Sir Edward Leigh would vote to leave an unreformed EU in a referendum.
The Gainsborough MP also says “control of borders is a must” for Britain to stay in.
His comments follow Prime Minister David Cameron speaking in the West Midlands on immigration.
It also follows academic polling showing UKIP second behind the MP in his seat.
Sir Edward wanted “a new relationship with Europe”, the one Britain voted for in 1975, and without reform of the EU, “I’d vote to leave.”
“We simply have to regain control of our borders. We’ve always been a welcoming country, but the massive scale of movement and migration we are experiencing was never envisaged by the fathers of the European Union,” he said.
Free movement of people does not work in a union with economies as diverse as the UK, Sweden, Bulgaria and Romania and the UK must manage its own immigration, accountable to the public.
The MP also saw Britain having a free-trade deal with the EU, like Norway and Switzerland, but with more global trade. “This isn’t about a ‘Little England’ mentality but about getting the best deal for Britain with the whole world. We’re a trading nation and we want to keep our economic links with Europe while working to build new links with the growing economies around the world,” he said.