Charity leaders have stepped up their efforts to emphasise their concerns about a no-deal Brexit.
Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, a coalition of health and care charities, and a coalition of animal welfare organisations have all issued statements outlining the negative effects they believe a no-deal Brexit would have on charities.
Writing in a NCVO blog, Etherington said while most charities have not taken sides in the Brexit debate, they should speak up to avoid a no-deal. He said: “Leaving without an agreement risks tearing the social fabric of our country.”
He said: “The economic and practical turmoil it would cause, along with the specific issues they face in their own areas of work, mean that a no-deal Brexit would be bleak for many charities and the people and causes they work for.”
He added that there was still time for charities to speak up before parliament votes. He said: “If you have evidence, please consider whether now is the moment to speak or write to your MP and share your expertise about what the impact will be on the people and causes you work for.”
NCVO also published a briefing document addressed to parliament outlining these concerns. It said that leaving the EU without a deal would create “legal uncertainty” that will impact charity’s work, would threaten migrants’ rights and have negative economic consequences.
“A no-deal scenario runs the risk of regression on the many social, environmental and labour standards our country prides itself on. Maintaining these commitments is vital to the rights of the people and communities that charities work amongst, yet no such guarantees have been provided in a no-deal eventuality,” it said.
Meanwhile, National Voices wrote a letter to Theresa May last week pushing for a deal. It said: “We are increasingly alarmed at the risks associated with a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
The letter was signed by 75 charity leaders including Vicky Browning, chief executive of Acevo and the chief executives of Royal Free Charity, Prostate Cancer UK and Kidney Care UK.
It argued that a no-deal would impact the supply of medicines, alter regulation of medicine and affect charities’ ability to recruit staff.
“We are urging you to prevent the UK from leaving the European Union without a negotiated deal.”
Meanwhile on 20 February, 36 animal welfare organisations issued their warnings, focusing on pushing for a commitment to the maintenance of animal rights and protecting the import of animal welfare products.
Greener UK, Association of Medical Research Charities, Charity Finance Group are among other charities and charity organisations that have raised concerns about the impact of a no-deal Brexit.
The UK is set to leave the EU on 29 March 2019.