voting. People will, with integrity, come to differing conclusions, but UCCF and hold no official view on which way people should vote.

The Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics

The KLICE 'EU Referendum 2016' page is here.

This provides a good range of papers with differing views and overviews, with the Director of KLICE, Jonathan Chaplin, providing a useful introductory article (What is the EU for?) in which he says:

The goal of our series will be to offer substantive Christian reflections that may inform readers’, and churches’, own deliberations and decisions on the core issues at stake.

What are those core issues? Already we are plunged into controversy, for there are deep divides in the public – and the Christian – mind over what are the decisive considerations that should guide our thinking on whether the UK should remain in or leave the EU. How should we even construe the decision?

Here is one suggestion. I propose we proceed by posing the simple but fundamental question, what is the EU for? What type of entity is it that we are voting to leave or remain within?

Jonathan Chaplin, What is the EU for? Introducing KLICE's Referendum Coverage.

Two Ethics in Brief resources present opposite views on the vote:

Michael Schluter, Brexit Unless… Three Fundamental Conditions for Staying in the EU.
Ben Ryan, Rejecting Project Fear for Project Hope: Creating the Moral Case for the Remain Campaign.

The Jubilee Centre

The Jubilee Centre has a page of 'EU Referendum resources'. This contains a series of EU Briefing Papers and other posts.

They say:

Ahead of the Referendum on Britain’s EU membership on 23rd June 2016, we have been producing some new resources, as well as bringing out some old ones, to help Christians connect their faith with their voting. Although most Christians recognise this is a weighty decision, they have very little to guide them as believers, and public opinion is almost entirely shaped by the debate in the media. We hope the following will help redress the balance.

Referendum Briefing Paper No. 1 is 'The EU Referendum: current overview' by Guy Brandon. It covers origins of the EU, the arguments on each side and Biblical principles and insights.

The Evangelical Alliance

Resources under the title 'What kind of EU?

They say:

Ahead of the referendum we will be looking at four themes that will hopefully help Christians think about some of the underlying issues relating to EU membership. These are designed to provoke thought and prayer, and help you consider how you might vote. Throughout May 2016 we will be posting articles on identity, freedom, democracy and economy, along with other resources and information.

The page includes useful overview articles on the working of the EU and a really helpful '10 words you need to know to understand the EU referendum'.

Reimagining Europe

Various blog items will be of interest.

Reimagining Europe is:

a multidisciplinary blog hosted by the Church of England and the Church of Scotland with the editorial support of Crucible, the Christian Journal of Social Ethics.

Reimagining Europe’s central aim is to create a space for Christian reflection and debate on Britain’s future relationship with Europe ahead of the forthcoming referendum on whether Britain should remain a member of the EU.

Reimagining Europe has no editorial line beyond a commitment to communicating Christian reflection and commentary in ways that enhance public understanding on an issue that many find both confusing and divisive. It is not the place of this blog to tell people how to vote in any referendum .To that end, it draws upon experts from a range of theological and political backgrounds from around the UK and Europe.


Ben Ryan, A Soul for the Union (available from Amazon or as a free PDF download – difficult choice!)

A Soul for the Union was published in 2015, providing some historical context to the EU and arguing that the moral vision of the EU has slowly reduced, but that there is hope for the future. The back page summarises:

This report charts the development of the European project, from its origins in 1950s Christian Democracy, with a strong focus on solidarity and peace, through to its current period of crisis. It argues that today’s EU has lost sight of its founding principles and instead placed excessive focus on a particular conception of national economic performance.

Ultimately, this report argues that this is a weak basis for political union. A union worth saving would be on stronger ground if it could develop a clearer, explicit moral purpose that resonated with its citizens. Perhaps more simply if the EU is going to be worth saving it needs to discover a soul.

If you know of or come across other useful sites, please email us with the details and we will try to add further sites and resources which meet the criteria given above.

© 2016