The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales are urging voters to consider issues of human rights and the dignity of human life as the country’s general election approaches, with Britain’s exit from the European Union a central issue. “The question of the United Kingdom’s place in Europe continues to dominate political discourse,” the bishops wrote November 29 following their plenary meeting in Leeds.

“In whatever way our future relationship with our closest neighbors develops, Britain must be committed to a positive engagement as a key international partner in promoting peace, security and responsible stewardship of the planet…The test of any policy should be its impact upon human dignity, particularly for the most disadvantaged in our society.”

The general election, slated to take place Dec. 12, will be the country’s third since 2015, though normally they would be held every five years, the BBC reports. The election will determine who will fill a total of 650 parliamentary seats in the House of Commons.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson hopes the early election will increase the number of Members of Parliament for his Conservative Party, making his plans for Brexit easier to achieve. The bishops laid out several criteria for voters to consider when choosing their new MPs, foremost of which is respect for human life, including in the womb, and including care for those who are terminally ill and dying “while resisting the false compassion of assisted suicide or euthanasia.”

The Conservative Party currently holds a majority of the seats in Parliament and has not mentioned abortion in its most recent party platform. CNA


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