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A new era for the UK?

A new era for the UK?

From the land of Sagarmatha, the highest peak in the world, I congratulate Keir Starmer on being elected the prime minister of the United Kingdom.

The 2024 UK general election was held on Thursday, July 4, to elect 650 members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons, the lower house of the UK Parliament. The governing Conservative Party under Rishi Sunak was defeated in a landslide by the opposition Labor Party under Starmer.

The arrival of the new Prime Minister has ushered in a wave of changes. With a message to the world—‘We’re back’—Starmer envisions Britain taking a more prominent role on the global stage, following years of strained relations with Europe over Brexit and internal political turmoil.

In the hours following his inauguration, Starmer engaged in a series of calls with world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, European Union leader Ursula von der Leyen, and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Starmer assumes office amid multiple crises, including conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East.

He recently traveled to Washington, DC for NATO’s 75th-anniversary summit, affirming that Britain’s steadfast support for Ukraine will continue. He has also pledged to increase UK military spending to 2.5 percent of GDP.

On July 18, Starmer will host European leaders at England’s Blenheim Palace for a meeting of the 47-nation European Political Community. This gathering presents an opportunity to begin repairing ties with the UK's European neighbors, which have deteriorated since the UK left the European Union in 2020.

Starmer aims to reduce some of the post-Brexit barriers affecting the movement of people and goods between Britain and the EU. However, he insists that he will not reverse Brexit or seek to rejoin the EU’s single market and customs union.

Starmer’s demeanor, gestures and body language all signal that the UK is ready to reassert itself. He will need to navigate the rising influence of France and Germany within NATO by backing up US decisions, as well as the dominance of the US in the West.

In developed countries, foreign policy and international relations typically remain stable despite changes in government. However, with the arrival of a new government following a significant election result in the UK, the Labor leader has the potential to positively impact the UK’s international relations, foreign policy, economy and peace efforts. His leadership appears intelligent and bold, promising to steer the country effectively on multiple fronts.

Let’s hope the new government addresses all the gaps left by the previous administration. In his first speech as British PM, Keir Starmer promised to ‘rebuild’ a country that voted en masse for a change in direction amid widespread public anger over deteriorating public services and a faltering economy. The new government faces significant challenges, including boosting economic growth, reforming the social care system and securing new funding for local authorities.

In just a few days on the job, six key issues have emerged as immediate priorities for Prime Minister Starmer: immigration, NHS strikes, the prisons crisis, planning reforms, relations with nations and regions, and EU relations. These priorities demonstrate that he is focused on addressing both national, regional and global issues.

A nation’s power is not solely determined by its wealth, military strength, population, or territory; the leadership and diplomatic skills of its leader are also crucial. Effective leadership can harness these resources to navigate challenges, inspire progress and foster a cohesive and resilient society. Given a landslide victory, Starmer is well-positioned to lead effectively. With a strong mandate from the electorate, he has the political capital to implement his vision and address the pressing issues facing the country. This overwhelming support can enable him to drive substantial changes and navigate the complexities of governance with greater confidence and authority.

The author is a member of the Supreme Court Bar and has been practicing corporate law for around three decades