A look ahead at the key events leading the news agenda next week, from the team at Foresight News. Delivered to your inbox on Fridays.
Leading the week
Having spent this week making overtures to motorists and anti-ULEZ advocates in the wake of the narrow Tory by-election victory in Uxbridge, the government is expected to turn its attention towards immigration next week with a series of announcements on migrant housing and Channel crossings. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will be hoping to kick off ‘migration week’ with the long-awaited arrival of the first asylum seekers aboard the Bibby Stockholm, now reportedly set for Monday (August 7) – though we’ve heard that before.
The barge was initially due to receive its first 50 residents weeks ago, but the operation has been plagued by numerous health and safety concerns, forcing the Home Office into a series of delays. The government has brushed off the Fire Brigade Union’s description of the barge as a ‘potential death trap’ in a letter written to Home Secretary Suella Braverman on Wednesday, and hasn’t responded to the union’s request for an urgent meeting to discuss its concerns. While Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden has refused to commit to a definitive opening date beyond confirming that the first migrants will arrive in ‘the coming weeks’, the government will be hoping to avoid more headline-grabbing delays as it tries to drive home its ‘stop the boats’ messaging next week.
Onto round of 16! ⚽️⚽️?️?️?️ pic.twitter.com/c76EBE9sdm
— Lauren James (@laurenjamess22) August 1, 2023
The women’s World cup moves into the knockout stages next week, and England take on Nigeria in a winnable-looking tie on Monday (August 7). The Lionesses made a slow start to the tournament but exploded into life in their final group game against China, with Lauren James doing her best to single-handedly make up for the injury-induced absence of several key players. A win on Monday would lead to a quarter final fixture on Saturday (August 12) against either Colombia or Jamaica, who knocked out previous winners Brazil on their way to qualifying for the knockout rounds for the first time.
England will now be among the favourites to go all the way after several big names failed to progress from the group stages. A win on Saturday would nicely tee up the first full day of the men’s Premier League season, which kicks off with champions Manchester City travelling to Burnley on Friday (August 11) to give their former captain Vincent Kompany a baptism of fire in his first match as a Premier League manager.
Following months of political turmoil in Pakistan stemming from the ousting of then-prime minister Imran Khan, his successor Shehbaz Sharif is due to step down next week before the current five-year term of the National Assembly expires on Saturday (August 12), with elections expected in October. While an interim prime minister is scheduled to take over from Sharif until the elections are held, he has suggested that his elder brother Nawaz Sharif is likely to be the party’s candidate in the autumn after the Assembly passed a new law in June limiting how long lawmakers can be disqualified from office.
The former prime minister’s return will intensify an election campaign that is already raising concerns about instability following the deadly Islamic State attack at a Taliban-linked political rally this week and the ever-present threat of violence between Khan’s supporters and detractors over more than 150 criminal charges that have been brought against him.
In Brazil, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is hosting a summit of Amazonian leaders on Tuesday and Wednesday (August 8-9) in Belem, the site of COP30 in 2025. The meeting follows news yesterday that deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon fell by 66% in July to hit a six-year low, a marked turnaround from the destruction that surged under Lula’s predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro. Leaders from the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization, meeting for the first time since 2009, will look to agree a common policy on forest conservation and security amid growing concerns over ‘narco-deforestation’ and the impact of organised crime on the jungle. Attendees include Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro, who met with Lula in May to launch a ‘new era’ between the two countries after diplomatic ties were cut under Bolsonaro’s rule.