Charity leaders welcome Cabinet Office support over Brexit concerns

Published: Wednesday 22 June 2016 - 07:30

ACEVO's response to Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson's statement on the European Union

The charity leaders’ network ACEVO welcomes Cabinet Officer Rob Wilson’s public validation of concerns that leaving Europe could present the sector with significant problems.

ACEVO recently expressed concerns ranging from the possible loss of funding to the possible diminution of key matters of regulation such as child welfare, environmental protection and employees’ rights.

ACEVO Chief Executive Asheem Singh sought assurances from leading Vote Leave exponents Michael Gove and Iain Duncan-Smith. In his letters he wrote: “….the pragmatic reality is that under the current dispensation communities will suffer through the loss of European Social Funding and the curtailing of international regulatory protections”.

Singh sought assurance from the Vote Leave campaign that any successful Brexit campaign would make good the loss of the £200 million a year which is estimated to be the UK’s annual income from grants and contracts from Europe. And he further drew attention to the benefit that the sector receives from the £11 billion European and Social Investment Fund. 

He additionally sought an assurance that Brexiteers would hold an emergency sector summit should the vote be to leave. Vote Leave have refrained from dialogue but the Cabinet Office Minister Rob Wilson has now reflected these concerns.

Commenting on Rob Wilson’s intervention Asheem Singh said:

“We welcome the minister's intervention. On Thursday every individual will make their choice on the European question. Many organisations large, medium and small have also made clear their preferences. We have given Vote Leave the opportunity to give us assurances that they would make good on the concrete cuts in community funding that Brexit would bring - and also to meet with ACEVO members to discuss a roadmap to reform of UK social protection legislation. That offer still stands. But in the current absence of such dialogue we must be wise to the very real and imminent concerns”