The UK will leave the EU on 29 March 2019. Now that the time has nearly come, with more yet to be decided in terms of how we leave and the country’s future relationship with the EU, it is important to think about the impact on organisations, charities and non-profit, the people they work with and the causes they support.
Preparing for uncertain times is crucial to the futures of the sector. Charities and voluntary organisations should start mapping their activities and their potential exposure in the eventuality of a "no deal" scenario. This kind of outline is the most likely one after May’s Brexit deal has been rejected on Tuesday 15th of January with the largest defeat the British Government has ever seen.
There is still great uncertainty about the impact that Brexit could have but is clear that it will have important backlashes on every organisation and on the economy of the country.
NCVO report around Brexit and the Voluntary Sector published last October, tried to set a list of areas of interests that voluntary organisations, charities and non-profit should consider:
- Economic impact: economic instability and financial uncertainty can affect charities and the chance of their donors to really support them.
- Employing EU nationals: Future immigration policies may impact the current workforce and economic uncertainty could result in funding issues, lower levels of giving and a lack of volunteers.
- EU Funding: Without a deal to continue in this way or replace EU funds from national ones, charities will struggle and need to reduce services or loose partnerships with similar EU organisations.
- The opportunities ahead: From staying as informed as possible and being vocal about their needs to reviewing all contracts and preparing for trade issues, charities should feel empowered to take positive steps forward to prepare for a post-Brexit era.
Here's a Brexit Timeline that can be useful to keep in mind the most important landmarks of the incoming months:
21 January 2019
If there is no deal by this date, the government must make a statement within five days on what it plans to do.
29 March 2019
The UK formally leaves the EU and the implementation period begins (if a deal is reached). If the UK parliament votes against the EU withdrawal bill containing the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, it will leave the EU without a deal on this date.
May – June 2019
EU parliamentary elections see a new European Commission appointed.
31 December 2020
Currently, this is the envisaged end of the transition period, at which point the future economic partnership takes effect. The Prime Minister has suggested an extension to UK customs union membership after this date if a deal cannot be agreed on the Irish border.