Government Departments continue to engage with a wide range of businesses to understand their priorities and issues as we leave the European Union, both to inform our negotiating position, and our preparations in the unlikely event of there being no deal.
Departments can make use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) when structuring their engagements on preparations for leaving the EU, which is a crucial component of planning. It is for departments to determine the manner in which engagement with stakeholders takes place. Given the sensitive nature of some discussions, there may be limited circumstances in which departments have used NDAs to enable those conversations, thereby reaching more stakeholders than would otherwise be the case.
NDAs are also a common component of contractual arrangements that are used to protect commercial considerations of the parties involved or to protect sensitives around the development of Government policy.
It is entirely normal practice to use such agreements and they are therefore sometimes necessary for Government departments who are responsible for managing their preparations for leaving the EU.