Brexit not limit of Britain’s ambitions in 2018: PM

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May meets with her Swedish counterpart Stefan Lofven (not pictured) at Gothia Towers Hotel on the eve of the EU Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth in Gothenburg, Sweden November 16, 2017. TT News Agency/Bjorn Larsson Rosvall via REUTERS

LONDON, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) — Making a success of Brexit in 2018 is crucial, but it will not be the limit of Britain’s ambitions, Prime Minister Theresa May said Sunday in her New Year message.

May said in the new year negotiations will move on to vital issues of trade and security as Britain continues negotiations over its departure from the European Union, adding: “I am determined that we will keep up our progress in 2018”.

In a message directed at the population, May said: “Whichever way you voted in the referendum, most people just want the government to get on and deliver a good Brexit, and that’s exactly what we are doing.”

May added: “I believe 2018 can be a year of renewed confidence and pride in our country. A year in which we continue to make good progress towards a successful Brexit deal, an economy that’s fit for the future, and a stronger and fairer society for everyone.”

Aside from Brexit, May said she wants Britain to carry on making a difference on the issues that matter to people’s daily lives.

“That means building an economy fit for the future and taking a balanced approach to government spending, so we get our debt falling but can also invest in the things that matter — our schools, our police and our precious NHS.

“Our goal is simple: more good jobs in every part of the country, and more opportunities for young people to get on in life. The first step to a better future is getting a place at a good school.”

She also said Britain will build more homes, so housing becomes more affordable and more families can get on the housing ladder.

May also spoke of three major anniversaries that will be celebrated in 2018, including a special year in the life of one of the country’s most cherished institutions, the National Health Service, which turns 70 in the coming year.

“It is a year to rededicate ourselves to its founding ideal, that good healthcare should be available to everyone, regardless of income,” said May.

The centenary of the end of the First World War, will also be commemorated as Britain remembers the tremendous sacrifices of that conflict.

As Britain prepares to celebrate another centenary, the 100th anniversary of the first votes for women, May commented: “Let’s vow to eliminate all prejudice and discrimination from our society.”

In a reference to sex scandals that dominated the headlines in 2017, May said everyone deserves the chance to succeed, and everyone has a right to be treated with respect.

“That means safe workplaces, free from harassment. And it also means a public sphere where debate is constructive and courteous, and where we treat each other with decency,” she said.

Concluding that any year brings challenges, May said: “The real test is not whether challenges come; it’s how you face them. Whether you allow a task to overcome you, or tackle it head on with purpose and resolve.”