British Prime Minister heads to Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales as ‘re-set’ with UK’s 4 nations


LONDON — British Prime Minister Keir Starmer is heading off Sunday to the four corners of the U.K. as part of an “immediate reset” with governments in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

British Prime Minister heads to Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales as 're-set' with UK's 4 nations
British Prime Minister heads to Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales as ‘re-set’ with UK’s 4 nations

Starmer, who said he has a “mandate to do politics differently” after his party’s landslide victory, will meet Scottish First Minister John Swinney in Edinburgh in an effort to “turn disagreement into cooperation.”

“That begins today with an immediate reset of my government’s approach to working with the first and deputy first ministers,” he said. “Meaningful co-operation centered on respect will be key to delivering change across our United Kingdom.”

While each of the devolved nations in the U.K. elects members to the House of Commons in London, they also have their own regional parliaments.

Starmer’s Labour Party trounced Swinney’s Scottish National Party for seats in Parliament. But the SNP, which has pushed for Scottish independence, still holds a majority at Holyrood, the Scottish parliament.

The trip to build better working relations across the U.K. is part of Starmer’s broader mission to work toward serving people as he tackles of mountain of problems.

The Labour government inherited a wobbly economy that left Britons struggling to pay bills after global economic woes and fiscal missteps. It also faces a public that is disenchanted after 14 years of chaotic Conservative rule and fiscal austerity that hollowed out public services, including the revered National Health Service, which Starmer declared broken.

Starmer said he wants to transfer power from the bureaucratic halls of government in London to leaders who know what’s best for their communities.

After his brief tour, he’ll return to England, where he plans to meet with regional mayors, saying in his first news conference Saturday that he would engage with politicians regardless of their party.

“There’s no monopoly on good ideas,” he said “I’m not a tribal political.”

On Tuesday, Starmer will jet off to Washington for a NATO meeting.

Meanwhile, his top diplomat, Foreign Secretary David Lammy, was due in Poland and Sweden Sunday after visiting Germany on Saturday for his first trip abroad to strengthen ties with European partners.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on the social media platform X that the U.K. was an indispensable part of Europe and they were working with the British government to see how it could move closer to the European Union.

Lammy reiterated Starmer’s pledge not to rejoin the EU single market after British voters in 2016 voted to break from the political and economic union.

“Let us put the Brexit years behind us,” Lammy told The Observer. “We are not going to rejoin the single market and the customs union but there is much that we can do together.”

Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds said Sunday on Sky News that the U.K. should look for ways to improve trade with the EU and that removing some trade barriers was sensible. But he said the Labour government was not open to the free movement of people that was required as a member of the union.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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