EU summit, Channel 5 debate and Saturday Parliament - Why the week ahead is crucial for Brexit

It is a crucial week for Brexit ahead of the UK's scheduled departure from the EU on October 31. Photo: PA/ Daniel Leal-Olivas
It is a crucial week for Brexit ahead of the UK's scheduled departure from the EU on October 31. Photo: PA/ Daniel Leal-Olivas

With the Brexit date just weeks away, it is crunch time. An EU summit is taking place in Brussels this week and Parliament is even due to sit on Saturday. Laura Reid reports.

Brexit

Former Prime Minister David Cameron is at The Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival this week.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron is at The Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival this week.

Time is running out to secure a Brexit deal ahead of the UK’s scheduled departure from the European Union on October 31.

EU leaders are due to meet for a crunch summit on Thursday and Friday and whilst Brexit won’t be the sole focus - the EU budget and climate change are also on the agenda - it is seen as the last chance for a deal to be agreed ahead of the Brexit deadline.

MPs are then due to be called to Parliament for a special Saturday sitting. They may be asked to approve an agreed deal or could, once again, be exploring other options over the future of Brexit.

'Parliament's once-in-a-generation Saturday sitting is an opportunity for a second referendum'
The make-or-break EU summit in brussels will come a day after Jeremy Vine hosts a live Brexit debate on Channel 5.

Live Brexit Referendum: Do We Want No Deal? will take place on Wednesday at 9pm and will ask whether Britain backs Prime Minister Boris Johnson over his new proposal and his stance to take the country out of the EU, deal or no-deal, at the end of the month.

According to ITN Productions, which has been commissioned to produce the show, central to the programme is the biggest ever Brexit opinion poll since the EU Referendum - conducted by ComRes - with more than 26,000 people across the UK asked for their views on how, when or if we should leave.

All of this will be going on just days after the State Opening of Parliament. Taking place on Monday, it marks the formal start of the parliamentary year. The Queen’s Speech will set out the agenda of Mr Johnson and his ministers, outlining proposed policies and legislation.

It should shed light on the Government’s plan for the coming session, both in terms of Brexit and key domestic issues.

Crime

On the topic of the latter, two releases expected by the Office for National Statistics this week will shed light on crime in England and Wales.

Data due to be published on Monday will estimate the extent of repeat and multiple victimisation, whilst a publication on Thursday will look at crime more generally, including that experienced by children and businesses, in the year ending June 2019.

Awards

On a lighter note, there’ll be plenty of cause for celebration this week during a string of awards ceremonies.

The Booker prize winner will be revealed in an event in the capital on Monday and on Wednesday, the PinkNews Awards will celebrate the best and brightest in LGBT+ equality.

On Tuesday, the annual WellChild Awards will praise the courage of seriously ill children and young people, along with those who go the extra mile to make a difference to their lives.

Winners and celebrity guests will attend the event, as well as The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Prince Harry has been Patron of the WellChild charity for more than a decade.

Festival

The Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival returns for a ninth year on Thursday. Those involved in the four-day event include BBC Countryfile broadcaster John Craven, Yorkshire vet Julian Norton and former Prime Minister David Cameron, who will discuss his recently-published memoir For the Record.

The ‘nightmare’ Yorkshire visit which made David Cameron realise that Britain would back Brexit
As well as revealing the battles and achievements of his life and career, he is also expected to give his perspective on the EU referendum and Britain’s place in the world in light of Brexit.

Space

The launch of a new exhibition at the Design Museum in London on Friday will explore what it would be like to live on Mars.

Moving to Mars features around 200 exhibits, including contributions from NASA, the European Space Afency and Space X, and over the opening weekend, will also include a prototype Mars Rover.