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Exchanging information during UK-US trade agreement negotiations
This exchange of letters sets out the arrangements for handling documentation and information during free trade agreement negotiations between the UK and the US.
UK and US negotiating teams will be required to exchange information as part of the negotiating process. The UK and US have exchanged letters setting out our arrangements for handling documentation and information, as is standard practice. These arrangements reflect the decision of the UK and US to treat this information as confidential, unless both sides decide otherwise. As discussions involve exchanging information on how we can deepen our trade and investment ties, it’s important for both sides to trust that this can be exchanged in confidence.
The arrangement we have reached:
- does not supersede the government’s duty under the Freedom of Information Act
- is compatible with the Cabinet Office guidance on how the government should exchange classified or sensitive information internationally, with other government or organisations
Sharing information outside of government
Government has the discretion and autonomy to share information with bodies, groups or individuals. Under these arrangements, we have made the commitment to do so in a way that maintains the confidentiality of the information, unless the UK and US decide it can be treated otherwise. The same applies to the US government’s treatment of information shared by the UK.
UK information regarding the UK-US free trade agreement negotiations that is not shared with the US is not subject to these arrangements and will be treated as all other government information of the same nature.