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
Wednesday (November 15) could be the final step in the long-running legal saga of the Rwanda scheme as the Supreme Court issues its judgment in the Home Office’s challenge to the ruling which blocked the government’s flagship immigration policy. Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s future reportedly hangs in the balance, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak already under pressure to sack her over controversial comments regarding the police and pro-Palestinian protesters.
Should the Supreme Court uphold the Court of Appeal’s decision, Braverman is expected to call for the UK to leave the European Convention on Human Rights, putting her at odds with centrist MPs once again. If Supreme Court rules in the Government’s favour, the first flight to Kigali could leave as early as February 24, though the ruling may still be subject to a challenge at the European Court of Human Rights – no doubt pouring fuel on the fire for those who want leaving the ECHR at the centre of the Conservative Party’s election campaign next year.
The Labour Party row over its stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict will continue into next week when the Commons is expected to vote on an SNP amendment to the King’s Speech on Wednesday (November 15) calling on the government to join international pleas for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the siege on Gaza. Labour leader Keir Starmer, who has advocated for a ‘humanitarian pause’ rather than a full ceasefire, faces the prospect of MPs voting against the party line and highlighting the growing divide between the leadership and a significant chunk of its membership, though the announcement today that Israel will begin daily military pauses may quell some of the disagreement. Public dissent in the Conservative party has largely been kept to a minimum so far, though Rishi Sunak may use his speech to the Lord Mayor’s Banquet on Monday (November 13) to gently remind his MPs of the need for unity in a vote which could still expose fault lines on both sides of the House.
Those hoping for boldness in the government’s agenda for the coming Parliamentary session were disappointed on Tuesday, so the clamouring for red meat for the Tory masses will only grow louder as we get closer to the Autumn Statement. Jeremy Hunt’s preparations will be informed by a final pair of major economic indicators in the form of labour market statistics on Tuesday (November 14) and CPI data on Wednesday (November 15). The Chancellor received a reminder at the start of this week of the need to remain stoic in the face of backbenchers’ demands for tax cuts, and his deputy John Glen maintained the messaging in an interview with The House magazine, suggesting that even better jobs numbers and a first fall in inflation for two months won’t influence the Treasury’s planning now.
US President Joe Biden heads to California next week to host a meeting of APEC leaders, though the real focus of the trip will be his summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping slated for Wednesday (November 15). The encounter will be their first since they met on the margins on the G20 summit in Indonesia last November, but officials are already downplaying expectations of major developments amid strained relations between the superpowers. While much remains unknown about the format of the summit and whether a press conference might follow, Xi is expected to deliver a speech later on Wednesday at an event hosted by the National Committee on US-China Relations and the US-China Business Council.
The main APEC meeting then begins on Thursday (November 16), while several leaders in town for the summit – including Biden and Xi – will join X’s Elon Musk and Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai to address the APEC CEO summit taking place Wednesday and Thursday.
Friday (November 17) sees the start of the annual Middle East-focused IISS Manama Dialogue, this year opening with a keynote from Bahrain’s Crown Prince Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa. The conflict in Gaza and heightened regional tensions are set to dominate this year’s gathering, and significant interest is expected in a session on Saturday (November 18) on the US Commitment to the Middle East, likely featuring an intervention from a senior Biden administration official, followed by a timely session on war, diplomacy and de-escalation.
Sunday (November 19) sees the runoff in Argentina’s presidential election between economy minister Sergio Massa and firebrand libertarian lawmaker Javier Milei. Milei, who has described himself as an anarcho-capitalist, shocked many when he won the open primary in the summer but garnered fewer votes than Massa in the first round last month. Milei is now backed by his former rival Patricia Bullrich, who placed third in October, as well as by her former boss Mauricio Macri, though it remains unclear whether their endorsements will reassure voters nervous about his extreme economic policies, or whether it will tarnish his ‘outsider’ brand. Much may hinge on the candidates’ performances in the final debate ahead of the vote, scheduled for this Sunday (November 12).