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Shawcross 'underestimated the impact of Brexit', says Etherington

19 Aug 2016 News

Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, said he was “disappointed” to see the Charity Commission's chair “underestimating the impact of Brexit”, in a letter to the Financial Times.

In a letter published by the FT yesterday, Etherington said:“It is disappointing to see William Shawcross, chair of the Charity Commission, which many had felt had not acted neurtrally by detering charities from taking part in the EU referendum debate, now underestimating the impact of Brexit on charities by reducing it to a discussion about EU funding.”

“There is indeed concern about EU funding, but the overall effects of Brexit for charities are wider.”

He said the bigger problem was “disruption to an effective regulatory environment”, warning that the political focus on Brexit might mean “little progress is made on other policy issues for many years, the risk of serious recruitment problems in health and social care, the list goes on”.

“If EU grants were the only matter at stake, the problem would be rather less,” he said.

Etherington’s letter was in response to comments by Shawcross on Monday, in which he said charities would face a “difficult period of adjustment” following Brexit and noted that: "A lot of charities have had a lot of grants from the EU, particularly some environmental charities."

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