As the UK’s departure from the European Union is formally triggered, the House of Lords Committee on charities has warned that Brexit could cost charities £200m.
According to the recent Stronger charities for a stronger society report, charities receive around £200 million from the EU each year. Much of this comes from European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), in particular the European Social Fund (ESF).
Small charities will be punished hardest by the loss of vital grants, the parliamentary committee warns, while medical research charities – for conditions including cancer, heart disease, bone disease and obesity – will lose “considerable research funding and opportunities for collaboration”.
Minister for Civil Society Rob Wilson MP told the committee: “We recognise that charities will be affected by exiting the EU, and there are a broad range of implications. Different parts of the charity sector could be affected in different ways.
“The important thing is that we are listening to their concerns and talking to them about the opportunities as well as the potential pitfalls that might arise from Brexit. We have looked at some of the funding issues, particularly around the European Social Fund, which is about £200m worth of funding.
“One positive thing is that all the legislation is local, incountry legislation, not European legislation, so the disentanglement in the charity sector is not as big a problem as in other areas of the economy.”
Peers have called on ministers to publish a full assessment of the likely financial blow by the end of this year, including the impact of loss of funding as well as on research collaboration.
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