No-deal is not off the table; charities must prepare, NCVO warns

A no-deal Brexit is not off the table and charities must make sure they prepare for it as a possible outcome, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has warned.

The warning comes despite a new law, which requires Prime Minister Boris Johnson to delay Brexit if an agreement hasn't been reached.

The European (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019, which became law yesterday, would delay a potential no-deal Brexit until January, however there is still a risk of a no-deal exit on 31 October, the charity umbrella body has warned.

NCVO - along with other third sector bodies, such as Charity Finance Group - has stressed a no-deal Brexit presents a range of 'very serious risks for charities', but is urging charities to prepare for a range of potential consequences.

Commenting, NCVO’s Brexit analyst, Ben Westerman, said: "A no-deal Brexit would be seriously disruptive for organisations of all kinds, and charities would have to deal with a range of consequences not only for them but more importantly for the causes they work on.

"Reviewing the potential impacts of Brexit for your organisation and your cause is an essential part of good governance. The consequences of a no-deal exit will be different for each charity, but we’ve tried to cover everything trustee boards need to be thinking about.

"It’s particularly important that you review what you need to do now, don’t simply take a ‘wait and see’ approach, as 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 twelve weeks, which means preparation is still urgent."

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