Page last updated at 13:42 GMT, Friday, 31 October 2008

White Paper

A White Paper is a document issued by a government department which contains detailed proposals for legislation.

It is the final stage before the government introduces its proposals to Parliament in the form of a bill.

When a White Paper is issued, it is often accompanied by a statement in the House from the secretary of state of the department sponsoring the proposals.

A White Paper is sometimes produced following the consultation process which is undertaken when the government issues a Green Paper.

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