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News diary for 18-24 June: Protests planned for second anniversary of EU referendum and first expert witnesses at Grenfell inquiry

Foresight News provides a look-ahead to the key events that need to be in your news diary for next week…

The House of Lords takes centre stage again on Monday for the return of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, fresh from a long week of negotiation and recrimination on the other side of the House.

There were narrow victories for the Government on key votes early last week after Theresa May offered assurances to Tory rebels over Parliament’s role in agreeing the final Brexit deal, though by the end of the week both sides were accusing the Prime Minister of backtracking on her promises.

A new Government amendment is expected to be tabled in an attempt to see Dominic Grieve’s re-tabled demand for a “meaningful vote” voted down, but the likelihood of the Grieve amendment being sent back to the Commons on Wednesday by the House of Unelected Wreckers is high.

Elsewhere in a busy start to the week, the Grenfell Tower inquiry is due to hear from the first expert witnesses on issues such as the fire protection measures in the block, senior figures from operators and Network Rail give evidence to MPs about the disruption to services caused by the introduction of new timetables, and Angela Merkel holds her first meeting with new Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

And England kick off their World Cup campaign against Tunisia, who they also faced in the 1998 tournament in France. That match ended 2-0 to England, but was marred by rioting and fan violence outside the stadium in Marseille.

With the long-rumoured NHS funding boost thought to be due for announcement this week, Tuesday is an apt day for former Minister and health policy expert Lord Darzi to address the launch of his major review into the future of the health and social care system.

The review, published last Friday, said that funding for social care should be doubled and provided free like other NHS services, and that spending on the health system should be increased by £60bn by 2030.

The review proposed supporting the extra spending by increasing national insurance payments, which mirrors recent research suggesting that tax rises may be required to keep the NHS operating, and a thorough restructuring of the NHS organisation. Health chief Simon Stevens also speaks at the IPPR-hosted event.

Following her meeting with the Italian PM yesterday, Angela Merkel hosts her French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday at the annual Franco-German government summit.

The pair are due to present their roadmap for reform of the euro zone at this month’s European Council, and Macron is likely to feel emboldened in his demands by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas’s call last week for a “Europe United” to counter the Trump administration’s America First outlook. The speech by Maas has been interpreted as a shot across Merkel’s bows, so any outcome of today’s meeting will be closely watched.

On Wednesday, MPs on the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee hear evidence about what council support was available to survivors of the fire at Grenfell Tower from Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea council leader Elizabeth Campbell, who replaced Nicholas Paget-Brown in the aftermath of the fire, Policing Minister Nick Hurd and Ed Daffarn of Grenfell United.

Staying in Portcullis House, MPs on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee hear from Asda and Sainbury’s chief executives Roger Burnley and Mike Coupe about the proposed merger between the two retailers. Coupe drew headlines in April when he was caught on camera singing “We’re in the money” before an interview, in which he was to discuss the merger.

And in the World Cup, today’s highlights include European champions Portugal against Morocco.

On Thursday, the Grenfell Tower inquiry continues with evidence due on the circumstances surrounding the initial outbreak of the fire for the first time.

Also today, the Duke of Cambridge travels to Leicestershire to read the winning entry of the “A Poem to Remember” competition at the official opening ceremony for the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre, which will provide better care for injured Armed Forces personnel.

In a day of Royal highlights, it’s also Ladies Day at Royal Ascot and the opening of the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh, where Scotland’s agriculture, food production and country pursuits are showcased.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in visits the Kremlin for talks with Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Friday. Moon’s visit comes days after President Putin followed in Donald Trump’s footsteps by meeting with North Korean officials as a precursor for a visit to Russia with Kim Jong Un.

The South Korean leader’s visit is seen as an important step towards further talks on the Korean Peninsula, while Moon’s visit to Russia is the first by a South Korean leader in almost two decades.

Friday also marks the 70th anniversary of the Empire Windrush’s arrival at Tilbury Dock. Carrying 492 passengers from the Caribbean islands, the docking of the ship was the first stage in a wave of post-war immigration to the UK.

Estimates put the total number of UK residents who are part of the Windrush generation at 500,000, and to mark the anniversary of the ship’s arrival, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby leads a commemoration service at Westminster Abbey.

In the World Cup, the pick of the day’s action sees five-time champions Brazil take on Costa Rica.

With the clock ticking down to March 2019, Saturday is the second anniversary of the UK’s referendum on EU membership. To mark the occasion, a number of protest marches organised by groups including Open Britain and Renew will take to the streets of Whitehall calling for a referendum on Britain’s final Brexit deal. The mood on the streets will depend heavily on the results of the votes in Parliament earlier this week.

England are back in action at the World Cup on Sunday as they take on Panama in their penultimate group game.

A win would give Gareth Southgate’s side a huge confidence boost ahead of their crunch showdown with Belgium on June 28, and could even see them confirm their place in the knockout stages depending on other results in the group. The match at the Nizhny Novgorod stadium will also be the first time England and Panama have met at an international competition.

And in what is likely to be one of the most closely watched international elections of 2018, voters head to the polls in Turkey. President Erdogan is looking to secure another term in office, 12 months on from his successful referendum campaign to increase the power of the executive.

Recent polling though suggests the race could be much closer than first anticipated, with suggestions that Erdogan’s AK Party may even lose its majority in Parliament. The incumbent President is facing a strong challenge from Muharrem Ince, Meral Aksener, and Selahattin Demirtas.

The news diary is provided in association with Foresight News.

Picture: Reuters/Simon Dawson

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