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What will make the headlines in 2020?

Brexit, another election and Hollywood blockbusters are all on the agenda for next year.

2020 looks set to be the year Britain leaves the EU (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
2020 looks set to be the year Britain leaves the EU (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

By PA Reporter

After a tumultuous year in the world of politics, Brexit will remain firmly at the top of the agenda in 2020 as Boris Johnson seeks to finalise Britain’s departure from the European Union.

While 2020 is undoubtedly a crunch year for the Prime Minister, next year will see more than just further political change.

Here is what to expect in 2020.

– Brexit

Following Mr Johnson’s crushing election victory, the Government intends to end Britain’s EU membership on January 31, with an implementation to run to the end of 2020 while it negotiates a free trade agreement with Brussels.

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MPs voted on The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill just before the Christmas break (House of Commons/PA)

The PM brought his Brexit Bill back to the Commons just before the Christmas break, with the vote passing without a hitch for the Government thanks to the Conservatives’ 80-seat majority.

The Bill is expected to be given Royal Assent in the new year, paving the way for the UK to leave the EU by the January 31 deadline.

Mr Johnson inserted a clause in the Bill that would legally prohibit his Government from extending the transition period beyond 2020.

– Another royal wedding – and what next for Andrew?

After a year dubbed the Queen’s second annus horribilis, the royal family will be looking to put 2019 firmly behind them as they prepare for a royal wedding and milestone birthdays in 2020.

Princess Beatrice is getting ready to marry while the Duke of York turns 60, the Princess Royal 70 and the Duke of Edinburgh 99.

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What will 2020 hold for the Duke of York? (Andrew Matthews/PA)

But all eyes will continue to be on Andrew, the Queen’s second son, after he quit royal duties in November over the scandal surrounding his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Andrew has been called on by lawyers for Epstein’s alleged victims to give a statement to the American authorities while it remains to be seen whether he will take part in the Trooping the Colour celebrations for the Queen’s official birthday in June.

– Grenfell inquiry

The second phase of the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire is due to begin in 2020.

The inquiry is investigating a list of issues and was split into two phases – the first of which focused on the factual narrative of events on the night of June 14 2017.

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The second phase of the Grenfell Tower inquiry is due to begin (Steve Parsons/PA)

A first report published in October found the London Fire Brigade (LFB)’s preparation for a tower block fire such as Grenfell was “gravely inadequate” and its lack of evacuation plan a “major omission”. Inquiry chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick identified 46 changes that needed to be made to ensure the safety of high-rise residents.

Phase two of the inquiry will focus on the remainder of the list of issues, including the construction and design of the tower block, and hearings are expected to begin in the early part of 2020, following which the final report will be published.

Meanwhile, the LFB will see a new commissioner take the helm in January, as Andy Roe replaces Dany Cotton.

Mr Roe has said his main priorities as commissioner for the new year include making improvements to the culture and leadership within the brigade, and delivering the Grenfell Inquiry report recommendations in full.

– General election for Ireland

Ireland is expected to hold a general election in 2020.

Fine Gael leader and Irish premier Leo Varadkar currently heads a minority government, propped up by a confidence-and-supply parliamentary voting deal with Fianna Fail which will end at the election.

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Ireland is set to see a general election, possibly in the spring (Brian Lawless/PA)

Mr Varadkar has said he wants the election in May 2020 to allow for an orderly discharge of the Government’s duties after Brexit while Fianna Fail has suggested it should be after Easter.

– Coronation Street turns 60

One of Britain’s most popular soap operas will be celebrating a milestone in 2020 as Coronation Street turns 60.

The programme, created by Granada Television, first aired on ITV on December 9 1960 and is now broadcast six days a week.

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It’s a milestone year on the cobbles (ITV/PA)

While plans for the forthcoming anniversary are yet to be revealed, some cast members have suggested there should be another live episode, similar to one in 2015 which marked ITV’s 60th birthday.

– The return of Elle Woods and another Disney remake

2020 looks set to be another stellar year for Hollywood blockbusters, with a third Legally Blonde film set to hit cinema screens.

Reese Witherspoon is due to reprise her role as talented law student Elle Woods, 19 years after the original movie was released in 2001.

Both Legally Blonde and Legally Blonde 2: Red, White And Blonde were box-office successes, with the first raking in 141 million US dollars (£108 million) while the second grossed 124 million dollars (£95 million).

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Reese Witherspoon’s Elle Woods is to return in Legally Blonde 3 (Ian West/PA)

Meanwhile, Disney is gearing up to release another live action remake of one of its classic films, with Mulan set to arrive in March.

It follows successful adaptations of classics including Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King.

– Tokyo Olympics and Euro 2020

The Tokyo Olympics are set to be the highlight of the sporting calendar in 2020, with Great Britain’s medal hopes resting with an array of rising stars.

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Dina Asher-Smith will be among the medal hopes at the Tokyo Olympics (Mike Egerton/PA)

Dina Asher-Smith and her fellow new world champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson will lead Britain’s otherwise weak track and field challenge, while Adam Peaty will bid to burst yet more world record marks in the pool, taekwondo star Jade Jones goes for a third successive gold, and skateboarder Sky Brown is expected to become Britain’s youngest summer Olympian at the age of 12.

Meanwhile, England will be looking to secure their first major football trophy in over half a century as the Euro 2020 campaign culminates at Wembley on July 12.

PA

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