Government ditches non-disclosure agreements for Brexit preparations


Organisations working with the government on Brexit will no longer be routinely required to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).

The use of NDAs – legally binding contracts to maintain confidentiality – has been routine for trade groups and businesses working with the government over the past three years.

But Ministers believe that they hinder constructive debate and exchange of information, with some organisations for example saying they restrict their ability to properly tell members how to prepare for Brexit.

As the government continues to accelerate its preparations for Brexit on October 31, the decision to ditch NDAs in the vast majority of circumstances, was made this week by Ministers at a XO committee meeting.

From today, such agreements will only be entered into, or existing agreements maintained, when this is strictly necessary, including for example to protect the interests of third parties.

A government spokesperson said: “As we continue our preparations for Brexit on October 31, it makes no sense to engage processes which hinder constructive debate, transparency and exchange of information. It is vital that trade groups and businesses can speak openly to one another about preparations and so we will no longer enter into such agreements unless absolutely necessary.”