What should charities do post-Brexit?

Throughout 2020, organisations were urged to prepare for Brexit and the UK's new relationship with the EU. Now there is a UK/EU deal in place, what should your organisation think about and do to prepare for the future?

The Department Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) must be commended for the help they have given in providing support to the sector in making preparations for EU exit. The department has provided clear guidance which can be understood by charities of all sizes, and has always being willing to respond to enquiries and present this information to members.

It is with that in mind that they have provided guidance on what they identify as the four areas of greatest concern to the voluntary sector, which are:

Employees

This relates specifically to those European citizens who will need to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme. The full guidance on how to apply can be found here, but it is worth noting that the deadline for applications is the 30 June 2021.

Data

What action you need to take regarding data protection and data flows with the EU/EEA? This is an area which has been overlooked by many charities, but it is important to consider.

The ICO has produced detailed guidance which we would recommend you look through. This interactive tool from the ICO should also help smaller organisations understand the process.

For those to which it applies, it is important to note that the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement contains a bridging mechanism that allows the continued free flow of personal data from the EU/EEA to the UK after the transition period until adequacy decisions come into effect, for up to six months.

EU adequacy decisions for the UK would allow for the ongoing free flow of data from the EEA to the UK. As a sensible precaution, during the bridging mechanism, it is recommended that you work with EU/EEA organisations who transfer personal data to you to put in place alternative transfer mechanisms to safeguard against any interruption to the free flow of EU to UK personal data.

Importing and exporting goods

Government has produced detailed guidance on both importing and exporting. This doesn’t apply to most charities, but if you do move goods between Great Britain and other countries you will need a EORI number. You can find more information, including how to apply for one here.

EU Funding

The government guidance includes a helpful reminder that you can continue to get any EU funding you have already been awarded. This includes funding you are due to continue getting after 31 December 2020. And that there are a number of Funding streams you can continue to apply for throughout the next spending framework.

These include the ‘Peace Plus programme’ which encourages co-operation in Northern Ireland and Ireland. Alongside Horizon Europe, Euratom and the Copernicus programme. More information on all of these can be found on the government website.

Alongside these areas, there may be other things which you should consider this interactive tool will help your organisation navigate through what the new agreement will mean for your organisation.

 

Read on to find out what the opportunities are in the post-Brexit era.