With the number of celebrity deaths continuing to rise and a number of events causing anxiety throughout the world some have dubbed 2016 a terrible year! Many hope that 2017 will be bring better prospects but what does 2017 already have lined up for us?
Donald Trump Inauguration
After Donald Trump’s shock election win in November commentators have struggled to speculate what will come with a Trump presidency. Friday 20th January will see Donald Trump inaugurated as President of the United States, all eyes will be on his first 100 days in office as an indication for the next four years. There may be a Senate fight to approve Trump’s nominations for his cabinet, who will strongly influence Trump’s policy and relations with the rest of the world.
Supreme Court Brexit Decision
Also expected in January is the Supreme Court’s decision on the challenge over whether Parliament needs to agree to triggering Article 50. After the High Court finding in favour of the challengers Theresa May would have to seek the approval of Parliament before triggering Article 50 and starting the process of leaving the European Union if the Supreme Court followed that decision. Theresa May has stated that Article 50 will be triggered by the end of March 2017 setting in motion negotiations for our departure.
Hammond’s First Budget
On Wednesday 8th March 2017 Philip Hammond will deliver his first budget following on from his Autumn Statement that erred on the side of caution for our economic outlook and departed from George Osborne’s plan to erase the deficit. This will be the final Spring budget due to the move to an Autumn start.
Holland National Elections
In the same month we will see the Dutch go to the polls in what is expected to be a highly divisive election. The rise of populism in 2016 is expected to have an effect on the result as the nation’s Freedom Party performs strongly in the polls. The party’s leader Geert Wilders is seen as a Trump figure with views against the EU, immigration and Islam. Mr Wilders was found guilty of inciting discrimination earlier in December. One of the Freedom Party’s main policies is a Brexit style referendum on the nation’s EU membership however it is thought Holland’s political system may force a coalition that will lock the Freedom Party out of government.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Elections
2017 will mark 20 years since Hong Kong was returned to China from Britain. Their Chief Executive will be elected by a committee representing the city. The unpopular Beijing-siding Leung Chun-ying has announced he will not run for re-election. There is likely to be unrest as the city continues its push for true democracy following the election of four radical pro-democracy activists to its 70 seat legislature in September 2016.
French Presidential Election
Another European election taking centre stage in 2017 is the election of a new President of France. Current President Francois Hollande has already announced he will not seek re-election leaving the field open. National Front’s Marine Le Pen is expected to capture the anti-establishment sentiment but poll’s suggest the win will go to François Fillon, the conservative candidate who stormed to his party’s nomination in November. The field is still to be crowded with Emmanuel Macron hoping to take the big prize.
Germany will host this year’s G20 summit in July which Ms Merkel has assured will be dominated by climate change following Donald Trump’s views threatening any global progress in the matter. Brexit will also feature in discussions along with conflict in the Middle East.
Finally the summer will not be without excitement, Germany goes to the polls in what is expected to return Angela Merkel to government but see a rise in the far right AfD party. The Christian Democrat Union and the Christian Social Union are tipped to win the largest number of seats in the Bundestag (lower house) handing Merkel her fourth term as Chancellor. Merkel’s open door refugee policy has earned criticism following a number of attacks across Europe. This has led to a surge in support for the anti-immigration party, AfD, of more than 15 per cent.
Other elections are being held in Iran which could see the rise of far-right hardliners due to President-Elect Trumps threat to dismantle the Iran nuclear deal. Many other events are sure to change the global economy as central banks raise interest rates and Opec seeks to avoid a repeat of the turbulent 2016 for oil prices. All of these key events are likely to be pivotal in the development of the EU.
Be sure to check back with us as we analyse the major events in 2017. All of The Student Lawyer team wish you a happy and successful 2017 to you all!