Delivered on February 5th 2017 on BBC Surrey and Sussex
Yesterday in synagogue, we read the story of the Exodus. 600,000 Israelite families joined by diverse multitudes depart the land of Egypt.
That they wanted to leave was clear: but that there was a plan to get to a destination was clearer still. They would journey through the wilderness to Mount Sinai, receive the Torah, the way of life that Jews follow until this day. They welcomed those that joined them on their journey. Together, they would forge a new moral, inclusive nation that will one day make it to the Promised Land. Through this process they become a people.
In a week where Parliament debated Brexit we find ourselves in a divided and wounded country. Many MPs focused on their differing interpretation of the will of the people. In truth leaving the European Union for half the country is deeply painful and for the other half something to cheer. However, like in the Exodus story we need to find an end destination: a new settlement, a precise and realisable vision that embraces and serves the diverse nations, communities and peoples of these islands whilst maintaining good relations with our neighbours in an ever shrinking global village. In other words, for Brexit to stand any chance of working it needs to become Brexodus: it has to have both a leave point and a final destination: without that it simple becomes an exile, a Brexile if you like, into the wilderness for many many years to come.