Embracing our future as a scientific superpower

8th November 2017

As 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?


I believe we face a once-in-a-generation opportunity. To build a country that gives all its own citizens an opportunity to succeed in a globalised economy by becoming a more global nation. But to realise that we must acknowledge the need for major reform. As a Minister in both the Department for Health and the Department for Business, I was too often appalled at how Whitehall departmentalism so often triumphs national interest. This is far too important to get lost in bureaucratic turf wars.
That’s why I was delighted to contribute a foreword to a new report from Policy Exchange called Global Britain, Global Solutions: How British R&D can transform international development, and to be interviewed about my thoughts on the future of aid, trade and security on the Today programme.
 How British R&D can transform international development
Today Programme
In my foreword I set out a new vision for Britain’s aid, trade and security post-Brexit. Public investment in development R&D can be a win/win, boosting global security and prosperity while providing the seed capital to support a wider ecosystem of innovation at home. Britain is a science and innovation superpower.   But for years we’ve neglected it.
It’s time to embrace a global strategy for British prosperity through global aid, trade and security, based on taking our science and innovation into the fastest-emerging markets to drive sustainable growth. Brexit offers the opportunity for Britain to cement its position as a global leader in science and our new Industrial Strategy is a chance to put innovation right at the heart of a national strategy for post-Brexit success. 
If we embrace reform, we could unlock a whole new era of economic growth for British businesses and entrepreneurs, establishing ourselves as one of the leading knowledge economies in the post-Brexit world.
Now that’s a Brexit Britain worth voting for. 
⦁ Read my article in the Daily Telegraph here.
⦁ Read my Policy Exchange foreword here.
⦁ Listen to my interview on the Today programme here (53.57 to  57.40)


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:


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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

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