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Roundup: Charities and the #EUref

By Sue Wixley 3 June 2016

With the debate between ‘Brexiteers’ and ‘Bremainers’ hotting up, here’s a quick roundup of where charities, trade bodies and regulators stand on the looming ‘once in a lifetime’ referendum.

  1. The Charity Commission for charities in England and Wales has issued guidance and then reissued it ‘to provide greater clarity’.
  2. There was a row about whether one Charity Commission trustee broken its own impartiality guidance.
  3. Meanwhile, the regulators in Northern Ireland and Scotland appear to give charities more leeway than their English and Welsh counterparts.
  4. With our eye on the EU referendum, NPC debated charity campaigning guidance at a roundtable with the Electoral Commission and others earlier this year.
  5. The National Council for Voluntary Organisation (NCVO), the largest umbrella body for the sector, issued this discussion paper for charities a few months ago.
  6. And just this week, the Association of Chief Executive of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO) weighed in with its demands for the Vote Leave
  7. The Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson MP, welcomed the fact that charities’ voices should and will be heard’ in the referendum debate. Wilson and his Labour shadow, Anna Turley MP declared themselves for the Remain side.
  8. Two environmental charities, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) UK, have voiced their support for staying in the EU.
  9. Chief execs of several international charities, including Save the Children and Plan UK, have made the case for continued cooperation with the EU and pointed to the costs for charities of Brexit.
  10. Meanwhile, many organisations are working to get people out to vote (as they did ahead of the General Election). In the process, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation came under fire for supporting Operation Black Vote.
  11. Importantly for an organisation like NPC that values evidence, organisations like Full Fact are helping voters to sift the facts from the ‘facts’ ahead of 23 June. As is the Institute for Fiscal Studies, although not uncontroversially.

Have we missed anything? Let us know if you have anything else to add to this list.