The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) has today re-iterated its strong support for the UK to remain in the Single Market and Customs Union, following recommendations made in the Scottish Government’s paper ‘Scotland’s Place in Europe: Our Way Forward.’

In February 2018, the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA), the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) and the Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) issued a joint statement calling for the UK to remain in the Single Market and Customs Union, due to concerns that leaving the European Union would worsen already difficult circumstances for charity and voluntary organisations and the communities they seek to empower.

John Downie, Director of Public Affairs for SCVO, said: “We unequivocally support the Scottish Government’s position that the UK must remain in the Single Market and Custom’s Union.

“Third sector organisations across the UK and Ireland have repeatedly stated our serious concerns that leaving the European Union will exacerbate already difficult circumstances for the poorest and most vulnerable in our society and individuals and communities that the third sector supports.

“The early triggering of the Article 50 Brexit process was a mistake that set us on the unrealistic deadline of March 2019, which has resulted in chaotic negotiations, a Cabinet in a state of total uncertainty and a complete lack of preparation for both a deal or no-deal.

“As a result of this, SCVO supports the Scottish Government’s demands that the UK Government should seek an immediate extension to the Article 50 process and an extension of the transition period beyond December 2020.”