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July 7, 2023

News diary 10 – 16 July: Biden in London, NATO summit in Vilnius

A look ahead at the key events leading the news agenda next week, from the team at Foresight News.

By Foresight News

A look ahead at the key events leading the news agenda next week, from the team at Foresight News.

Leading the week 

Joe Biden makes a quick stop in London on Monday (10 July) for his fourth meeting with Rishi Sunak in as many months. While Ukraine and NATO are the obvious focus for the talks ahead of the bloc’s summit on Tuesday (more on that below), it’s also become a bit of a touchy subject since they last met.

When the pair sat down in Washington in June, the British press seized on Biden’s (in hindsight fairly lukewarm) praise of Defence Secretary Ben Wallace as a signal that the US president could be ready to back Wallace’s candidacy to become the next NATO Secretary General. A month on, rumours abound that Biden was in fact responsible for blocking Wallace’s bid and wants to see European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen land the job when Jens Stoltenberg’s extended term ends next year – expect awkward questions on the row if a joint press conference is on the agenda. 

Biden’s also due to meet with King Charles for the first time since the monarch’s coronation, though it won’t be the grand State Visit that was touted in April after it emerged that Biden was skipping the ceremony. Still, the White House will be hoping some friendly photos from the meeting will help thaw the relationship and quell accusations that that the US president is “anti-British”. The pair are expected to discuss climate change, and any emphatic calls for action from the famously environmentally conscious king will be contrasted with recent criticisms of Sunak’s commitment to climate efforts. 

The annual Mansion House dinner on Monday (10 July) will be the prelude to a week of useful indicators of the health of the UK economy from a macro perspective after another glut of bad news over the past few days.

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Fresh from accusing retailers of overcharging consumers during the cost of living crisis, Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey may use his speech to the City showpiece to address the latest forecasts of ever-increasing interest rates; Jeremy Hunt, meanwhile, may speak to the government’s longer term plans to stimulate growth (unless he has more to say about Nigel Farage’s bank account).

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The rest of the week brings the latest snapshot of employment and wages from the ONS on Tuesday (11 July), the Bank of England’s biannual report on the stability of the UK’s financial sector on Wednesday (12 July), a monthly GDP estimate and the OBR’s fiscal risks and sustainability report on Thursday (13 July) and another ONS release on the impact of the rising cost of living to round the week off on Friday (14 July)

The Lucy Letby murder trial could be coming to a close, with the jury due to begin deliberations on Monday (10 July). The trial, which began in October, sees Letby, a former nurse at the Countess of Chester Hospital, charged with eight counts of murder and 10 counts of attempted murder relating to her work at the neonatal unit.

Letby has denied murdering eight babies, telling Manchester Crown Court that she is being made a scapegoat for the hospital. Summing up in court this week, Justice James Goss urged jurors to approach deliberations in a “fair, calm, objective and analytical way”. Due to its longevity and the seriousness of the charges, the trial has become one of the most high-profile in the history of British justice, dominating the front pages and even spawning a podcast. 

Looking abroad 

Sunak and Biden will both travel to Vilnius on Tuesday (11 July) for the NATO Summit, where the conflict in Ukraine is top of the agenda. As well as discussing how to support the war effort, leaders are due to address the question of Ukraine’s bid to join the alliance once the conflict ends, amid renewed pressure from Kyiv for concrete commitments to be included in the outcomes from the summit.

On Wednesday (12 July), NATO leaders are joined by a group of non-members, including Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and New Zealand’s Prime Minister Chris Hipkins. The decision to invite this particular set of leaders comes after China was officially labelled a security challenge to NATO at last year’s summit, and follows a recent warning from China’s new defence minister Li Shangfu that creating NATO-like alliances in the region would “plunge the Asia-Pacific into a whirlpool of disputes and conflicts”. 

Among the dozens of bilaterals that are likely on the sidelines of the summit, a rumoured meeting between Sunak and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday (11 July) will be closely watched for news of an agreement for the UK to rejoin the Horizon Europe research programme. If Sunak does manage to get the Horizon deal signed off, the government will be able to bookend the week with announcements on post-Brexit achievements, as the UK is expected to sign the agreement on accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership when CPTPP ministers meet in Auckland on Sunday (16 July)

Also look out for: 

July 10 

  • Commons debates Privileges Committee interference report 
  • Illegal Migration Bill back in the Lords after record defeats 
  • Deadline for Cabinet Office to hand over unredacted materials to Covid-19 inquiry 
  • Sentencing of Eton college master who murdered his mother 
  • National Grid publishes future energy scenarios 
  • NASUWT strike ballot closes for teachers in England 
  • UNHCR debates human rights in the Palestinian territories 

July 11 

  • Arlene Foster appears at Covid-19 inquiry 
  • NATO leaders at NATO Public Forum 
  • Essex lorry gang ringleader sentenced over death of 39 people 
  • SATs results published 
  • Pre-inquest hearing for headteacher Ruth Perry 
  • ECHR judgment in Caster Semenya case 
  • Amazon workers in Coventry hold Prime Day strike 

July 12 

  • Simon Case at PACAC session on Sue Gray and Lords appointments 
  • Ofwat and execs at committee session on Thames Water 
  • High Court hears Scampton migrant camp legal challenge 
  • Liz Truss-backed Growth Commission expected to launch 
  • Junior doctors in Scotland go on strike  
  • Deputy PMQs in the Commons 
  • Battle of the Boyne bank holiday in Northern Ireland 
  • London premiere for the Barbie movie 

July 13 

  • Junior doctors in England begin five-day strike 
  • Michael Gove appears at Covid-19 inquiry 
  • IFS annual report on poverty and living standards 
  • Joe Biden visits Finland for talks with Nordic leaders 

July 14 

  • Diet Coke sweetener aspartame expected to be declared possibly carcinogenic by WHO 
  • NAO report on plans for regulatory oversight of tech firms 
  • Pretrial hearing in Donald Trump’s classified documents case 
  • Woman sentenced for modern slavery and wilful neglect of her husband 
  • Narendra Modi joins Emmanuel Macron at Bastille Day celebrations 
  • Royal International Air Tattoo 

July 15 

  • Wimbledon ladies’ singles final 
  • Deadline for water companies’ annual reports and accounts 
  • Vitality Blast finals day 
  • Queen Mother Trophy final 
  • Budapest Pride 

July 16 

  • Wimbledon men’s singles final 
  • Second women’s Ashes ODI 
  • CONCACAF Gold Cup final 
  • Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 

Statistics, reports and results 

July 10 

  • RHS/Markit Report on Jobs 
  • China consumer price index 

July 11 

  • OECD Employment Outlook 2023 
  • HMICFRS report on police deployment of firearms 
  • Universal Credit statistics 
  • BRC Retail Sales Monitor 
  • National Survey for Wales 
  • EU population estimates (2022) 

July 12 

  • US consumer price index 
  • FAO annual report on food security and nutrition 
  • IEA reports on clean energy progress and critical minerals market 
  • Results from: TATA Consultancy, Tullow Oil 

July 13 

  • UK trade and production statistics 
  • NHS monthly performance data 
  • GP Patient Survey  
  • Annual MOJ statistics on diversity in the judiciary 
  • DfE figures on widening participation in higher education 
  • Annual Home Office statistics on police use of firearms (2022/23) 
  • DWP statistics on the two-child limit for Universal Credit recipients 
  • IEA and OPEC Monthly Oil Markets reports 
  • Results from: Delta Airlines, PepsiCo, Barratt Developments, Experian Group 

July 14 

  • ONS statistics on ecosystem services for urban areas in the UK 
  • EU foreign trade statistics 
  • Results from: JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Ericsson 

Anniversaries and awareness days 

July 10 

  • International Town Criers Day 

July 11 

  • World Fringe Day 
  • Cow Appreciation Day 

July 13 

  • Eight years ago: Sandra Bland died (US) 

July 14 

  • International Non-binary People’s Day 
  • National Day of Memory for Victims of Honour Killings 
  • Shark Awareness Day 
  • Black Country Day 
  • Emmeline Pankhurst Day  
  • Matariki (New Zealand) 
  • Eight years ago: JCPOA agreement reached on Iran’s nuclear activities 

July 15 

  • World Youth Skills Day 

July 16 

The news diary is provided in association with Foresight News.

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