Birmingham Voluntary Service Council has joined forces with over 85 community organisations in expressing concerns about the possible impacts that a no-deal Brexit will have on civil society. Together with organisations from across the devolved nations, as well as a breadth of English regions, the group has called on the Prime Minister to urgently engage with a range of concerns about leaving the EU without a deal on the 31st October.
The letter – which you can read here – has been facilitated by the Brexit Civil Society Alliance, a UK wide alliance of charities, voluntary and campaigning organisations, with support from its sister Brexit Civil Society Projects in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Alliance does not take a position on what direction Brexit should take but seeks to raise concerns on behalf of its members and works to ensure that the Brexit process delivers on three principles: open and accountable law-making; a high-standards UK; and no governance gap after Brexit.
Signatories of the letter have highlighted the risks a no-deal exit could pose to the peace process in Northern Ireland, its potential to regress rights and standards, the uncertainty it creates for the future of charitable funding, and the lack of adequate government support for civil society preparations for a no-deal exit.
BVSC’s chief executive, Brian Carr, said
“We support the Brexit Civil Society Alliance’s call to the Prime Minister to engage more robustly with civil society and charity sector concerns about a no-deal Brexit. Research by the Charity Finance Group and others has shown that civil society is likely to be disproportionately vulnerable to the costs of a no-deal scenario and will have limited scope to benefit – at least in the short term – from any potential gains. Such risks can be make or break for civil society groups, many of whom already have a precarious resource base, and – even more worryingly – for their beneficiaries, many of whom are the most vulnerable in society. This isn’t about party politics; it’s about the government being called upon to demonstrate that it fully understands and values civil society and is willing to listen to the concerns of charities and voluntary organisations.”