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Organisations across the Third Sector have raised concerns about the potential impact of Brexit. With all things Brexit discussions have been very complex and remains fluid changing day by day and sometimes by the hour.
The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) carried out a survey of its members in 2017 where 86% felt that leaving the EU will harm the Scottish economy, with further negative implications for public spending, charity funding and public donations.
The Directory of Social Change provided statistical backing for these views, showing that charities in the UK benefited from at least £258.4 million in EU funding in 2015, and that “the full amount is likely to be far higher due to the way many funds are distributed by intermediary agencies and partnerships in the UK”.
More worryingly, Scotland’s third Sector was also shown to have received much more European funding relative to its population than that of Wales or Northern Ireland.
SCVO’s survey also found that 81% of third sector organisations are worried about advances in human rights and equalities legislation being rolled back.
As a result, more than 150 third sector organisations, have signed the Scotland Declaration on Human Rights. This demands that there is ‘no going back’ on existing rights, that there is ‘progression’ and rights are continually strengthened over time, that any changes to current protections are made transparently, and that Scotland has a part to play in any significant changes to current standards.