BY Ian Dunn | June 10 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Vote to leave EU ‘may hit Catholic charities’

AN ENGLISH bishop has said European funding for Catholic charities could be at risk if Britain leaves the EU, though the charity has stressed its neutrality on the issue.

Auxiliary Bishop William Kenney of Birmingham said groups such as the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) and CAFOD could lose grants following a ‘Brexit’ win in the June 23 referendum.

“Caritas Europa, to the best of my knowledge, always negotiates for funding from the EU, and the UK, should it decide to leave, will be outside of that, and it won’t get any of that (money) any longer,” he said.

“In that sense it would no doubt affect CAFOD and others, but to what extent I don’t know,” Bishop Kenney, spokesman for European affairs of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and former president of Caritas Europa, said.

SCIAF Director Alistair Dutton said the charity took ‘no position’ on the referendum.

“However, institutions like universities and charities receive considerable funding from the EU,” he added.

“If the UK votes to leave there is a real possibility that this funding will no longer be available. This has the potential to have a large impact on our work with poor communities overseas. In the event that the UK votes to leave the EU, we would urge the UK government to step in to help charities.”

SCIAF has EU grants up to 2018 covering South Sudan, Colombia and Nicaragua.




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