Introduction

The information in this guide was written in September 2019, at a time when a no-deal Brexit was a distinct possibility on the political horizon.

Since that time the general election of December 2019 has dramatically shifted both the political landscape and the parliamentary arithmetic facing the prime minister. In the aftermath of Boris Johnson’s victory, and the consequent substantial majority gained by the Conservative Party, the European Union (withdrawal agreement) bill has passed with a majority of 124. This paved the way for the UK’s departure from the EU with Johnson’s deal on 31 January, effectively ruling out a no-deal Brexit on that date.

This guidance was published with a specific focus on preparing for a no-deal scenario. However, along with our guidance of October 2018 (PDF, 142KB), the information within remains important, relevant and useful to charities despite the changed situation.

As outlined in our 31 January blog post, the threat of a no-deal Brexit has not been removed entirely. The UK reverting to WTO rules in 2021 is still a possible scenario. Furthermore, the steps listed in the guidance will only benefit charities looking to improve their operations, and we would recommend them to organisations of all sizes in any eventuality. We have also produced a one-page summary of the major issues that are likely to affect charities which may be a useful starting point for trustee meetings.

NCVO will continue to provide guidance as the situation develops throughout 2020. Our Road Ahead publication also takes a look at the areas likely to dominate the political conversation throughout the year. All of these will be affected by the UK’s future relationship with the EU.