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Brexit, a royal baby and the Spice Girls: What will make the headlines in 2019?

Here are just a handful of events that are expected to take place in 2019.

Prime Minister Theresa May, who will be leading the UK out of the EU in 2019, speaking at Lancaster House, London in December (Adrian Dennis/PA Images).
Prime Minister Theresa May, who will be leading the UK out of the EU in 2019, speaking at Lancaster House, London in December (Adrian Dennis/PA Images).

The year 2019 is set to go down in history as the one when the UK left the European Union after a period of intense debate and wrangling over how Brexit should – and should not – happen.

And while Brexit has dominated the news agenda in recent times, and will continue to do so throughout the coming months, next year will see more than just seismic political change.

Here is a list of what to expect in 2019.

– Brexit

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Prime Minister Theresa May faces a tough start to the year (Victoria Jones/PA)

It is crunch year for Brexit in 2019. If all goes to plan for Theresa May, she will secure a Commons majority in January for her Withdrawal Agreement, allowing a smooth departure from the EU on March 29 to trigger the – admittedly arduous and lengthy – process of negotiating a trade deal.

Far more likely is that she loses the so-called “meaningful vote”, plunging the future of Brexit, and the country, into deep uncertainty.

As things stand, unless the Government or EU move, the UK would be on track to crash out without a deal in March, with unpredictable but potentially hugely disruptive consequences for trade, employment, movements at ports and airports, and the value of the pound.

But MPs in the Commons can be expected to step in to try to halt a scenario which many of them view as apocalyptic, by forcing a delay to Brexit, a second referendum or a change of Government. Whoever prevails, it can safely be predicted that 2019 will go down as one of the most momentous years of modern British history.

– New baby and new home for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex

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The newly married Duke and Duchess of Sussex will move home early in 2019 (Steve Parsons/PA)

Harry and Meghan will be moving out of Kensington Palace and into their own cottage in preparation for the birth of their first child.

Kensington Palace confirmed the couple will move to Frogmore Cottage in the grounds of Windsor Castle in early 2019. The cottage is near Frogmore House, which was where Harry and Meghan held the evening reception after their wedding last May.

The royal baby is due in spring 2019.

– British troops leave Germany

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XXXX (Ben Birchall/PA)

Under the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review, all British troops in Germany were earmarked for recall to the UK, with the final units set to leave the country in 2019 and the bases there closed.

The final moves take place in 2019 with remaining Field Army units – including elements of 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade – returning from Paderborn, Sennelager, Bielefeld and Gutersloh to the UK.

Headquarters British Forces Germany will also close, while a small number of detachments will remain following the drawdown to maintain and improve ties with Germany and its armed forces, according to the Army website.

– Elizabeth Line expected to open

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Engineers walk alongside completed tracks as the Crossrail project celebrates the completion of the permanent Elizabeth line track in Whitechapel, east London (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

It was announced in August 2018 that the capital’s new east-west railway will open in autumn 2019 rather than December 2018 to complete infrastructure and testing.

The project’s budget was increased from £14.8 billion to £15.4 billion in July due to “cost pressures”. It is being predominantly funded by Transport for London (TfL) and the Government.

– Grenfell Inquiry

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An interim report into the Grenfell Tower fire is expected in 2019 (Natalie Oxford/PA)

Grenfell Tower survivors, the bereaved and the wider community will have to wait for almost a year before the public inquiry resumes.

The second phase, which will consider the wider issues around the fire, including the refurbishment of the high-rise block, is not expected to start before the end of 2019, chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick said.

In the meantime, he is hoping to release an interim report as soon as possible following months of evidence focused on the night of the fire on June 14 2017.

– RHI inquiry

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The chairman of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) inquiry Sir Patrick Coghlin is expected to publish the results of his public inquiry (Colm Lenaghan/PA)

In Northern Ireland, Sir Patrick Coghlin is expected to publish the results of his public inquiry into the Renewable Heat Incentive.

The botched green energy scheme threatened to land taxpayers with a massive bill and prompted the collapse of Stormont powersharing.

– Northern Ireland local elections

Local government elections in Northern Ireland will be the first major electoral test of the DUP following its decision to support Brexit.

Sinn Fein will be hoping to maintain or strengthen its stranglehold over nationalist politics.

– Politics in Ireland

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar discussing the outcome of the EU Council summit meeting in Brussels, November 2018. (Michelle Devane/PA Images).

 

The Republic of Ireland will go to the polls for the first elections to the European Parliament since Brexit.

The Government has also promised to hold referenda on reducing the voting age to 16, extending the vote to Irish citizens who live abroad and further liberalising Ireland’s divorce laws.

– Return of Glastonbury

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Festivalgoers watch Ed Sheeran performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival, 2017. (Ben Birchall/PA Images).

There was no festival in summer 2018, with Glastonbury, at Worthy Farm, Somerset, having a “fallow year”, allowing the ground to recover.

Event organiser Emily Eavis said she was blown away by the huge demand after tickets for 2019 sold out in just over half an hour. Sir Paul McCartney is rumoured be on the bill in June.

– Spice Girls tour

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Spice Girls (left to right) Melanie Brown, Melanie Chisholm, Emma Bunton and Geri Horner will reunite for a UK wide tour in 2018. (Matt Crossick/PA Images).

The group are embarking on a tour which will kick off at Cardiff Principality Stadium on May 27.

Further stops include Manchester, Coventry, Sunderland, Edinburgh, Bristol, Dublin and Wembley Stadium in London.

The Wannabe singers sparked a frenzy among fans when they announced they were going back on the road in 2019, although Victoria Beckham will not be joining Melanie Chisholm, Melanie Brown (Mel B), Geri Horner and Emma Bunton.

– Final season of Game Of Thrones

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Game of Throne stars Kit Harington and Rose Leslie at Rayne Church, Kirkton of Rayne in Aberdeenshire, after their wedding, June 2018. (Jane Barlow/PA Images).

Fans of fantasy drama Game Of Thrones will tune in to the final season of the show in April 2019.

The adaptation of George RR Martin’s novels first aired in 2011 and captured the imagination of millions, becoming a TV sensation.

The series has made stars of its cast members including Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Maisie Williams and Lena Headey, who will all reprise their roles for a six-episode final outing, which will see the main players face their struggles one last time.

– Cricket World Cup, Rugby World Cup, and Women’s World Cup

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England’s Joe Cokanasiga (centre left) celebrates scoring his side’s third try against Japan during the Quilter International match at Twickenham Stadium, London, November 2018. (Andrew Matthews/PA Images).

The 2019 Cricket World Cup will take place in England in 2019, with matches in May, June and July, culminating in a final at Lord’s.

The Rugby World Cup will kick off in Japan in September, and the Fifa Women’s World Cup will take place in France in June and July.

PA

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