Open Society Foundations Support Campaign on Brexit

Over the past year, the Open Society Foundations have made grants in the United Kingdom to organizations researching the consequences of Brexit, informing the public about its impact, and advocating in favor of British adherence to the European Convention on Human Rights and membership of the European Union.

The grant to the nonprofit group Best for Britain is one of these grants. “Human rights protections, hard-won civil and labor rights, and safeguards on key issues such as clean air or food standards are at stake here for British citizens,” said Patrick Gaspard, president of the Open Society Foundations.

“It is essential that they are informed and empowered to make decisions about the future relationship between the UK and the EU.”

The grants are in line with the Open Society Foundations’ worldwide mission to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. Across the globe, we support organizations that participate in democratic debate and public advocacy to defend human rights, civil liberties, and democratic governance.

“The Open Society Foundations support British groups striving to ensure that this crucial debate is not shut down. A fundamental principle of open societies is that people get to decide how they are governed, knowing exactly what they stand to gain and what they stand to lose,” Gaspard said.

In addition to two Best for Britain grants totaling under £400,000, the Open Society Foundations have pledged to the European Movement UK £182,000 and awarded £35,000 to Scientists for EU. It has also given Conservative think tank Bright Blue £86,000 to campaign for the protection of rights currently enshrined in European law.

Open Society is transparent about these efforts and periodically publishes its grants online, subject to privacy and data protection rules. The first Best for Britain grant was awarded after the UK general election, on June 22, 2017. It will appear on our website later in the year. None of these grants went to parliamentarians or government officials and all were made by a noncharitable organization within the Open Society Foundations. The Open Society Foundation–London is not a charity.