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Meetings and papers

Records of cabinet meetings are confidential documents and only transferred to The National Archives after 20 years - the 20-year rule. At this point most material is released to the public. From 2013 the government started to release 20 year old records, rather than after 30 years. During 2013 The National Archives received records from 1983 and 1984, and in 2014 records from 1985 and 1986. Two further years’ worth of government records are being transferred to us each year until 2022 when we will receive the records from 2001 and 2002. Some Cabinet conclusions and memoranda however, remain closed for longer if they have been assessed to contain especially sensitive material, either about people or policy periods. Records that are still closed display a note on the digital image to indicate that the parent department holds the document - in this case the Cabinet Office. If you want to see a record that has not been released, you can submit a Freedom of Information request. The National Archives and the relevant government department(s) will examine your request and the document to decide if it can be released.

Please note that many of the PDF files made available under this section are extremely large. Downloading the files may be very slow, or may not be possible, depending on your internet connection.