It‘s Monday, it‘s a new week, and while we won‘t pretend to know everything that‘s going to happen over the next seven days, we have some sense of what‘s coming up.

Here‘s your briefing on some of the most important and interesting stories happening in the week ahead.

1) Where next for Brexit?

What‘s happening?

On Tuesday, British MPs will hold a day-long debate and then a vote on the prime minister‘s amended deal on how to leave the European Union in late March.

Why does it matter?

First of all: apologies, as we know we say that each week is an important one for Brexit. But… this week really is an important one for Brexit. Again.

You may remember that MPs voted down Theresa May‘s deal two weeks ago. She is now working to win them over, which is easier said than done.

MPs will also vote on amendments to the deal. Among the amendments being discussed is one to prevent a “no-deal” Brexit happening (this means the UK would leave the EU with no transition period and a sudden rupture in UK/EU relations).

Quick guide: What is a no-deal Brexit?

A "no-deal" Brexit is where the UK would cut ties with the European Union overnight without a transition period.

Theresa May's government, and many others, believe this would be hugely damaging and want a more gradual withdrawal. But if Parliament can't agree on that, and nothing else takes its place, the UK will leave without a deal.

This would mean the UK would not have to obey EU rules. Instead, it would need to follow World Trade Organization terms on trade. Many businesses would see new taxes on imports, exports and services, which are likely to increase their operating costs. That means the prices of some goods in UK shops could go up.

The UK would also lose the trade agreements it had with other countries as a member of the EU, all of which would need to be renegotiated alongside the new agreement with the EU itself.

Manufacturers in the UK expect to face delays in components coming across the border.

The UK would be free to set its own immigration controls. However some UK professionals working in the EU and UK expats could face uncertainty until their status was clarified. The European Commission has said that even in a no-deal scenario, UK travellers won't need a visa for short visits of up to 90 days.

The border between Northern Ireland and the Irish republic would become an external frontier for the EU with customs and immigration controls, though how and where any checks would be made is not clear.

Some Leave supporters think that leaving without a deal would be positive if the right preparations were made. They say criticism is scaremongering and any short term pain would be for long term gain.

But critics – including both Brexit supporters and opponents – say that leaving without a deal would be a disaster for the UK: driving up food prices, leading to shortages of goods and gridlock on some roads in the South East resulting from extra border checks.

@-moz-keyframes gel-spin{0%{-moz-transform:rotate(0deg)}100%{-moz-transform:rotate(360deg)}}@-webkit-keyframes gel-spin{0%{-webkit-transform:rotate(0deg)}100%{-webkit-transform:rotate(360deg)}}@-ms-keyframes gel-spin{0%{-ms-transform:rotate(0deg)}100%{-ms-transform:rotate(360deg)}} gel-spin{0%{transform:rotate(0deg)}100%{transform:rotate(360deg)}}.bbc-news-visual-journalism-loading-spinner{display:block;margin:8px auto;width:32px;height:32px;max-width:32px;fill:#323232;-webkit-animation-name:gel-spin;-webkit-animation-duration:1s;-webkit-animation-iteration-count:infinite;-webkit-animation-timing-function:linear;-moz-animation-name:gel-spin;-moz-animation-duration:1s;-moz-animation-iteration-count:infinite;-moz-animation-timing-function:linear;animation-name:gel-spin;animation-duration:1s;animation-iteration-count:infinite;animation-timing-function:linear} .bbc-news-vj-wrapper{font-family:Helmet,Freesans,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif}

None of these amendments to be adopted, but it would be very uncomfortable indeed for the prime minister if one of them got significant support.

A reminder: on Tuesday, there will be only 59 days until Brexit and there‘s still no plan in place for how it‘s going to happen.

2) Facebook‘s status update

What‘s happening?

Facebook will reveal its yearly results on Tuesday.

Why does it matter?

Well… it‘s not been the best of years for Facebook, and Tuesday‘s news could highlight just how bad it has been for one of the world‘s most valuable companies.

Concerns over “fake news” and data breaches (not least that of 87 million people in the Cambridge Analytica scandal) have played their part in Facebook‘s slowing growth.

Might it now miss its revenue targets?

Here‘s the bad news for .

3) A very big deal indeed

What‘s happening?

A free trade deal between the EU and Japan comes into effect on Friday.

Why does it matter?

Wait! Come back! It‘s more interesting than it sounds.

First of all, this is not just a big deal, but an one.

Free trade agreements are designed to cut trade tariffs (a sort of tax) between member countries. So now that the EU and Japan have a free trade deal in place, it means items like machinery parts will become cheaper in Europe (possibly making cars cheaper), and there‘s good news in Japan: the price of food from Europe is about to get a lot cheaper.

So how big is this deal? It covers about a third of the world‘s GDP and affects roughly 600m people.

4) The window slams shut

What‘s happening?

Football‘s winter transfer window closes on Thursday.

Why does it matter?

It‘s that happy time of year again for football fans.

There might be a lumbering centre-half out there who can bolster your defence or twinkle-toed forward who could help that push for the top.

Alternatively, you could waste £12m on a reserve striker who knackers his hamstring after two games and goes back home on loan in the summer.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here