In a video message to the country on New Year’s Day, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
New Year is a time to look ahead and in 2019 the UK will start a new chapter. The Brexit deal I have negotiated delivers on the vote of the British people and in the next few weeks MPs will have an important decision to make. If Parliament backs a deal, Britain can turn a corner.
The referendum in 2016 was divisive but we all want the best for our country and 2019 can be the year we put our differences aside and move forward together, into a strong new relationship with our European neighbours and out into the world as a globally trading nation.
The PM will also say that while Brexit is important, there are other significant issues to focus on, reflecting on the achievements of 2018 and looking ahead with optimism.
Important though Brexit is, it is not the only issue that counts. When each of us looks back on 2019, it will be the personal milestones that stand out. These are the things that matter most and by agreeing a good Brexit deal, we can focus our energy on those things – strengthening our economy and opening up new markets for our businesses to create new jobs and opportunities across the UK; building the housing our country needs so everyone can have a home of their own and transforming technical education so everyone gains the skills they need to get on. Our long term plan for the NHS will put a record investment into our most precious public service so it is there for us when we need it. We will introduce a new skills based immigration system to replace freedom of movement, and by protecting and enhancing our natural environment, we will make Britain a healthier place.
This year the UK has achieved a lot. The employment rate is at a record high, our debt is starting its first sustained fall in a generation and the number of people in absolute poverty is at a record low. But a New Year means new potential to do even more, to ensure that everyone in every community can feel the benefit. Together I believe we can start a new chapter with optimism and hope. We have all we need to thrive and if we come together in 2019 I know we can make a success of what lies ahead and build a country that truly works for every one of us.