Impact of referendum vote on the charity sector

The large amount of hot air around the EU referendum is likely to continue for some time, with the exact process and consequences of leaving after 40 plus years of regulatory developments not being easy or quick to clarify. It is however safe to assume that very little will change immediately around regulations of relevance to the voluntary sector. Funding connected with Europe, or hit by economic turmoil, may be a different matter.

Here are briefings and initial thoughts from the voluntary sector and beyond.

Sector reactions

On the basis of every crisis provides opportunities, the director of a Scottish charity comes up with a wish list to re-negotiate the sector’s relationship with the Scottish Government. In Third Force News piece ‘Brexit left us reeling – but now we must fight for our sector‘.

A blog from NCVO’s chief executive leads with “The voluntary sector is needed now more than ever”:

These have been troubled times, and they will continue to be so. Britain is facing political and economic unrest for months if not years to come. Your support and advocacy for the people and causes you work for will be essential in this climate.

The blog has a few comments too (17 currently), giving a further flavour of views.

Regulations remain in place

The Information Commissioner’s Office has clearly stated:

“The Data Protection Act remains the law of the land irrespective of the referendum result. If the UK is not part of the EU, then upcoming EU reforms to data protection law would not directly apply to the UK. But if the UK wants to trade with the Single Market on equal terms we would have to prove ‘adequacy’ – in other words UK data protection standards would have to be equivalent to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation framework starting in 2018.”

Civil Society News article on this matter also mentions the Direct Marketing Association.

Sector briefings

From Charity Finance Group

“The truth is that it is just too early to say what this will mean for our sector and our beneficiaries.”

A briefing written before the vote highlights some of the potential impacts for charities. The theme that runs throughout it, though, is the same: uncertainty. CFG briefing link (pdf, 366KB).

NCVO has an initial briefing covering the main political, funding, social, regulatory points and the role of civil society. Available via their news item.

“Implications for charities and community groups from the Brexit referendum include political uncertainty, slow progress on government policy change, and potential financial challenges.”

WCVA has published a briefing paper for Welsh Assembly Members  on the implications of the referendum result for the third sector in Wales. Pdf, 65KB, via WCVA referendum page.