Prime Minister Boris Johnson has paid tribute to armed forces personnel for their work tackling Covid-19 during 2020.
In a video call with troops overseas in Mali, Estonia, Somalia and Afghanistan, as well as those deployed in the UK, Mr Johnson thanked them all for being “our number one export”.
In the call, Mr Johnson said: “I want to salute all of you, our fantastic armed services, all our men and women in uniform, for everything that you do.
“You represent in my view the very best of our country, our number one export, the thing people really want to see around the world.
“You do good, you keep the peace, you promote our values around the world and you fly the flag for our country in the way that few other institutions can manage.
“That’s why this Government has just announced the biggest uplift in spending on the armed services since the end of the Cold War – because we believe passionately in you and in what you are doing.
“It’s not just abroad that this has been an amazing year for the armed services. So many of you have been responsible for doing extraordinary things here at home, thousands of you helping to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
“Building the Nightingales, delivering PPE, testing people, and now leading the way and helping the country to get vaccinated.
“Thank you for your sacrifice and your effort. You’re bringing hope and encouragement to the entire country. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.”