| Mission Network News
Britain’s Prime Minister Teresa May survived a no-confidence vote triggered by a disgruntled group of Members of Parliament expressing dissatisfaction over Phase One of the Brexit deal she negotiated.
Stephen Chilcraft, chairman of TeachBeyond’s board and a British citizen, explains in an interview with Mission Network News that Phase One covers the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union; the second half covers the financial side. (MNN’s media server is offline. We will post a link to the interview podcast when it’s available.)
“The European Union, as it is now, has become a political project, rather than just a common market, which is what we originally joined,” Chilcraft says. “Many people were suspicious of the political dimension, even though they would be happy to continue in the economic relationship.” The clock is ticking because Britain is legally bound to leave at the end of March.
A 300-year old question stands behind the referendum results of 2016. The resulting deal will not likely settle it, either, Chilcraft muses. “Britain has never been sure whether it’s just an island off the coast of continental Europe, or whether we’re actually a part of Europe. Over the centuries, we have had these two conflicting trends of wanting to be a part of Europe and wanting to be separate from Europe.”
Brexit Progress Tricky
Right now, he says, there’s a lot of action happening with very little forward progress. Figuring out how to extricate Britain from a global market without sending shockwaves through it seems like a nearly impossible task, with the sharp rocks of the unforeseen on one side, the turmoil of economic collapse on the other, and the narrow path between them toward a stabilizing outcome. “We need the wisdom of Solomon for sure. Nobody knows what the consequences are and the negotiations at the moment will not be the end of the story because what we are negotiating at the moment is actually the leaving deal, how we pull out of the European Union.”
Although TeachBeyond does not expect a direct impact, Chilcraft does have some concerns. Strong opinions and feelings characterize the journey through Brexit. Some of that has been creeping into other issues related to the economic impact. That, in turn, has put pressure on relationships between the Church in England and the Church on the Continent, between English speakers and non-English speakers.
Impact for TeachBeyond
Because of the uncertainty, he says there is a lot for the leadership team to consider. ”In terms of prayer requests, we ask for prayer that the mindset of the country, whether it’s in the Church, or in society, remains open to the rest of the world; that our historic missionary commitment and tradition is maintained; that, when this is over, the Church demonstrates unity, rather than disunity, where we disagree on secondary matters, such as this, but are united on our primary commitment to the Lord Jesus.”
TeachBeyond believes education is transformational. By engaging with the physical, relational, and spiritual needs of this world, their team brings the hope of the Gospel to bear in the context of learning. Please pray that TeachBeyond can continue to bring international teams without hindrance to its Global Office in Horsham, England, for training.