No-deal Brexit remains on the table, NCVO warns charities

The umbrella body has released new guidance to help charities prepare for the possibility

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations has reiterated concerns about a no-deal Brexit and warned charities that the risk of exiting the EU without a deal remains on the table.

The warning comes after an act was passed earlier this week that requires the Prime Minister to apply for a three-month extension to negotiations with the EU if a deal is not reached next month.

But Boris Johnson has repeatedly said he intends to leave the EU on 31 October, without or without a deal.

The NCVO has therefore warned charities to prepare for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit either on 31 October or in January, and has released new guidance to help charities prepare for such an eventuality.

Areas covered in the guidance include financial preparedness, staffing and volunteers, data protection, EU funding, and banking and other financial services.

The new guidance comes after a call last month by the NCVO for a no-deal Brexit fund to be set up to help charities mitigate the cost of leaving the EU without a deal.

Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the NCVO, also warned charities earlier this month to prepare for the consequences of a no-deal Brexit

Ben Westerman, Brexit analyst at the NCVO, said today: "It’s particularly important that you review what you need to do now. Don’t simply take a ‘wait-and-see’ approach, because developments could happen very quickly.

"While on the face of it parliament has legislated to avoid a no-deal Brexit on 31 October, there is still some risk of a no-deal exit on that date given the need for agreement from the EU.

"In any case, the legislation only moves the deadline back 12 weeks, which means preparation is still urgent."

A Third Sector article in February set out some of the areas where charities could expect to see an impact of a no-deal Brexit.

The article covers the impact on European staff, the likely constriction of funding available for charities and rising demand on their services, the potential impact of problems at the border, investments and how international charities could be especially hard-hit.

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