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Charity finance policy

The Brexit deal is bad for charities says Charity Finance Group, as it urges MPs to vote against it on Tuesday

The withdrawal agreement leaves charities with many of the costs of Brexit, but none of the potential benefits, leaving UK charities worse off than if remaining in the EU says Charity Finance Group (CFG), as it calls on MPs who represent the interests of civil society to vote against the deal.

On all of the key issues, the deal fails to deliver for charities:

Funding The Government has provided no further clarity on the United Kingdom Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) which will replace EU Structural and Investment Funding (ESF), and no assurance that levels of funding to charities will remain the same.

Immigration An end to free movement, and further restrictions on immigration, will make it even harder for charities to hire the workers they need. This is a significant risk for charities already experiencing chronic labour shortages such as social and residential care and education.

Tax The withdrawal agreement does not allow the flexibility required for the UK to address irrecoverable VAT for charities, which is estimated to cost the sector £1.5bn a year.

State aid The deal makes clear that the UK will be required to have ongoing harmonisation of EU rules on state aid, which does not allow for any flexibility for the current rules, where charities are often penalised.

CFG also reiterated its warning that a no-deal scenario and its predicted impact on the wider economy and public finances, is the biggest risk for the sector. Caron Bradshaw, Chief Executive said:

"We have repeatedly seen the third sector excluded in brexit thinking. We cannot stand back and allow charities and other social change organisations to be left out of decision making on brexit. This is why we are calling on all politicians to think of the longer term needs of communities and to vote down this deal."

Notes to Editors

  • Download a copy of the full briefing for MPs
  • For more information, please contact Richard Sagar, Policy Manager, Charity Finance Group (sagar@cfg.org.uk or call on 020 7871 5484 or 07730 231009)
  • The purpose of Charity Finance Group (CFG) is to develop a financially-confident, dynamic and trustworthy charity sector. Our 1,450 organisational members include charity finance professionals, who between them manage £21bn of funds. Ultimately, we strive to equip charities with the knowledge, skills and conditions they need to ensure that every pound works that bit harder, achieving a greater impact for even more beneficiaries.
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