Sky reporters and correspondents covering politics, the US, entertainment and sport have gazed into their crystal balls to predict what might happen in 2018.
Sky’s Political Correspondent mulls over the biggest political question of modern British history: Where on earth will Brexit be by end of 2018?
Will we be out?
No, but there won’t be long to wait. Our official exit date is 29 March 2019 – exactly two years after Theresa May triggered Article 50.
Brexiteer ministers want a celebration on the day, so brace yourselves for plans for ceremonial downings of EU flags and proclamations of our independence.
So we’ll be on the brink of a major change?
Not exactly, because the Government wants our exit to be followed to be a two-year “transition period” which they also sometimes call an “implementation period”.
The EU has made clear that during this period, which they say should end by December 2020, everything – trade, free movement of people, the European Court of Justice – has to stay the same as it is now, and they will not budge on that.
How will the negotiations have progressed then?
Hopefully quite a bit, because the UK is under pressure to agree the broad outlines of our future trade relationship with the EU by October 2018.
That leaves five months for it to be approved by Parliaments of the 27 other members and – following a victory for Tory rebels – by our Parliament.
Look out for the regional assemblies: the Wallonia region of Belgium nearly blocked a major deal between the EU and Canada last year.
What issues will be the most difficult?
The Government wants the EU to give us a special or “bespoke” deal, unlike any done before, in which we continue to sell goods and – crucially – services across borders with no checks or tariffs.
How trade and movement will work across the Northern Ireland border will need to be resolved, as will our future immigration policy. Businesses will be announcing their plans for jobs and investment in the UK, too.
Who will be doing the negotiating?
The next election is scheduled for 2022 but unpredictable things have been happening recently and Jeremy Corbyn has predicted he will win power next year. I’d be surprised.
Tory MPs don’t want another election, and the vast majority of them want Theresa May to stay on as leader until we officially leave.
The big question is whether she can keep her divided Cabinet on side – or whether walkouts are on the cards.
After reporting on a remarkable year in America’s history, Sky’s US Correspondent attempts to answer this: What will 2018 hold for the States?
I’m not sure I want to make any predictions at all about America any more.
Who would have guessed that 2017 was going to become the particularly wild mash-up of events that it did?
Hurricanes, mass shootings, #metoo, Russia, fake news… a relentless carousel of themes and stories played out amid Twitterstorms in the ether and protests in the streets.
Story of HM the Queen shooting down Sadiq Khan for his idiotic Trump comments is quite obv fake news. (Would love it to be true, of course.)
— Gary Paul H ن (@enternoon) June 11, 2017
Being a journalist in the States increasingly feels like being on a rollercoaster. Blindfolded.
But I think I can safely say the following: President Donald Trump’s contempt for journalists will intensify. He is not the only person who believes in the concept of “fake news”, but he is the idea’s champion. It’s having a pretty horrible effect on the attitude of the general public towards the media in this country.
You can argue about whether the media has in fact done a good enough job upholding standards, but my point here is about a general tone of contempt.
At best this is making it harder to find and communicate facts. At worst, it’s possible this toxic disintegration of trust could result in physical attacks on journalists.
I also think that the Republican Party will rally much more firmly around the president as the midterms approach in 2018. There’s some evidence of this already. A lot of it is about political survival and maintaining control of both branches of Congress. But it’s also about the sheer force of character of the man.
I think that Republicans have started to make the calculation that engaging in a civil war over their unorthodox leader will do so much long-term damage to their party that it is better to just set about holding on for the next few years, maintaining as much influence as possible, and avoiding any displays of weakness that would hand advantage to the Democrats.
That is unless the Russia scandal swamps the Oval Office.
Quite honestly, I am not going to predict what special counsel Robert Mueller’s next moves will be. But if he finds evidence that proves Donald Trump himself, and not just his senior campaign staff or family, was in contact or in any other way unethically involved with Russia, then it’s hard to see how Mr Trump survives.
Is it possible that will happen in 2018? Yes. Is it possible it won’t? Yes. Sorry, but you did ask.
Our Entertainment Reporter shares his thoughts on which films will be a contender for the coveted Best Picture gong at the Oscars.
This is arguably the hardest category to predict because, unlike the Golden Globes, the good folks at the Academy do not distinguish between comedy and drama.
This year, a few films tick all the politically charged boxes necessary to get at least get a nod. Here are my predictions:
Call Me By Your Name: Luca Guadagnino’s gay romance would have been too indie for the Academy. But this was before Moonlight. Now, it’s pitch perfect – even with the controversial age difference.
Darkest Hour: Sombre biopic? Churchill? Gary Oldman? I would say yeah, very likely.
Get Out: An African-American man is trapped inside a house of deranged middle-class white folks. If it doesn’t get the nod, I predict hashtags.
The Post: It’s Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. And if that wasn’t enough, it’s about the importance of the media to keep the political power in line. Great timing, Steve.
The Shape Of Water: Already an awards favourite, Guillermo del Toro’s sci-fi love story is sure to enchant even the most dormant Academy hearts.
Phantom Thread: Daniel Day-Lewis’s last role has caused surprisingly little buzz, and even been ignored in some circuits. Hopefully though, the Academy will once again “drink the milkshake”.
Lady Bird: Actress Greta Gerwig’s debut feature behind the camera has broken Rotten Tomatoes’ tomato-meter (yes, that’s a good thing), so it could be heading for the Oscars.
Dunkirk: Christopher Nolan’s war epic has divided critics and One Direction fans, but it would be odd for the Academy not to consider it.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: Martin McDonagh’s stage-like drama has been praised by critics but also accused of treading lightly on important issues. Sounds controversial enough to make it.
Sky’s Sports Editor looks into the stars and nails his colours to the mast with a prediction on which team will lift the World Cup during the summer tournament in Russia.
But haven’t others got the best players?
Lionel Messi, you mean? And Cristiano Ronaldo?
Well yes, but those star individuals don’t guarantee success for Argentina and Portugal.
Five-times winners Brazil, with the brilliant Neymar pulling the strings, have as good an 11 as anyone.
And never write off reigning champions Germany at a major tournament. But history is against them. No one has won two World Cups in a row for more than 50 years.
England? Not quite good enough yet.
So why France?
Because you don’t win a World Cup now without a fantastic squad.
And France have one. No matter which of their 23 men play, no matter who gets injured, they will field a world-class team.
Teenage goalscoring sensation Kylian Mbappe has just become the youngest ever to net 10 Champions League goals.
But France also have Griezmann, Giroud, Lacazette and Martial, to name but four attacking threats.
It’s pretty similar throughout the team.
And the manager?
Who better? Didier Deschamps, in charge since 2012, has a contract until 2020. And he’s the ultimate been-there-seen-it-done-it boss – as captain for France’s only World Cup triumph, on home soil in 1998.
Standby for victory parades under the Arc de Triomphe again on 15 July.