George’s View – EU: In or Out?

11th December 2015

Having spent fifteen years battling EU red tape as an entrepreneur before coming to Parliament, the question of EU: In or Out? has been one of my central missions as a Member of Parliament over the last five years.

That’s why I helped found the Fresh Start Group of Conservative MPs calling for radical reform of our relationship with Europe, and wrote a major Fresh Start Report on EU red tape and the UK's world-leading life science sector, arguing that over-regulation risked condemning businesses to a new ‘dark age’. I also delivered a keynote speech in Brussels recently, calling for the EU Commissioner for Innovation to embrace reform so that entrepreneurs can commercialise their products, providing jobs, growth and skills training across our country.

On either side of the debate, everyone agrees that the status quo is not an option. That’s why I supported the Prime Minister’s Renegotiation and Referendum strategy, and have launched my own EU Reform Mission to champion the interests of the innovative new life science companies in the Eastern region and across the UK I represent as an MP and as the first ever Minister for Life Sciences.

I believe we have a once in a generation opportunity to drive a new cycle of jobs, growth and skills training in our economy, helping export our world-leading research and technology in the three key areas of food, medicine and energy to the emerging markets who are going through the same agricultural and industrial revolutions in the next 30 years that we went through in 300 years. But to seize this chance, we can’t afford to be held back by EU red tape. 

That’s what my EU Reform Mission is all about: getting an EU that works for our entrepreneurs, businesses and communities, not the other way round. Only once we’ve secured this Renegotiation can we properly decide how to vote in the Referendum.

Campaign Launch

Within the next twelve to eighteen months, we will all have to make one of the biggest political decisions of recent times. Do we want to stay in a reformed European Union, or leave?

That’s why I’m launching a major EU: In or Out? Debate. The aim is to open up the conversation on the EU to as wide an audience as possible. You will be able to follow the campaign using the Twitter hashtag #MidNorfolkEU? and here on my website.

I will also be organising a series of debates and roundtables throughout the first six months of 2016, getting the views of entrepreneurs and the business community.

Make no mistake: this is one of the biggest political decisions any of us will ever make. It will affect our communities, our laws and our place in the world for generations to come.

If you would like to join my EU: In or Out? Debate, please email me at and let me know your thoughts.

Big Tent Ideas Festival

Politics is undergoing a tectonic shift. That’s why this year I launched the first-ever Big Tent Ideas Festival, aiming to tackle the most difficult policy challenges we face. Bringing together over a hundred thinkers across the political spectrum, we discussed new ideas on everything from Brexit to intergenerational fairness, centred around three main themes: Politics, Society and Economy.

The Big Tent Ideas Festival is part of the new Capital Ideas Foundation, and will be setting off round the country over the next twelve months as the forum for the best new ideas in public policy. Click below and join us.

Read more:


11th January 2018 Brexit is an electrifying moment for renewing the NHS | Politico

19th December 2017 The need for a new foreign policy based on aid, trade and security | Bright Blue

25th November 2017 Tories in danger of becoming an outdated party talking to itself, says George Freeman | The Times

20th November 2017 George Freeman: We need a new Chairman and team at CCHQ to lead a radical programme of Conservative renewal | ConservativeHome

5th November 2017 Let's make science funding part of the aid budget – and help British tech save the world by George Freeman | The Telegraph

4th October 2017 Conservatives need to give people a vision they can believe in by George Freeman | The Times

1st October 2017 How do we Tories turn this around? Five ideas for conference by George Freeman | The Telegraph