Britain can look forward to a decade of “prosperity and opportunity” ahead as it finally ends the “rancour and uncertainty” of Brexit, Boris Johnson has said.
In his New Year message, the Prime Minister said that with the UK set to leave the EU on January 31, the Government could look to address other priorities.
“As we say goodbye to 2019 we can also turn the page on the division, rancour and uncertainty which has dominated public life and held us back for far too long,” he said.
“We can start a new chapter in the history of our country, in which we come together and move forward united, unleashing the enormous potential of the British people.”
Mr Johnson, who is spending New Year with his girlfriend Carrie Symonds on the private island of Mustique in the Caribbean, said the “first item” on his agenda remained his commitment to take Britain out of the EU by the end of January.
At the same time, he said that he was determined to be a “prime minister for everyone”, including the millions who backed Remain or did not vote Conservative in the general election.
“If you are one of them, I want to reassure you that I will be a prime minister for everyone, not just those who voted for me,” he said.
“I know that you love this country no less, simply because you voted for another party or wanted to Remain.
“More than that, I want to work with you, as friends and equals, as we build the future this United Kingdom deserves.
“So let’s together make the 2020s a decade of prosperity and opportunity.”
Mr Johnson said that leaving the EU would enable the Government finally to focus on the “people’s priorities” – including the NHS.
“The loudest message I heard during the election campaign is that people expect us – expect me – to protect and improve the NHS,” he said.
“The NHS is a wonderful British invention, there for us and our families when we are ill, whatever our background and regardless of ability to pay. So the NHS will always be my top priority.”
The Prime Minister said that he was also determined to make the UK “the best place on Earth” for “quality education and cutting-edge science”.
“Our vision is clear: to unite and level up across the whole United Kingdom – spreading opportunity more fairly – with better infrastructure, superb education and high technology,” he said.