The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) has made an urgent call for politicians to work together to prevent a no-deal Brexit
Politicians have been warned that a no-deal Brexit will wreck communities and destroy the organisations that provide them support.
The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) has written to the leaders of the UK's main political parties to stress the importance of avoiding leaving the European Union without a deal.
The letter comes after a leaked government report warned of food and medicine shortages in the event of a no-deal exit.
The letter highlights the profound impact no-deal Brexit could have on the voluntary sector in Scotland, stating that it could “wreck communities, lives and organisations that so many people rely upon.”
SCVO chief executive Anna Fowlie said it is clear that increased demand for assistance, coupled with a loss of funding and staff will result in organisations having to close.
She said: "Having tried to communicate with government on everything from human rights, environmental impact, immigration, free movement and workforce, to medicines, loss of funding and maintaining links with sister organisations, we have merely been invited to a series of unhelpful and uninformative meetings. This situation is no longer tolerable.
"The increasing likelihood of a no-deal Brexit ups the ante for our sector and – using analysis from the government itself – it is clear a perfect storm is brewing for voluntary organisations and the people they work with. Increased demand for assistance, coupled with a loss of funding, staff and volunteers will undoubtedly see charities collapse and leave a vacuum of support that cannot be filled.
"That this reckless act is set to take place without proper consultation and deliberation is all the worse. It should not be the case that no-deal is reached by default – even if that means asking citizens, once again, if this is what they truly want."
The letter has been sent to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, with leaders from the SNP, Plaid Cymru, Lib Dems, the Greens, Change UK and the DUP also receiving a copy.
It states that the sector is already facing challenging conditions, and further cuts would be inevitable in the result of a no-deal exit.
Fowlie concluded: "For too long, the voice of the charity and voluntary sector has been drowned out. It is time to end the calamitous drive towards a no-deal Brexit, which will wreck communities, lives and organisations that so many people rely upon. As leaders of the UK parliament, you must stop the UK exiting the European Union without a deal."