How can we build a green economy capable of delivering sustainable growth

My keynote speech as Minister of State for Decarbonisation at DfT at the LSE Feb 14th 2020.

What's so bad about no deal?

No-Deal is not a destination: it is a failure to reach a destination. And it would be perceived rightly – by our international partners and investors - as a signal failure of sense, statesmanship, and strategy. We would drop overnight into the margins of the world’s trading system. We would have left all the fundamental questions, about our future, unresolved and uncertain. And our reputation, prosperity and influence would be damaged for no benefit. A sensible Brexit deal, by contrast, would not only avoid the mess of no-deal. It would provide a constructive and predictable environment for our businesses, for government, and international trade - from which Britain can grow its influence and standing in the world.

Delivering Brexit: Why I believe we must respect the EU Referendum result

Following the chaotic and complex Parliamentary maneuvers this week, and some very confused reporting, I thought it would be helpful to let you know that I remain one-hundred percent committed to respecting the result of the EU Referendum in 2016, and to delivering Brexit.

The Times: Red Box

The PM’s wise decision to stand down after Brexit paves the way for a cross-party Withdrawal Agreement and a New Generation Conservative to lead post-Brexit Renewal.

Some claim that last week’s leadership vote hasn’t changed anything. Wrong. It’s changed everything. By taking the selfless step of publicly vowing to stand down once Brexit has been delivered — the basis upon which many MPs like me supported her last week — a path is now clear for us to end the Brexit civil war and get back to governing in the national interest.

My five policy pillars of a bold Tory economic vision

On Monday the Chancellor announced “the end of austerity”. Politically, there was a lot to cheer in this Budget.  Some good news and headlines for struggling high streets, our crucial Universal Credit reform, NHS workers and the vast majority of constituents who rely on public services. Plus, there were many helpful retail pledges for colleagues in marginal seats. Given the Brexit divisions and infighting, we badly needed some good news. 

Leadership for a New Generation

Unless a New Generation of us from all wings of the Conservative Party – whether we voted Leave or Remain in the Referendum - come together and set out an inspiring programme of bolder Conservative reforms, we’ll gift Corbyn the keys to Downing Street. The fact that Corbyn has been able to present himself as the champion of wider share ownership should be a warning sign of how much of the reform agenda we risk gifting if we don’t set out a compelling Conservative alternative.

An evening with Jacob Rees-Mogg and George Freeman

An evening with Jacob Rees-Mogg MP and George Freeman MP


Can we make Brexit a moment of renewal? Or not?

I believe we must.  

BBC Radio 4, Any Questions

21st September 2018

BBC Radio 4, Any Questions:


BBC Radio 4 Interview: Ex policy chief calls for a "new leader" post-Brexit

14th September 2018

BBC News: May successor must be from a new generation, says ex-policy chief

13th September 2018

Big Tent 2018

Big Tent Ideas Festival


Launch at:

The Other Palace Theatre, 12 Palace St, Westminster, London SW1E 5JA

George Freeman MP




Yesterday I was invited on to Radio 4's World at One to talk about the current state of the Conservative Party and the Brexit negotiations as well as preparations for the Budget and Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR). I set out my conviction that Brexit must become a moment of profound renewal for this country, and that the Conservatives must unite or risk losing our reputation for economic competence.

Listen to the full interview here (starting at 13.15):

We urgently need to turn the NHS from being a barrier to technology to being a champion

To heal the divisions of the Brexit referendum it is vital that we recast Brexit as an inspiring moment of electrifying and comprehensive national renewal. Nowhere is this more urgent than the NHS.

We deserve more choice than the hard left of Corbyn or hard right of Farage

We are living in turbulent times. Battling the post-crash demands of the public finances, juggling the Brexit negotiations and witnessing the rise of insurgent candidates like Trump and Macron. Make no mistake. This is a new Battle of Ideas: between the extremes of Left and Right versus a mainstream centre-ground establishment bewildered by the demise of the old order.

Among that, there is the rise of a New Generation looking for a fresh vision and bold cultural lead. Following the General Election meltdown, we can be in no doubt of the challenge we face as a party and as a country.

How to fix the burning injustice that is Britain's housing market

Affordable housing is one of the key policy challenges of our time. But as with so many other major policy problems, we face a continued lack of imagination that leads many to think that the housing crisis can be solved with more of what worked last time, commanded from offices in Whitehall.

This is not 1955. We need new thinking, and new approaches. In particular, we need to recognise that rural and urban areas face very different challenges and need different solutions.

Why we need a bolder #BeyondBrexit Conservative economic vision

Here is a chart that should strike fear into any British policymaker. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has a graph showing the future direction of health and other cost pressures on the public finances. It is shaped like a Nike tick: from the current level, it rises inexorably upwards.  Welcome to the structural deficit: when the rate of rising demand pressure on spending  from an ageing society reliant on the welfare state exceeds the rate of growth in the economy.

Brexit is an electrifying moment for renewing the NHS

George Freeman writes for Politico

To heal the divisions of the Brexit referendum it is vital that we recast Brexit as an inspiring moment of electrifying and comprehensive national renewal — economic, cultural, political.

This is an opportunity to re-energize our approach to domestic issues even if they have nothing to do with Europe — to excite and carry with us those who fear Brexit is a distraction from the real issues we face as an aging nation, like the modernization of the National Health Service (NHS) and our system of social and elderly care.

Click here

My vote on the EU Withdrawal Bill on 13th December 2017

Ever since the Referendum result in June 2016, I have always been clear: a majority in the country and here in Mid Norfolk voted to leave the EU, and whilst MPs are not delegates, nevertheless, it is the democratic duty of all elected politicians to respect that. I am 100% committed to making a success of Brexit - but a Brexit that works for the whole country including those who were - and remain - deeply concerned about its potential impact on our economy, society and politics.


Tories in danger of becoming an outdated party talking to itself, says George Freeman

by Rachel Sylvester & Alice Thomson, The Times, 25th November 2017

The Tory party needs a “reboot moment” after the loss of its parliamentary majority, George Freeman insists.

He argues that, despite repeated efforts to “detoxify” the brand, the Tories are still in danger of seeming nasty, especially to the young.

The Conservative Policy Forum: leading the work of party renewal

With the Government locked down in Brexit negotiations and the task of modernising our Party’s campaigning and membership made all the more urgent by the appearance of Momentum and a rejuvenated Labour Party, I believe now is the moment that the Conservative party must embrace radical reform.

We need a more inspiring vision of Britain Beyond Brexit

 “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to the problem.  Government is the problem.”  Ronald Reagan.

Never has Reagan’s famous Conservative aphorism been more pertinent.  As some of us have been warning for over a decade, it’s now clear that the debt crisis following the crash of 2008 has triggered a major crisis of political economy: a crisis of public trust and legitimacy in the relationship between power and wealth in our society, and the ability of traditional party politics and Governments to solve it.

A moment of National Renewal? Or managed decline?

Keynote speech to IPPR  14th November 2017

Having spent fifteen years as an entrepreneur before coming to Parliament, I’m from a world where the motto was simple…
never let a good crisis go to waste.
And it is a motto that is more relevant to our national life today than ever.

Embracing our future as a scientific superpower

Science is Britain's passport to the worldAs we consider a future outside the EU, we need to tackle one simple question: will this be a national identity crisis or a moment of profound renewal?

“Would I vote for Brexit again?”

In recent days, I have been increasingly asked “Would you vote for Brexit again?”

I believe that this is the wrong question.

Over 60% of my constituents voted in a Referendum to leave. My job is now to work hard to try and ensure Brexit works for the 48% as well as the 52% and doesn’t do what I feared it would do – make us poorer, deepen austerity, and see Britain turn its back on the world.

That’s why I’m working to ensure that Brexit becomes an inspiring moment of Renewal we can ALL look back on with pride. The real question is whether we can deliver a Brexit deal that’s worth supporting.

Where next for Conservative Renewal?

The Conservative party currently stands at a crossroads. The General  Election demonstrated the speed at which politics is changing and showed in the starkest terms how we must change with it.

A Conservative Capitalism worth fighting for

With our political order now under attack from the extremes of both left and right, a new battle of ideologies is reshaping our politics. Is it too late to restore trust in the political centre ground? 

The New Politics

Conservative Policy Forum Conference Speech at The Life Centre, Sale (Manchester) to Party Members.

Money, movement and markets - securing a Brexit deal

Having spent fifteen years working as an entrepreneur, and having served as a Business Minister, making sure the UK remains the global capital of enterprise is one of my central missions.

That's why I was delighted to appear on the Westminster Hour on Sunday, setting out my thoughts about the future direction of the Brexit negotiations.

During the programme, I highlighted the three key questions that we need to address as the negotiations continue, namely Markets, Movement and Money.

To listen to the interview, click here.

We Tories must shake off this hostility to business and embrace entrepreneurial capitalism

George W Bush famously said that “the problem with France is that they don’t have a word for entrepreneur”. 
In reality, the French have plenty of words for it, but as Emmanuel Macron has grasped, simply not enough actual entrepreneurs. Instead, they’re in London – now France’s fourth biggest city – escapees from the country’s self-defeating labour laws, drawn to London’s renaissance as a vibrant global city. 
De Gaulle’s famous dictum that it is hard to govern a country with 300 cheeses has been turned around: the recent revival of British cheese by entrepreneurs now means that the UK has more cheeses than France. (We are seemingly becoming less governable, too.) 

Introducing the Big Tent Ideas Fest

The turbulence of politics in the last few years – here in the UK and across the West – represents a serious challenge to the prevailing order of Western societies and economies.

Enterprise in the public sector is the way to end austerity

The shock of seeing Jeremy Corbyn successfully reap the benefit of a woeful election campaign has triggered a lot of soul searching amongst Conservatives. Rightly so. I believe we need to take a long hard look at why the campaign went so wrong, and the real reasons we lost a number of key voter groups at this election.

One Purpose. One Party. One Nation.

'It was a privilege to speak to the Tory Reform Group recently to consider the Conservative response to the Election. 

You can read my speech here, where I analyse what went wrong and how our future success is in the hands of a New Generation of Brits on the New Frontier of a New Global Age.

A New Deal for a New Generation

Why I believe the recent General Election is the final proof that a New Generation of 21stC Conservatives need to offer a New Deal for a New Generation.


Having spent fifteen years as an entrepreneur before coming to Parliament, one of my central missions as a Member of Parliament has been to champion the role of enterprise and business as the engine of our prosperity, as well as campaigning to make our public sector and Government work in a much more business-like manner.

This is a mission I have taken through my work as Government Life Science Adviser, Minister at the Business and Health departments and as Chair of the Prime Minister’s Policy Board and Chair of the Conservative Policy Forum.

As we look towards a future outside the European Union, this mission is more vital than ever. Fundamentally, we don’t just need a Government for enterprise, but a more enterprising Government.

This is an agenda I have set out in a range of articles over the last seven years (click here), and am taking forward with a new campaign this Parliament.


Last Thursday the people spoke, here in Norfolk and across the country. To be returned to Parliament for the third time is a huge responsibility.

As we all know, during this campaign we heard some powerful grievances, complaints and concerns from the electorate – locally and nationally. I am determined that I, and the Conservative Party, listen, heed, and show we have acted on them.

That’s why this week I have decided this week to call for the new minority Conservative Government to adopt a fresh approach to the core challenges we face as a country:

Where is the mandate now? In Parliament. And why we need a Government that shows it’s listening...

The Daily TelegraphGeorge writes in the Daily Telegraph.

Brexit was supposed to be about Parliamentary sovereignty. But the electorate has given us an inconvenient answer. They have returned a hung Parliament.  Theresa May is right to see through her duty to provide a stable government. It is therefore the job of all of us as democratically elected Parliamentarians to try and represent the will of the people we serve.

One thing is clear: we couldn’t reject the results of the EU Referendum, and nor can we reject the results of a General Election explicitly called to secure a mandate for Brexit.

Big Tent Ideas Festival

Politics is undergoing a tectonic shift. That’s why I launched the Big Tent Ideas Festival, aiming to tackle the most difficult policy challenges we face. The Festival has now run for two years. This year we hosted our first-ever Leaders’ Summit and brought nearly 2,000 people together for the main Festival across fifty events and eight different tents, discussing ideas to reform our politics, our economy and our society.

The Big Tent Ideas Festival is part of the Capital Ideas Foundation, founded by a group of entrepreneurs to campaign for renewal in the radical centre-ground. Over the next year, we will be setting off round the country as the forum for the best new ideas in public policy. Click below and join us.

Read more:

Big Tent Ideas website


We are in the middle of a Brexit civil war. What is clear is that the existing options will not unite our country.

Chequers has been dismissed by Brussels and is roundly rejected by the ERG. The Canada option was also not designed for the circumstances we currently face. We are a European nation already heavily reliant on the single market - wanting ideally to retain access to the single market without being in the 'political' union.

That’s why I believe ongoing membership of the European Free Trade Association is now the obvious route. It would give us off-the-shelf access to the single market, allow us to take back control of our fishing and farming industries, control free movement and let us negotiate our own trade deals.

Unless we stand up and fight for a sensible moderate Brexit, we risk enduring a #HardBrexit. There is an alternative that we can embrace now. It is time to embrace EFTA.


The industrial strategy reforms I led helped to deliver Britain’s vaccine success. Now for the next phase. by George Freeman MP | ConservativeHome

Fresh Start Report

The EU impact on the UK Life Science sector by George Freeman MP and Pawel Swidlicki

The Innovation Economy

Industrial Policy for the 21st Century, by George Freeman and Kwasi Kwarteng

Progress for Oxford-Cambridge Arc as government announces preferred East West Rail central section

Announcing the preferred route, route E, for the Bedford to Cambridge section of the East West Rail line.
30 January 2020

Funding for on-street chargepoints doubled to help charge up electric vehicle revolution

Residential street chargepoint funding doubled and plans increasing access to real-time information released.
21 January 2020

Electric taxis to go wireless thanks to new charging tech trial

Wireless charging for electric taxis to start in Nottingham.
17 January 2020

First of a Kind 2020 launches to find this century’s Brunel

Department for Transport and Innovate UK launch competition to drive innovation on the railways.
13 January 2020