As organisations dedicated to helping beneficiaries, civil society organisations are understandably trying to grasp the implications of Brexit for those they help and the long term effect on their missions.
The (re)launch of the Brexit Civil Society Alliance brexitcivilsocietyalliance.org has brought together all sorts of organisations to ensure that politicians appreciate the effect that legislative changes, post-Brexit, will have on the vulnerable and voiceless. It is an essential endeavour.
However, are civil society organisations concentrating as heavily as they should on the impact of Brexit on themselves as organisations? After all, if a service provided by a charity fails because of the impact of Brexit, then that will be the most direct form of harm.
This isn't just a question of replacing EU funding. Large businesses are now preparing in haste for Brexit's possible/probable effect on recruitment, taxes, duties and supply chains. Because a deal with the EU is looking more unlikely each day, they aren't allowing uncertainty to paralyse them - these businesses are working hard now to identify the key risk areas and put mitigating plans in place.
Although civil society is admittedly not exposed as broadly as exporting businesses with long supply chains, the Financial Reporting Council expects that accounts of large organisations will contain statements on Brexit plans and mitigation because of the breadth of the risk.
I wonder how many charities or housing associations can say they have genuinely and deeply explored the biggest Brexit risk areas to their organisations?
“While attention has been paid to the future of business with Brexit, often the human impact and stories are being forgotten. "The Brexit Civil Society Alliance is here to make sure that the concerns, hopes and aspirations of civil society are centre stage as the UK makes its exit from the European Union.”