EU economy must be more flexible and entrepreneurial

Following the Prime Minister’s statement on the G7 meeting in Brussels, George Freeman calls for EU to become more flexible and entrepreneurial as Europe and the UK’s diplomatic and military strength is fundamentally linked to our economic strength and stability.

George Freeman (Mid Norfolk) (Con): I welcome my right hon. Friend’s statement and his tribute to the inspiring sacrifice of our forebears who gave their tomorrows for the freedoms that we enjoy. I particularly support the PM in his insistence that the EU Commission and President must support the case for reform. Is it not the case that Europe and the UK’s diplomatic and military strength is fundamentally linked to our economic strength and that we need to become more flexible, more entrepreneurial and more outward looking?

The Prime Minister: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. We will only count for something in the world if we can demonstrate that our model of democracy and open markets can deliver a strong and growing economy, and stability and security. I agree of course with what he says about the top jobs, but we should beware that I am sure all the candidates will suddenly make absolutely loving declarations about deregulation, the importance of growth and the importance of jobs, and they will even use great words such as “subsidiarity”. The point that I would make to everyone on both sides of the House is that we should not get too excited about these declarations; we have to focus on the principle that it is very important that the European Council keeps its right to suggest who should run the European Commission. That is at the heart of our argument.

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