December 21, 2016 By FTI Consulting
Cameron kicks off the year in Brussels negotiating the deal he hopes will prevent Brexit. He returns with a deal he pledges will protect the City of London and limit EU migrant’s access to benefits. Junior doctors strike, setting up a high-profile clash with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
Former London Mayor Boris Johnson joins his Cabinet colleague Michael Gove in backing the Leave campaign, ending months of speculation and setting up a very public split with David Cameron. Ted Cruz narrowly wins the Iowa caucuses; the first state up for grabs in the 2016 Republican Presidential primary process.
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith resigns over Budget disability cuts, though many suspect the looming referendum is also a factor.
The referendum hots up as Vote Leave and Britain Stronger in Europe are named as the two official campaigns. Barack Obama visits the UK and issues a warning that a post-Brexit UK would go to the “back of the queue” when negotiating a UK-U.S. free trade deal.
London becomes a Labour city as Sadiq Khan scores a clear win in the mayoral election over Conservative Zac Goldsmith. There’s less good news for Labour north of the border as the pro independence Scottish National Party sweeps to victory and a resurgent Conservative Party becomes the second largest party at Holyrood for the first time. Donald Trump secures enough votes to secure the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination.
One week before Britain votes Leave by 52%, Labour MP Jo Cox is tragically murdered by a constituent. In the aftermath of the Brexit vote, David Cameron resigns and the Tory knives come out. Justice Secretary Michael Gove, Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom, former Defence Secretary Liam Fox and Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb enter the race to succeed David Cameron. It’s bye bye (Hilary) Benn as Labour launch a coup to replace Jeremy Corbyn – albeit without a candidate. Hillary Clinton splutters over the finishing line, defeating Bernie Sanders, to become the 2016 Democratic Presidential nominee.
A media slip-up sees right-wing favourite Andrea Leadsom bow out early to bring Theresa “Brexit means Brexit” May to Downing Street as the UK gets its second female Prime Minister. Labour launches a leadership contest with stalking horse Angela Eagle moving aside for challenger Owen Smith. The Chilcot Report into the Iraq war is published, with Tony Blair admitting intelligence failures in the run-up to the conflict.
A mid-summer political respite as Team GB finish second in Rio de Janeiro. The Labour leadership battle limps on. September – To no-one’s surprise – but the Parliamentary Labour Party’s dismay – Corbyn easily retains the party leadership. The G20 summit sees China and the U.S. ratify the Paris climate change agreement. Ed Balls becomes the unexpected star of Strictly Come Dancing.
Upset for UKIP, as new leader Diane James quits after 18 days and a punch-up in the European Parliament ends the earlier ambitions of expected replacement Steven Woolfe. Theresa May uses her speech at the Conservative Party Conference to declare her intention to trigger Article 50 by the end of March 2017.
The High Court rules Parliament must vote on Brexit in a loss for the Government. Trump triumphs in the U.S. Presidential election to the delight of his fan Farage and those believing he will “Make America Great Again.” Paul Nuttall becomes UKIP’s third leader of 2016.
The Supreme Court begins to hear the Government’s appeal on the November ruling. It’s a #LibDemFightback as political neophyte Sarah Olney beats Zac Goldsmith, who resigned his seat in order to cause a by-election on the issue of opposing Heathrow expansion, in Richmond Park. In a surprise twist, Labour MP Jamie Reed resigned his marginal Copeland constituency in order to accept a job with the nuclear industry.