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  1. ITV Report

May: 2018 will bring 'renewed confidence and pride' to country

Britons will feel a "renewed confidence and pride" in 2018, Theresa May has said in her new year message.

The prime minister used her message to promote a "stronger and fairer" Britain saying that while Brexit was "crucial" it was "not the limit of our ambitions".

Mrs May highlighted her government's approach to schools, the police and the NHS as signs she was focused on issues affecting people's daily lives.

The prime minister described 2017 as a "year of progress for the United Kingdom" despite it being a difficult 12 months for her personally after her decision to call a snap election backfired, three scandal-hit Cabinet ministers were forced to resign and continued Tory in-fighting.

But despite ongoing divisions in her own party over Europe, Mrs May insisted the divisions over the EU referendum were in the past as "most people just want the government to get on and deliver a good Brexit."

Prime Minister Theresa May said there had been challenges in 2017 Credit: PA

In an apparent reference to her own troubles, Mrs May said: "Of course any year brings its challenges - that is true for each of us personally, as much as for our country and the world.

"But 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."

The prime minister predicted 2018 will be 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."

She said: "And whatever challenges we may face, I know we will overcome them by standing united as one proud union of nations and people."

With politicians facing abuse on social media, Mrs May also called for a "public sphere where debate is constructive and courteous, and where we treat each other with decency".

The 100th anniversary of women being granted the vote should be marked with a "vow to eliminate all prejudice and discrimination from our society", she said.

Mrs May also noted that 2018 is the 70th birthday of "our precious NHS", defending the Conservatives' stewardship of the health service insisting the her government would preserve the "world-class service" for future generations.