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Official Publications : White and Green Papers

What are 'White' and 'Green' Papers?

The term 'white paper' refers to a published statement of government policy or strategy.  They often include the reasons for, and some details of, planned legislative change.

The term 'green paper' refers to government consultation on policy.  They often outline thinking and alternatives, but are seeking views from interested parties before proceeding.

A 'green paper' is often, but not always, followed by a 'white paper' on the same subject as the ideas are firmed up.

Finding White and Green Papers

All 'white papers' and some 'green papers' are published in the Command Paper series, so if you know that you need a Command Paper , please see the guidance given via the Command Papers sub-tab above.

For those 'green papers' which are not Command Papers, please see the guidance given via the Non-Parliamentary  sub-tab above.

If you don't have full references and therefore don't know the type of publication you need, please see 'Where do I start?' via the main British Official Publications tab above.

Do you need more help?

If you wish to know more about the way British Official Publications can support your research, please get in touch by emailing