So it’s Brexit. Where do we go from here?

June 27th, 2016

I am generally an optimist.  Leaving the office on Thursday I was sure the British people would vote to preserve the status quo and remain part of Europe.  How wrong I was!

Like many others, I’m stunned and heartbroken by the referendum decision to leave the European Union. We are now in uncharted territory, no country has left the European Union before and no one seems very sure what to do next. But, in a democratic system decisions taken by referendum must be upheld.  Unfortunately it seems that many people weren’t answering the question asked of them, but registering a more general protest vote.  Now we need to work together to find positive ways to deal with our precarious situation.

And we should not forget that in our globalised world it is the poorest who bear the brunt of harsh economic times as well as the ravages of climate change. Many of the countries where Practical Action works have suffered internal strife in recent years and our work helps to heal some of these wounds by enabling people to improve their livelihoods and income.

Inevitably there will be implications for this work.  Around 12% of our programme work is funded by the EU but we also have a broad range of other international donors and thousands of committed, generous supporters.

Energy was supplied to this community through EU funding

Energy was supplied to this community through EU funding

The European Union is the largest multilateral donor in the world. For Practical Action it funded projects such as:

Practical Action remains in a sound financial position to continue with our vital work using technology to challenge poverty in developing countries.

I will try to remain optimistic and to celebrate the EU’s contribution.

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