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Brexit - Jigsaw puzzle of EU flags and stars with one star removed, revealing the union jack

Plan for a non-deal Brexit

Charities have been urged to plan for the prospect of the UK leaving the EU without a deal, after Theresa May announced her resignation.

The Prime Minister announced that she would step down as Conservative Party leader on 7 June to allow a leadership contest to decide her replacement to begin. In response to May’s resignation, sector umbrella bodies have told charities to expect more political uncertainty and to plan for a potentially “harder” Brexit.

Chris Walker, senior public affairs officer at NCVO, said in a blog post that charities should “make sure your planning fully acknowledges the risks of continuing instability, and in particular the prospect of the UK leaving the EU without a deal”.

Walker said the next prime minister would likely be opposed to May’s withdrawal agreement so would either look to renegotiate with the EU or leave without a deal. He said charities should not expect the government to have any more capacity to respond to non-Brexit policy issues.

“If anything a new leader will probably expand no-deal planning to demonstrate to the EU that we are prepared to leave without a deal, so it looks like more of the same for charities trying to influence policy decisions,” he said.

Caron Bradshaw, chief executive of the Charity Finance Group, said charities should “be alert to the opportunities that come with a change in leadership”.

She said: “It's clear, whoever occupies Number 10, that Brexit will dominate the political landscape for the next decade. In this political environment it is difficult to make progress on addressing the serious social and economic issues facing our country, on which our sector would like to see change.

“This announcement presents both a challenge and an opportunity for our sector. We must be alert to the opportunities that come with a change in leadership. A new prime minister should mean a new vision and new priorities for new ministers, and this is a chance to make the case once again for the value the voluntary sector brings, and the role we can play in healing a divided nation.”

Read: Civil Society – Charities urged to plan for no-deal Brexit as Theresa May resigns