This year delivered some of the most extraordinary news events in recent memory, as the world mourned the death of Queen Elizabeth II, three different prime ministers took up residence in Downing Street, and Vladimir Putin launched his ongoing invasion of Ukraine. The war in Europe, the cost-of-living crisis, and an economic recession will undoubtedly continue to loom large, but as the year draws to a close we’ve taken a closer look at the other key events which are likely to dominate the news in the next 12 months.
Industrial disputes and the cost of living will continue to dominate as 2023 opens: strikes resume on Network Rail on January 3, before train drivers from ASLEF walk out on January 5 and Network Rail workers down tools again on January 6-7. Continuing the theme, a BMA ballot of junior doctors opens and a NASUWT teachers’ union ballot closes on January 9, an NEU teachers’ ballot closes on January 13, before a separate ballot of specialist doctors closes on January 14.
Elsewhere, the 118th US Congress opens on January 3 with a new Republication majority in the House of Representatives, while the release of Prince Harry’s memoir on January 10 will make headlines on both sides of the pond. The Davos meetings begin on January 16 with the IMF’s World Economic Outlook traditionally released to mark the opening, and the High Court in London hears cases related to the Rwanda asylum policy the same day. The first inflation figures of the year are published on January 18 before the Northern Ireland Assembly’s final deadline to form a new Executive on January 19. To round off on a cheerful note, US scientists decide on January 24 whether to move the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock which represents disaster for Earth.
A full inquest into the death of Archie Battersbee in August takes place on February 7. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who looks to be weathering a scandal that threatened to force his resignation, delivers his annual state of the nation address on February 9, the same day European leaders gather for a special two-day summit in Brussels. Arizona hosts the NFL Super Bowl on February 12, with Rihanna performing at half-time. Ukraine is expected to dominate discussions at the Munich Security Conference taking place February 17-19, which comes days ahead of the February 24 anniversary of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. On February 25, Nigerians head to the polls in a general election.
A man is due to go on trial in Liverpool from March 6 charged with the murder of Olivia Pratt-Korbell. The nine-year old was shot and killed at the family home in August, with Thomas Cashman also facing further charges of attempted murder. Looking abroad, voters go to the polls for elections in both Estonia (March 5) and Micronesia (March 7), while Bill Nighy could lead a crowded field of British contenders at The Oscars on March 12. Expect a new round of apocalyptic headlines when the IPCC publishes its Sixth Assessment Report on March 20 ahead of the first global stocktake under the Paris Agreement later this year.
Changes to Ofgem’s energy price cap come into effect from April 1, as the government’s price cap rises from £2,500 to £3,000 for the average bill. A visit to Northern Ireland is believed to be in the works for US President Joe Biden to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement on April 10. Japan hosts foreign ministers from the G7 from April 16-18, and the month is bookended with elections in Finland (April 2) and Paraguay (April 30).
Look out for a starry night in New York on May 1 as the annual Met Gala takes place. The Conservative Party is likely braced for a bruising result as local elections are held in England on May 4, though as a consolation party members can celebrate the coronation of King Charles III on May 6 and an extra bank holiday on May 8. The Eurovision Song Contest final is held in Liverpool on May 13, while this month’s sporting action kicks off with the Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley on May 14. There’ll be government figures in attendance at the BCC annual conference on May 17, before Rishi Sunak jets to Japan for the G7 summit beginning on May 19. The French Open begins on May 22, and the domestic football season concludes as the Premier League finishes on May 28 and the Championship play-off final takes place on May 29.
Russian President Vladimir Putin hosts the annual St Petersburg International Economic Forum from June 14-17, while in the UK The Ashes series gets underway with the first test on June 16. Turkey holds presidential and parliamentary elections on June 18, the same day as the UEFA Nations League final in the Netherlands. The UK is then set to host the Ukraine Recovery Conference on June 21-22. There are also elections in Sierra Leone (June 24) and Guatemala (June 25).
The Boundary Commission’s final proposals are due on July 1, giving us a look at likely new constituency boundaries ahead of the 2024 election. The war in Ukraine will lead discussions at the NATO Summit on July 11-12, as Alliance leaders meet in Vilnius. The proposed memberships of Sweden and Finland are also likely to feature in talks, as Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg chairs proceedings for what is likely to be the final time. A packed month of sport meanwhile includes the women’s and men’s Wimbledon finals on July 15 and 16, the start of The Open Championship and the FIFA Women’s World Cup on July 20, and the final test of the Ashes series on July 27.
GCSE and A-Level results are released on August 17 and 24, respectively, and the World Athletics Championships in Budapest kick off on August 19 before the Women’s World Cup final on August 20 and the US Open gets underway on August 28. The trial of Kentucky Police Officer Brett Hankinson in connection with the death of Breonna Taylor begins on August 21, and the expansion of London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone comes into effect on August 29.
On September 6, we’ll mark a year since Boris Johnson stepped down and Liz Truss began her short reign as prime minister. The Rugby Union world cup begins in France on September 8, with England’s first fixture against Argentina the following day coinciding with the men’s football team facing Ukraine for a Euro 2024 qualifier. India hosts this year’s G20 summit on September 9-10, and the UN General Assembly general debate opens in New York on September 19, with Brazil’s Lula due to make the opening speech. A first Lib Dem autumn conference since 2021 begins on September 23, with any golf fans in the party sure to be cheering for Europe when the Ryder Cup begins in Rome on September 29.
The Conservative Party Conference opens on October 1, a week before Labour’s on October 8 in an unusual reversal of order. The knock-out stages of the Rugby World Cup, meanwhile, get underway on October 14 ahead of the final on October 28. There are also elections this month in Luxembourg (October 8), Liberia (October 10), Switzerland, and Argentina (both on October 22).
King Charles III will lead the nation’s observance of Remembrance Sunday on November 12 for the first time since his coronation. The King will be joined at the Cenotaph by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who then addresses the Lord Mayor’s Banquet the following day (November 13). The leading story of the month though sees world leaders gathering in Dubai from November 30 for the COP 28 climate summit, with parties due to take stock of their progress on the agreement in the seven years since the Paris Agreement was signed.
The Nobel Peace Prize ceremony on December 10 marks 70 years since Winston Churchill was awarded the prize. COP28 is scheduled to conclude on December 12 with new commitments informed by what are likely to be the disappointing results of the stocktake, while the European footballing world will see draws for both the UEFA Nations League and Euro 2024 on the same day. Voters go to the polls in the Democratic Republic of Congo on December 20, and new OECD tax reforms and GB-Northern Ireland export controls are due to come into force from December 31.