The 5 events that could change the shape of British politics in 2016

Trump: Can the UK-US 'special relationship' continue if this man becomes President?

Trump: Can the UK-US ‘special relationship’ continue if this man becomes President?

Consider the long-term effects of some of these events.

If the UK pulls out of the European Union, then our trade links to the rest of the world could be severely curtailed. What if Trump is then elected US President and the ‘special relationship’ evaporates?

The UK could be left isolated in a very large world, under the leadership of a failed public relations executive with a questionable past, whose main strengths are his ability to speak slowly and clearly while wearing his ‘serious’ face.

Here are the key events that will shape UK politics in 2016:

1. EU referendum

The long-awaited referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union is likely to be held this year, after Cameron predicted last month that 2016 will go down in history as the year Britain’s relationship with the EU “fundamentally” change.

2. May elections

The biggest test of public opinion outside of a General Election will take place on 5 May, with elections for the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly, London Mayor and local authority elections across England.

It will give us the first significant indication of Jeremy Corbyn’s popularity with the electorate since he became Labour leader.

3. MPs vote on Trident

The outcome of the vote – expected in the spring – is hugely significant for obvious reasons: whether or not to renew Britain’s four nuclear submarines when they begin to expire in the late 2020s.

Cameron, who has promised to give MPs a vote on the future of Britain’s nuclear detterent, admitted in November that the cost of replacing Trident will cost £6bn more than originally thought, taking the cost to £31bn.

This will boost the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament which, with Corbyn as Leader of the Opposition and the 54 anti-Trident SNP MPs in the Commons, has not looked as strong since 1989, when Labour committed itself to supporting the UK’s nuclear weapons programme.

4. US election

The outcome of the US presidential election in November will have huge consequences not only for British politics but global politics too if the controversial Republican candidate Donald Trump is elected 45th president of the United States.

David Cameron will find it difficult to build a relationship with Mr Trump after describing his comments as “divisive, stupid and wrong,” while the favourites to succeed him as Prime Minister when he steps down at the end of the decade have used even stronger words.

It is hard to imagine the two countries continuing [their] “special relationship” if Mr Trump wins next November.

5. Heathrow decision

David Cameron faces a political nightmare over where to build Britain’s much-needed airport expansion.

He made a “no ifs, no buts” pledge in 2009 that there would be no third runway at Heathrow, but Sir Howard Davies’ Airport Commission recommended that should be the place to expand Britain’s air capacity when he finally published his three-year inquiry last summer.

The Prime Minister again delayed the final decision due to internal Tory party politics – several top Cabinet ministers are opposed to Heathrow expansion and he could face resignations if he went ahead with Sir Howard’s recommendation.

Source: The 5 events that could change the shape of British politics in 2016 | UK Politics | News | The Independent

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