Over the last five years since entering Parliament, I have championed the cause of EU reform, warning that too often EU red tape risks holding us back.
That’s why I’m delighted that I’m today visiting Brussels for key meetings with EU Commissioners and MEPs to warn of the risk of EU Anti-Science Regulation condemning the EU and UK to slow lane of 21stC Bio Economy, meeting with Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner Carlos Moedas and key MEPs including Syed Kamall (London), Geoffrey van Orden (East England) and Ashley Fox (South West England).
This follows up my work before joining Government as a member of the Parliamentary Fresh Start EU Reform Group, and my Report of January 2014 setting out a series of areas where EU policy is in danger of undermining Europe and this the UK's leadership in the 21stC Bio-economy.
The Report highlights key risks in two vital markets of:
and danger of EU regulation driving a multi-billion disinvestment 'exodus' of R+D spend - damaging the EU economy and competiveness.
Reform of EU policies to Bio-science are a major part of our wider EU Reform agenda championed by the Prime Minister, Chancellor and Europe Minister David Lidington, and a key area where the UK is signalling an ambition for the UK in Europe, but a clear warning that if Europe isn't prepared to take the lead in regulating to promote 21stC technology leadership, THE UK WILL.
Crucially this is an area where the UK is ambitious FOR Europe - and for the UK in Europe - to take a leading role in this key area of global policy development for 21stC science. But equally an area where we are impatient for progress and signalling that if the EU won't put in place a more supportive policy framework, we will use our Reform, Renegotiate and Referendum strategy to pursue the progress we need.
Today’s visit is all about taking the case for reform to Brussels.