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CFG warning on no-deal Brexit

The Charity Finance Group (CFG) has warned that a no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for the charity sector. Speaking at the organisation’s annual conference, CFG chief executive Caron Bradshaw said the Brexit process had exposed a “polarised” society, to which charities are “best placed” to respond.

CFG previously published a report which argued that a “clean Brexit”, whereby the UK leaves the customs union and single market, posed “least risk” to charities than other arrangements of leaving the EU. It had argued that there were opportunities for charities to thrive post-Brexit, with the possibility of a reduced tax burden creating “50,000 extra jobs in the sector”.

But at their Brexit panel discussion, Bradshaw said CFG had not seen “any positive movement on any of the things we thought could potentially be addressed through the process of exiting the European Union”. She said: “The only thing we have taken a position on is that a WTO or a no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for the sector. We have chosen to use that powerful word because we think is isn’t just about what would happen to us as a sector. It would also be able what would happen to those we support and serve".

Bradshaw said the areas that voted most heavily for Brexit were those which had a “gap for charitable support”. She said: “What that says to me is there is huge need being unmet and we need to find out where those places are and take our services into those places.”

Bradshaw added that charities should lobby more on Brexit issues such as the government’s shared prosperity fund, which is being designed to replace regional EU funding.

Read: Civil Society - No-deal Brexit would be ‘catastrophic’ for charities, warns CFG.