The Impact of Brexit on Charities


Over a year has passed since the UK voted to leave the EU. Now, when everyone is returning from their summer holidays and the Euro is hovering just above the £ mark, we are beginning to see the Brexit negotiations heat up. Already the UK is raising some very interesting proposals to help UK businesses. Although, hard Brexit or not there are going to be some winners and some losers. Here we look at the impact of Brexit on charities.

Employment will be one of the biggest issues charities will face as I am sure there will be restrictions on the movement of EU nationals. Let’s be honest, putting the lid on movement of EU citizens was the single biggest election vote winner for the Brexiteers.  If your charity is dependent on EU nationals being part of your work force then you may have to review this policy. Recently, a charity we deal with recruited EU nationals. Will these workers be allowed to stay after 29 March 2019? Only time will tell.

Next on the agenda is funding. Funding will be the key concern for EU-funded projects.  Many charities rely on EU funding for their projects. For one reason or another the “in” campaigners deemed this as not a vote winner and ignored this major source of income for charities. The chancellor has promised to fund any EU-funded project should the EU funding cease.  However, this is just a verbal promise and we all know that politicians in most cases don’t always deliver what they say. In addition, there is talk of not funding any projects deemed “not value for money”. This leaves plenty of room for “fixability” to retract what was promised. Charites in receipt of EU funding need to carefully consider their plans for the future, once the current funding comes to an end.
There are other challenges facing the charity sector. Not least, Brexit will impact on, Tax, VAT, Human rights, the environment and even reporting. Charities should both individually and collectively find ways to influence the Brexit process to ensure that the sector gets positive rather than negative outcomes.

For further advice on the impact of Brexit on charities and how you should be preparing your organisation, contact our charity specialist Suda Ratnam at
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