Archbishop of Canterbury: UK can 'flourish enormously' after Brexit

The Archbishop of Canterbury says he is 'full of hope' for the UK after Brexit and insists Britain can 'flourish enormously in the future'.

Speaking about 'significant divisions' in the country following a spate of terrorist attacks and ongoing tensions over the decision to leave the European Union, Justin Welby denied we should be 'intimidated or fearful as a result'.

But he did call for fines for social media companies such as Facebook or Twitter for failing to clamp down on hate or extremism shared online.

LBCJustin Welby appeared alongside Imam Qari Qasim from Leeds on Nick Ferrari's LBC show.

'If you disseminate hate material against anyone that is a serious, serious problem. You have got to bear responsibility. You earn the money from this process.

'It's time for fines.'

But he insisted the country had survived 'much worse' than terrorism or Brexit before and has flourished.

'This country is a place of immense solidarity and stability compared to many that I work in. It has the resources to flourish enormously in the future,' he told LBC radio on Thursday morning.

Asked whether he was optimistic about the Brexit process he said: 'If we make the right decision we will find a path through. If we are united and if we stick together.'

In a wide-ranging interview with host Nick Ferrari alongside Imam Qari Qasim from Leeds Makkah Masjid mosque, Welby labelled the crisis in Myanmar a 'genocide', called for a smaller and refomed House of Lords, addressed abortion and insisted life begins at conception and said anger at the Grenfell Tower fire was 'fully understandable'.

Welby visited Grenfell Tower the day after the fire that left at least 80 people dead and told LBC and said the community's voice 'was not heard'.

He said: 'When you look at happened it [people's anger] is fully understandable.

'If we're not angry about 80 people being killed in that way we are not really human.'

Asked about the Christian parents who are suing a Church of England primary school and have taken their six-year-old son out of lessons over concerns about transgender child in his class, Welby admitted he had 'been struggling' with the issue.

The CofE has made a point of not commenting and Welby restricted his remarks to saying he 'never sees the point of going to the law' and urged parents in similar situations to 'talk to your child. Help them to understand what is going on and help them to be faithful to their own convictions.'

One caller asked the pair about Jacob Rees-Mogg's views that abortion is wrong in all circumstances. Responding Welby said 'we have to start with an expression of love and compassion' and said 'the circumstances in which the taking of any human life is permissible are invariably terrible'.

But he went on: 'We have to hold to the dignity of human life and we believe along with the rest of the Christian church that life begins at conception.

'Therefore the baby in the womb requires legal protection.'

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