Foresight News provides a look-ahead to the key events that need to be in your news diary for next week…
Last week saw Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement defeated for a third time after MPs wrested control of the Parliamentary order paper away from Government for the first time in over a century.
- February 14, 2020
- February 10, 2020
- January 31, 2020
No consensus was reached in a series of indicative votes on different Brexit scenarios, so another attempt to whittle down the options is expected to take place in the House of Commons on Monday.
Of the eight options tabled on 27 March, those with the best chance of being considered again would appear to be Ken Clarke’s cross-party proposal for a new customs union and the Kyle-Wilson amendment calling for a second public vote.
The Prime Minister said after her 29 March defeat that politicians may be “reaching the limits of the process in this House” prompting some to speculate that she was hinting at an impending general election if MPs cannot come to an agreement.
Meanwhile, a debate on a public petition calling for the revocation of Article 50 takes place in Westminster Hall after it attracted close to 6m signatures in just over a week.
The Government response to the petition stated it was “firm policy” not to revoke Article 50, and MPs were similarly dismissive in voting by 293 to 184 against an SNP revocation amendment in last week’s votes.
In the wake of the killings last month of teenagers Jodie Chesney and Yousef Ghaleb Makki, Theresa May pledged to hold an emergency summit on how to tackle a surge in violent crimes which Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has since described as the worst in her 35-year career.
The Serious Violence Summit today brings together ministers, community leaders and experts for what the Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said would be discussions on how society can tackle knife violence. Labour’s Shadow Policing Minister Louise Haigh, repeatedly critical of May’s handling of the issue, welcomed the summit but said it was time for action and not words from the Government.
On Tuesday, Michel Barnier delivers a speech at the European Policy Centre in Brussels on the current state of play for Brexit.
During a lively appearance at the European Parliament last week in which he clashed with former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, the EU’s chief negotiator stated that the Good Friday Agreement would apply in all Brexit scenarios, before suggesting that the UK could still remain in the EU. In Barnier’s words, until 11 April everything is possible.
The New Zealand Parliament resumes for its first session since changes to the country’s gun laws were announced by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in the wake of the 15 March terror attacks on two mosques in Christchurch.
Lawmakers now face the task of agreeing legislation to enact a ban on military-style semiautomatic and assault rifles, which is unlikely to be universally popular in a country where civilians own an estimated 1.2m firearms.
Fresh from a two-year extension to his mandate as head of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg travels to Washington this week for a series of events to mark the organisation’s 70th anniversary.
First up is a meeting with Donald Trump which White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said would highlight NATO’s role “as a bulwark of international peace and security”, in contrast with the President’s previous criticisms and rumoured desire to withdraw from the alliance.
Following his meeting with the President, Stoltenberg addresses a joint session of Congress on Wednesday in what represents an opportunity to make the case for NATO directly to US lawmakers after more than 20 Republican representatives opposed a January resolution in support of the alliance.
In her invitation to Stoltenberg, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi referred to a “critical time” for the United States, NATO and the European Union but said Americans would look forward to a “message of friendship and partnership”.
NATO is also in Washington for a two-day meeting hosted by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The agenda is not typically revealed ahead of the event, but the group’s last meeting in December focused on the US-Russia nuclear treaty, tensions in the Sea of Azov and the situation in Afghanistan.
Elsewhere in the US capital, top officials host China’s Vice Premier Liu He and a Chinese delegation for a round of trade talks following Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer’s visit to Beijing last week.
The talks come amid an ongoing trade war between the two economic powerhouses, and after Donald Trump dashed hopes of an impending trade deal by stating that he would put tariffs on hold for a “substantial period of time” rather than remove them altogether.
In the UK, the Office for National Statistics publishes its analysis of data from the Children’s Society, looking at the factors behind loneliness in children aged 10 to 15.
The release considers the effect of poverty as well as the child’s perspective on loneliness, and follows a similar publication from the ONS in December which found that 11.3 per cent of children were “often” lonely, and that the problem was more acute among children from poorer backgrounds.
On Thursday, The Prince of Wales is joined by the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex as they attend the premiere of Our Planet, a new docuseries from the creator of Planet Earth narrated by Sir David Attenborough. The eight-part series airs on streaming service Netflix from 5 April and focuses more explicitly on conservation efforts at sites of natural beauty around the world.
Several court hearings involving household names are scheduled in the US today: oral arguments are heard in the Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit against Tesla owner Elon Musk concerning the billionaire’s statements on Twitter, while actor Kevin Spacey is formally charged with felony indecent assault and battery.
Meanwhile, the deadline looms for White House Counsel Pat Cipollone to turn over information regarding the use of private email and messaging accounts by White House officials, most notably including Jared Kushner’s reported use of WhatsApp to communicate with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Ivanka Trump’s reported continued use of a personal email account.
Australian national Brenton Tarrant is scheduled to appear at a court in Christchurch on Friday to answer charges stemming from the 15 March attack on two mosques in the city, which killed 50 people. Tarrant has so far only been charged with one count of murder, but further charges are expected.
Delegates gather in Cardiff for the Welsh Lib Dem spring conference on Saturday. A notable omission from the conference agenda is the outgoing Westminster party leader Vince Cable, who used an interview at the tail end of last year to say that the Welsh wing of the party is in a “difficult position”. Former Energy Secretary Ed Davey, a potential candidate in the race to succeed Cable as leader, is among speakers.
Aintree Racecourse plays host to one of the highlights of the British sporting calendar, the 2019 Grand National. Last year’s winner Tiger Roll starts as the bookies’ favourite and could become the first horse since Red Rum to win back-to-back Grand National titles.
The action continues at Wembley with the first FA Cup semi-final between Manchester City and Brighton, before Watford face Wolves in the second tie on Sunday.
The Jewish Labour Movement holds its AGM in London on Sunday, when members are expected to consider a motion of no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. The movement voted overwhelmingly to continue its affiliation with the party back in March in the wake of a stream of allegations of anti-Semitism under Corbyn and the decision by Parliamentary chair Luciana Berger to resign the Labour whip to join the new Independent Group.
Rowers from Oxford and Cambridge meet on the Thames for the annual boat race. Defending champions Cambridge, with two victories in the last three years, are boosted this year by the presence of two-time Olympic Champion James Cracknell, who becomes the oldest competitor in the history of the race at the age of 46.
History is also made across the pond as World Wrestling Entertainment stages its annual Wrestlemania extravaganza at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium. The show ends with an all-female main event for the first time, as former UFC star Ronda Rousey defends her title against Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair.
The news diary is provided in association with Foresight News.
Picture: Reuters TV via Reuters