The Right Ethos’ recent survey responding to Brexit was understandably one of doom and gloom. Threats to funding and uncertainty about the status of staff from within the EU being able to work in the UK in the future are real concerns for the charity and non-profit sector.
But it could be a hectic and remarkable time ahead for campaigners and charity lobbyists. With threats to be countered and opportunities to be taken.
In the short term, there is new Prime Minister, a raft of new cabinet ministers and a different government agenda. Together with a potential change in the Labour leadership – which could even lead to a total re-alignment in non-Conservative politics in the UK – this could be a momentous opportunity for many charities looking to affect public policy. And being able to develop relationships with the new leaders and decision makers in government and opposition will be crucial.
In the medium term, with Brexit, a whole multitude of laws made in Brussels will now need to be supplanted by Westminster, and this could mean substantial opportunities for charities to form future public policy.
For example, a massive amount of environmental policies come from the EU, so it could be a busy time for Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and others.
But, it isn’t just the environmental and conservation organisations that it will effect. We can debate how many millions of pounds are actually going to the EU each week. But, with Brexit, there will be a large proportion of this money will in the future be spent by the UK government. And getting your voice heard to ensure that your organisation is going to receive some of this funding or that the government spends it in favour of your beneficiaries will be essential. It could be that you are just defending your current funding level or fighting to keep any of it. But in some cases it could mean actually advancing your position from extra funding as it’s more in line with the UK government’s priorities than it was with those of the EU.
I, like 89% of the campaigns and communications sector, according to our survey, voted to Remain. And I campaigned for it, but sadly wished I had done more.
However, because of Brexit and its effects, The Right Ethos – with our focus on recruitment for roles in campaigns, policy, public affairs and communications staff – expects to be particularly busy over the remaining years of this decade, as the investment and demand for campaigns and public affairs staff will inevitably increase.