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The Word on the Week

Brexit: the divorce.

The letter has been sent. The preliminary arrangements have been outlined. Sorrows have been expressed but the vehicle has no brakes and no reverse gear. The UK floats adrift from its EC moorings and divorce proceedings begin.

Some optimism has been expressed at the introduction in the UK parliament of the Repeal Bill which will repeal the EC Act of 1972 and transfer the 12,000 EC Regulations and 7,900 statutory instruments into UK Law. However the bonfire will be delayed as EC laws are valid until the divorce settlement is complete.
In the meantime the children of the divorce – Scotland and Ireland – have made their wants known. In the latter case the draft document recognises our concerns to continue the work of the ‘Peace Process’, the Common Travel Area (allowing free movement of citizens between these islands) and an imaginative handling of Border Controls.

The UK wants to proceed simultaneously with clearing the financial obligations to which they are already committed (estimated around £50 Billion), the rights of EC citizens to move in and out of the UK (and UK citizens likewise) and the thorny matter of future trade agreements. Not unnaturally the EC want substantial progress to be made on the first two before trade deals are made!

It was thought that the UK letter’s emphasis on security might have been a bargaining point in view of the sophisticated UK system. However it has been confirmed that full sharing of security information will continue.
It is an interesting time for Spain whose eyes are on the annexing of Gibraltar but, at the same time, not wishing to grant independence to Catalonia. And, on the subject of independence, Scotland may yet provide them with a model!

Most divorce cases start out optimistically believing that it would be mutually beneficial to live apart. However there is the messy business of the redistribution of assets. It is a settlement which is problematical. Then there are the children! Some harbour the idea of remaining good friends but if it was difficult before the division it certainly will not be any easier afterwards.

God puts his distaste for divorce simply in Malachi chapter 2 verse 16. It puts a legal framework around separation. It sucks any spiritual life there was out of the proceedings and focuses on the material.
In the EC context, “fortress Europe” potentially had it all. The surrounding nations were wanting to get in. Scores of individuals were staking their lives on the journey to its shore.
Internally there was large imbalances between the well managed countries and those less well managed. Also an unwillingness to share with the refugee be he an economic migrant from afar or simply a worker from a poorer part of the EC.

God puts his finger on the problem. His verdict – sin separates (Isaiah chapter 59 verse 2).
It separates us from God and from one another. There is a way back for the repentant individual or nation. And that is at the cross of Calvary. Jesus dealt with sin by taking it.
Thus he restores the relationship for time and eternity (Hebrews chapter 10 verses 16 to 23)