Foresight News provides a look-ahead to the key events that need to be in your news diary for next week…
On Monday, MPs on the Treasury committee grill Philip Hammond on last week’s Budget. The Chancellor’s final fiscal statement before Brexit was well received by his own party and those in the Government-backing DUP, though his announcement of tax reductions for middle earners sparked an unexpected row between John McDonnell and others on the Labour frontbenches.
The most difficult questions for the Chancellor will likely focus on the OBR’s warnings of ‘severe short-term implications’ for the economy in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Donald Trump holds a series of rallies in three states on the final day of campaigning before mid-term elections in the United States. The President escalated his attacks on Democratic opponents and perceived enemies in the media in the run-up to the elections and managed to resuming rowing with Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan over the issue of birthright citizenship. He can be expected to continue ramping up the rhetoric as he addresses supporters in Ohio, Indiana and Missouri today.
Voting takes place in the US mid-terms on Tuesday with all 435 House seats and 35 Senate seats up for grabs and gubernatorial elections in 36 states. Democrats are hopeful of securing enough seats to flip the House, though the party is unlikely to repeat the feat in the Senate despite media coverage enjoyed during the campaign by high-profile candidates such as Texas hopeful Beto O’Rourke.
Though the mid-terms could be seen as a referendum on the Trump administration, it could be the 36 new Governors who go on to have the most lasting impact because they will hold veto power over future redistricting plans drawn up by states after the national census in 2020.
And the countdown to Christmas begins in London as the festive lights are switched on at Oxford Street. This year’s event features a series of in-store gigs at the street’s JD Sports, Nike and Uniqlo outlets.
Parliament begins its Autumn recess on Wednesday which means Ministers should have enough time on their hands to finalise the Brexit deal before Dominic Raab’s November 21 deadline.
Elsewhere, strikes are planned on the Tube’s Central, Piccadilly and Waterloo & City lines in separate disputes involving the Aslef and RMT unions. It’s the second strike in as many months by drivers on the Central line, who have accused Tube management of creating a ‘climate of fear’. Action on the Piccadilly Line continues until mid-afternoon on Thursday.
Sadiq Khan is the keynote speaker at the London Conference, an annual event focusing on policy and governance for the capital. The conference marks 18 years since the London Mayoralty was created and the Mayor’s address is billed as an overview of the role as it comes of age.
Khan has already been confirmed as Labour’s candidate for the next Mayoral election in 2020 and will face a challenge from Conservative candidate Shaun Bailey, a member of the London Assembly who has criticised the Mayor’s response to the surge in violent crime over the last year.
On Thursday, the European Commission releases its Autumn economic forecasts for the euro area and EU member states. The reports are published three times a year and provide a two-year forecast of growth in the bloc and individual European nations.
In its Summer release the Commission predicted growth of 2.1 per cent this year and 2 pre cent in 2019, which are healthy numbers but represent a significant drop on the 2.4 per cent increase recorded last year. The latest forecast will consider the Italian government’s recent budget dispute and Greece’s exit from its austerity programme.
The US Federal Reserve announces its interest rate decision for the first time since Donald Trump escalated his criticism of Fed chair Jerome Powell in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. The President called Powell a threat to US economic growth and said he appeared to ‘enjoy raising interest rates’. Powell will likely face questions on Trump’s comments and his future in the role at the post-announcement press conference.
A weekend of events to commemorate the World War One centenary begins with Theresa May travelling to France on Friday to take part in memorial events with Emmanuel Macron. As part of their agenda the pair meet in the town of Albert – a key battleground throughout the conflict which was destroyed by November 1918. Macron and May then visit the memorial at Thiepval to lay a wreath in commemoration of the men from the British and Commonwealth forces who fell on the Somme and have no known graves.
Another important litmus test for the Chancellor comes with the publication of the final UK GDP figures for 2018. The release covers July to September, and signs of continued economic growth are sure to be welcomed by the Treasury following the OBR’s other warning that Hammond is no longer on course to balance the budget.
Leicester City host Burnley at the King Power Stadium on Saturday in their first home game since the October 27 helicopter crash which claimed the lives of five people. Owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was among the dead, along with pilots Eric Swaffer and Izabela Roza Lechowicz, and staff members Nursara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare. A remembrance walk from the city centre to the stadium takes place ahead of the game.
In the highlight of their Autumn Series campaign, an under-pressure England take on World Champions New Zealand at Twickenham. Eddie Jones’ side haven’t faced the All Blacks in four years, and their last victory against the Kiwis was in December 2012. Elsewhere, Wales host Australia at the Principality Stadium, and Scotland welcome Fiji to Murrayfield.
Sunday is Armistice Day and events take place around Europe to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. Senior royals and political figures attend the traditional Cenotaph service in London, where German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier lays a wreath before a special service Westminster Abbey.
The largest of the memorial events takes place in France, where Emmanuel Macron marks the centenary by hosting Angela Merkel, Donald Trump, and Vladimir Putin. The leaders attend a special ceremony in the French capital before moving on to speak at the Paris Peace Forum. The Russian and American Presidents are separately also expected to hold a private meeting.
The news diary is provided in association with Foresight News.
Picture: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster