THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN. WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

16th June 2017

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:

  • A renewed focus on the inspiring One Nation commitment to tackle the hidden social injustices in our society and economy that the Prime Minister highlighted so inspiringly on entering Number 10 last July
  • An end to the model of austerity which, after an initial period of reasonable belt-tightening by the whole country, has seen in the last couple of years too many cuts to the frontline public services and public servants instead of cuts to Government and cosy back office bureaucracies, and insufficient attention to incentivising the innovative leadership required for public sector efficiency
  • A more urgent model of growth with greater incentives for those who take risk to create jobs and businesses and a more active Industrial Strategy to drive our Innovation Economy
  • An end to the divisive language of the Brexit debate, resisting the voices of Scottish and English nationalism, to secure a One Nation Brexit that works for us all – making us stronger, safer, and more prosperous
  • A more open and democratic Parliamentary role in exploring the various options in the Brexit negotiations - there is clearly a large majority in Parliament for a new relationship with the EU outside of the political union but with as much access to the markets of Europe as possible
  • A more business-like approach: we need UK businesses to be able to continue to grow and flourish and create jobs and prosperity. It would be a disaster if Brexit undermined our economic competitiveness and productivity (including our public services)

This week I’ve been setting out this message in a series of interviews and articles with the Daily Telegraph, World at One and on Newsnight – see links below.

I believe that all of us who share this view have a duty to work together to set out a coherent plan for how to achieve it, which needs to be our focus over the coming weeks and months.

If you support this analysis and would be interested in following up on any of this, please do get in touch by emailing me George.Freeman.mp@parliament.uk

George Freeman MP

Member of Parliament for Mid Norfolk
Chairman of the Conservative Policy Forum

 

My Newsnight Interview (at 2:09 & 6:40):

My Daily Telegraph column:  website; Daily Telegraph

My World at One interview: BBC World at One

 

Other Coverage:

 

BBC News #1: BBC News: May tells MPs: I got us into this mess and I will get us out

BBC News: #2: BBC News: Hunt and Javid told of care plan just before manifesto launch

BBC Radio Norfolk (starts at 2h 7m): BBC Radio Norfolk

New Statesman #1: New Statesman

New Statesman #2: New Statesman

EDP: EDP

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

THE CASE FOR EFTA

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.

Publications

2nd November 2018 George Freeman: There was much to cheer in the Budget. But now we need an inspiring programme for growth | ConservativeHome


8th September 2018 Without a positive vision for British renewal, Brexit will fail | Daily Telegraph


7th September 2018 People are sick of partisan political civil wars | The Times


19th August 2018 George Freeman: It’s time to choose between a Conservative Brexit or a UKIP one | ConservativeHome


4th July 2018 The 5-year Land Supply is beginning to undermine public trust | PoliticsHome


9th May 2018 We urgently need to turn the NHS from being a barrier to technology to being a champion | The House Magazine


13th June 2018 The time to reform Britain and tackle the generational divide is now, not after Brexit | Daily Telegraph


9th May 2018 We deserve more choice than the hard left of Corbyn or hard right of Farage | The Times


8th May 2018 How to fix the burning injustice that is Britain's housing market | CAPX


18th March 2018 Conservatives need to be as economically bold as Margaret ... | FT


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