Command Papers: What is a White paper?, MPs Demand One On Article 50

Although most Members of parliament MPs who ( I’d say 90%) asking for a government white paper are a die-hard remainers/remoaners who’s aim is to delay and frustrate plans to trigger Article 50  hoping for a second referendum a handful are genuine in holding gov to account. But parties are standing in different position on the issue, only one Tory MP  is with remain for example on triggering the article by end of March as the Prime Minister stated.

In reaction to the Supreme Court Ruling which went against the government, the latter is preparing a bill before parliament within days as secretary of State for Leaving the European Union David Dvis MP told the commons yesterday in a heated debate that helped flush out those who want reverse the result of the EU referendum.

During today’s Prime Minster’s questions the leaders of the opposition and one Tory backbenchers repeated the demand for a White paper. The white paper will be more or less the PM Lancaster House announced plan. This speech, unlike a ministerial statement, or a green/white paper, didn’t give MPs the chance to have a debate,  the kind of ” dancing on a pinhead” pedantically structured arguments, duel of wits on the floor of the house etc. A white-paper will give this self-indulging chance. For the benefit of those unfamiliar with the different types of command papers, read the details below on the difference between Green and White paper:

In a policy time line the Green Paper is the first step towards legislation. Its purpose is to create debate on policy without actually committing to any specific action. Stakeholders and the public will be invited to comment on the Green Paper. Each Green Paper will contain several alternative policies, which will be discussed before a final decision is made.
A White Paper is a more authorative declaration , and is seen as a statement of government policy. A White Paper may also consult public and stakeholders on policy, it does signify clear intention on the part of the Government to pass a law.
However not all discussion papers are on general release and may be issued to a predetermined group of consultees, this is an issue that is determined by the department issuing the paper.

Both Green and White Papers can come under the category of Command Papers, which also includes, State Papers, and Government responses to Select Committee. All current Command Papers can be bought from The Stationary Office (TSO).

The term White Paper is now also used in non-governmental documentation. These white papers are generally marketing communications used to promote a company or technology.