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Home » News diary 29 May – 4 June: Jimmy Lai hearing, US debt ceiling wrangling

News diary 29 May – 4 June: Jimmy Lai hearing, US debt ceiling wrangling

A look ahead at the key events leading the news agenda next week, from the team at Foresight News.

Leading the week 

It’s a quiet week in Westminster as MPs head off for Whitsun recess, but Rishi Sunak will be busy preparing for the European Political Community summit in Moldova on Thursday (1 June) as his government looks to take back control of the narrative on immigration following yesterday’s record-breaking net migration figures.

The gathering of 47 leaders from across the continent gives the prime minister another chance to bang the drum for European cooperation on illegal migration after a lukewarm reception in Reykjavik last week, and the EPC is seen as an ideal forum for a post-Brexit Britain to address transit countries like France and Turkey as well as Albania, where an increasing number of asylum seekers are originating. 

Ukraine will feature heavily at the summit, given the EPC was set up primarily to promote European unity in response to Russia’s invasion, and security and energy are at the top of the agenda. Moldova’s President Maia Sandu has made it clear that hosting has huge symbolic importance for the country’s pro-European future as it moves away from Moscow’s influence, and Ukraine’s closest neighbours will be hoping the dialogue with European powers translates into further funding for border countries most affected by the war. 

The Premier League may have ended but there’s still plenty of action left in the domestic football season, with the conclusion of the EFL playoffs and the FA Cup final teeing up what’s set to be an exciting summer of sport featuring two Ashes series, men’s EURO 2024 qualifiers, a European Games and the Women’s World Cup. 

First up is the League One playoff final at Wembley on Monday (29 May) between Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley, before England men’s cricketers prepare for the Ashes with a test match against Ireland at Lord’s from Thursday (1 June).

Manchester City then seek the second trophy in a potential treble-winning season in the FA Cup final against city rivals Manchester United on Saturday (3 June), though planned strike action by the RMT union on Friday (2 June) and by ASLEF on Saturday may impact fans making the journey south to London.

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Finally, this year’s Derby Day at Epsom on Saturday, the first since the death of Queen Elizabeth, is sure to be a poignant occasion as racegoers enjoy one of Her Majesty’s favourite sporting events. 

Looking abroad 

With tentative suggestions that an agreement on raising the US debt limit could be reached as soon as today, the focus next week is likely to shift to Congress as lawmakers work to draft a deal into legislation and then send it to President Joe Biden’s desk by (or shortly after) the Thursday (1 June) nominal deadline.

Complicating matters is Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s promise to give members 72 hours to review the bill before voting on it. One scenario could see the House vote on Wednesday (31 May 31followed by a final vote in the Senate on Saturday (3 June). Of course, there’s no guarantee that any deal will get the votes needed to pass, and a lot will depend on the CBO’s score of the legislation, which can only be produced once the legislation is written.

All of which means that even if a deal is reached before the Memorial Day weekend, developments next week will be critical in determining whether a full-blown crisis can be averted.  

While leaders are discussing Ukraine in Chisinau, the war will also shape discussions at two gatherings of foreign ministers this week. NATO ministers meet in Oslo on Wednesday and Thursday (31 May – 1 June) for informal talks ahead of July’s leaders’ summit in Lithuania. The big push at the summit will be for clarity on Ukraine’s future membership in the alliance, so ministers will be looking to find some compromises on further cooperation that show support for Kyiv while likely remaining non-committal on a membership roadmap that the bloc’s biggest players worry would escalate conflict with Moscow. 

That concern is especially timely as the meeting follows recent news that the US will support training Ukrainian pilots on US-made F-16 fighter jets and the raid earlier this week by pro-Ukrainian Russian dissident fighters across the border in Belgorod, Russia, possibly using US-provided equipment.

When foreign ministers from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa gather in Cape Town on Thursday and Friday (1-2 June), Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is likely to make the case that the provision of F-16s and the use of US military hardware on Russian soil supports Russia’s case that it is the victim, not aggressor, of a conflict that is rooted in US hegemony.

On Friday, the five foreign ministers are joined by 15 other so-called Friends of BRICS ministers from Africa and the ‘global south’, bolstering the case that the bloc could provide a counterpoint to US-dominated bodies. 

Also look out for 

May 29 

  • Spring Bank Holiday 
  • GLOBSEC 2023 conference 
  • Inauguration of new Nigerian president Bola Tinubu 
  • Latest short-term ceasefire in Sudan ends 
  • Beyoncé plays first in series of London gigs 

May 30 

  • Deadline for disclosure of Boris Johnson diaries and messages to Covid-19 inquiry 
  • Kathleen Stock addresses Oxford Union debate 
  • Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva hosts South American leaders summit 
  • Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes due to surrender to prison 
  • Court hearing in Jimmy Lai national security case 
  • CMSA Shenzou-16 launch expected 

May 31 

  • Strike action by ASLEF train drivers 
  • UK trade deals with Australia and New Zealand take effect 
  • Emmanuel Macron addresses GLOBSEC 2023 
  • Meta and Walmart hold annual shareholder meetings 
  • Sevilla v Roma in UEFA Europa League final 

June 1 

  • Daithi’s Law on organ donations takes effect in Northern Ireland 
  • Macron, Scholz and Michel participate in Azerbaijan-Armenia talks at EPC summit 
  • Joe Biden delivers US Air Force Academy commencement address 

June 2 

  • Anthony Albanese addresses IISS Shangri-La Dialogue 
  • Court hearing in Essex lorry deaths case  
  • Imran Khan appears before Lahore terrorism court 
  • Alphabet Inc. annual shareholders meeting 
  • 70 years ago: Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II 

June 3 

  • Philip Schofield hosts British Soap awards 
  • Lloyd Austin addresses Shangri-La Dialogue 
  • Barcelona v Wolfsburg in UEFA Women’s Champions League final 

June 4 

  • Chinese defence minister expected to address Shangri-La Dialogue 
  • OPEC+ Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee meeting 
  • GMB Congress opens 
  • Legislative elections in Guinea-Bissau 
  • Spanish Grand Prix 

Statistics, reports and results 

May 30 

  • CBI Service Sector Survey 
  • BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index 
  • Results from: HP Inc. 

May 31 

  • Quarterly stats on working and workless households 
  • Monthly property transaction figures 
  • Q1 GDP for Canada, Italy, India, Turkey and Scotland 
  • FTSE UK Index Series annual review 
  • HESA graduate outcomes review 
  • ILO report on the impact of economic and geopolitical crises on work 
  • Results from: Nordstrom 

June 1 

  • MoJ quarterly statistics on civil justice and FGM 
  • UK Manufacturing PMI 
  • CBI Monthly Growth Indicator 
  • EU unemployment statistics 
  • Q1 GDP for Brazil 
  • Results from: Macy’s Inc. 

June 2 

  • Fitch Ratings releases UK sovereign review 
  • US unemployment statistics 
  • BRC economic briefing report 
  • FAO Food Price Index 

Anniversaries and awareness days 

May 29 

  • National Biscuit Day 
  • International Day of UN Peacekeepers 
  • International Mount Everest Day 
  • National BBQ Week (to June 4) 
  • National Camping and Caravanning Week (to June 4) 
  • Memorial Day (US) 

May 30 

May 31 

June 1 

  • World Hypoparathyroidism Awareness Day 
  • World Milk Day  
  • Volunteers Week (to June 7)  
  • Speak About Aphasia Month (to June 30)  
  • 25 years ago: European Central Bank established 

June 2 

  • National Gun Violence Awareness Day (US)  
  • National Fish and Chip Day 
  • National Rocky Road Day 

June 3 

  • Six years ago: London Bridge terror attack  
  • International Clothesline Week (to June 9) 

June 4 

  • 34 years ago: Tiananmen Square massacre 
  • International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression 
  • National Cancer Survivors Day 
  • Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor turns two 

The news diary is provided in association with Foresight News.

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