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

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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

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

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

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

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

British troops are set to leave Germany in 2019 (Ben Birchall/PA)

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

Crossrail project
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)

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

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

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

Renewable Heat Incentive inquiry
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)

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

– Northern Ireland local elections

Review of the Year 2018
Sinn Fein’s (left to right) Elisha McCallion, Mary Lou McDonald, Michellle O’Neill and Conor Murphy arriving at Stormont Parliament Buildings in Belfast in January 2018. (Niall Carson/PA Images).

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

– Politics in Ireland

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

Glastonbury Festival 2017 – Day 3
Festivalgoers watch Ed Sheeran performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival, 2017. (Ben Birchall/PA Images).

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

Spice Girls announcement
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).

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

Kit Harington and Rose Leslie wedding
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).

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

England v Japan – Quilter International – Twickenham Stadium
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 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.

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