Sir Keir Starmer says Labour will focus on ensuring “greater prosperity, fairness and opportunity” as the UK forges a “new path” in the world.
In his new year’s message, the Labour leader struck an upbeat note, declaring the country’s “best years are still to come”.
“The United Kingdom is forging a new path in the world,” he said.
“And the Labour Party that I lead will focus on ensuring that path leads to greater prosperity, fairness and opportunity for every nation and region, every village, every town and city that makes up our great United Kingdom.
“I believe this can once again be the best country to grow up in and the best country to grow old in.
“And with that hope and that vision, I believe that our best years are still to come.”
His comments came after the party voted to back Boris Johnson’s EU trade deal, arguing that it was better than leaving with no deal, despite the misgivings of some of his pro-Europe MPs.
Despite the current transition period finally coming to an end at 11pm on Thursday, Sir Keir made no direct reference to Brexit in his message.
He said, however, that the UK had suffered more than any other major economy in the coronavirus pandemic, although the roll-out of vaccines offered a cause for optimism in the year ahead.
“Until then, it is all of our duty to stay safe, to look after neighbours, keep up the national effort that has got us this far,” he said.
“Because when this crisis ends, and it will end, we will rebuild our country, together.”