Charities invited to give views on Brexit Trade and Cooperation Agreement

The government has called on charities to give their views on the Brexit Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) signed between the UK and the European Union.

The 1,200+-page agreement, which covers every aspect of the UK’s future relationship with the EU, was published at the start of 2021.

The consultation document states: “The new Domestic Advisory Group and the Civil Society Forum, both required by the TCA, will be important ways to hear from those most involved in implementing the agreement on the ground, and to ensure that everyone’s concerns are properly registered.”

The Civil Society Forum was set up to provide participation and balanced representation for organisations that are “active in economic, sustainable development, social, human rights, environmental and other matters”.

The consultation also seeks views on Part Two of the TCA, which includes issues such as trade, fisheries, social security coordination and short-term visa fees, transport and aviation.

The forum will meet once a year, including in 2021, although it has not been confirmed whether the meeting will be in-person, virtual or hybrid.

Chris Walker, policy and public affairs manager at the NCVO, said: “Our relationship with the EU remains important even after Brexit, and the civil society forum will provide a key opportunity to ensure the voice of charities is heard when we discuss how the TCA is working.

“The government must ensure that charities and civil society organisations are represented in those discussions, so I’d encourage the many charities who are affected by the commitments made by the government in the TCA to respond to the consultation, and put forward ideas of how we can ensure this wide range of interests can be effectively represented.”

Charities have until 14 September 2021 to respond to the consultation by emailing tcadomesticadvisory@cabinetoffice.gov.uk.

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