UK parliament urged to prevent no-deal Brexit or risk hurting charities
23 August 2019 at 4:20 pm
A no-deal Brexit will “wreck communities” and cause UK charities to collapse, a sector peak body warns.
The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) has written to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other major political leaders urging them to prevent a no-deal Brexit from occurring.
The letter warned that this type of exit from the European Union (EU) would hurt the sector’s ability to maintain funding, retain staff and continue links with sister organisations.
SCVO CEO Anna Fowlie said it was clear a perfect storm was brewing for voluntary organisations and the people they worked with.
“Increased demand for assistance, coupled with a loss of funding, staff and volunteers will undoubtedly see charities collapse and leave a vacuum of support that cannot be filled,” Fowlie said in the letter.
“That this reckless act is set to take place without proper consultation and deliberation is all the worse. It should not be the case that no deal is reached by default – even if that means asking citizens, once again, if this is what they truly want.”
Under a no-deal scenario, the UK would immediately leave the EU on 31 October with no agreement about the divorce process.
To avoid this, the UK government must pass a Brexit divorce plan into law by the end of October, or else get another extension from the EU (unless Brexit is cancelled altogether).
There are more than 40,000 voluntary organisations in Scotland, with the sector employing around 100,000 people.
Fowlie said a no-deal Brexit would make it impossible for the sector to maintain the current levels of support.
She said for too long, the voice of charities had been drowned out.
“It is time to end the calamitous drive towards a no-deal Brexit, which will wreck communities, lives and organisations that so many people rely upon,” she said.
“As leaders of the UK parliament, you must stop the UK exiting the European Union without a deal.”