United Kingdom predictions for 2026

Read 27 predictions about the United Kingdom in 2026, a year that will see this country experience significant change in its politics, economics, technology, culture, and environment. It’s your future, discover what you’re in for.

Quantumrun Foresight prepared this list; A trend intelligence consulting firm that uses strategic foresight to help companies thrive from future trends in foresight. This is just one of many possible futures society may experience.

International relations predictions for the United Kingdom in 2026

International relations predictions to impact the United Kingdom in 2026 include:

Politics predictions for the United Kingdom in 2026

Politics related predictions to impact the United Kingdom in 2026 include:

Government predictions for the United Kingdom in 2026

Government related predictions to impact the United Kingdom in 2026 include:

  • The government expands its Emission Trading Scheme to include the domestic shipping industry. Likelihood: 65 percent.1
  • Students can be assessed digitally in some of their GCSE and A-level exams. Likelihood: 65 percent.1
  • The government bans traditional gas boilers in homes and replaces them with hydrogen-based heating systems. Likelihood: 60 percent.1
  • Refugees and asylum seekers' hotel costs hit £30 million a day as government struggles to provide affordable housing. Likelihood: 65 percent.1
  • The mandatory use of tax-filing software (Making Tax Digital) for self-employed individuals and landlords begins. Likelihood: 60 percent.1
  • Online tools that allow people to see all their retirement funds at a glance become available. Likelihood: 60 percent.1
  • The number of families paying inheritance tax will double from 2022 levels. Likelihood: 70 percent.1
  • The retirement age rises to 67 years from 66 years. Likelihood: 65 percent.1
  • U.K.'s Labour sets out plans for government.Link
  • The UK's opposition Labour Party unveils its pledges to voters in hopes of winning the next election.Link
  • David Cameron warns Labour cannot be trusted on defence.Link
  • 'We had money! It was brilliant!' Margaret Hodge on Labour governments, life as a migrant and quitting as an MP.Link
  • Tories in crisis after Andy Street loses his seat as West Midlands mayor, being beaten into submission by Labour.Link

Economy predictions for the United Kingdom in 2026

Economy related predictions to impact the United Kingdom in 2026 include:

  • The UK becomes a cashless society. Likelihood: 60 percent.1
  • Average real wages are lower than 2008 levels. Likelihood: 65 percent.1
  • UK government plans to sell remaining RBS stake by 2025/26.Link

Technology predictions for the United Kingdom in 2026

Technology related predictions to impact the United Kingdom in 2026 include:

Culture predictions for the United Kingdom in 2026

Culture related predictions to impact the United Kingdom in 2026 include:

Defense predictions for in 2026

Defense related predictions to impact the United Kingdom in 2026 include:

  • The UK's contribution to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Kosovo Force (KFOR) Mission ends. Likelihood: 65 percent.1

Infrastructure predictions for the United Kingdom in 2026

Infrastructure related predictions to impact the United Kingdom in 2026 include:

  • The number of UK properties with full-fiber broadband increases from 15.4 million in May 2023 to 27 million in May 2026. Likelihood: 65 percent.1
  • Given the relatively small number of new beds planned and rising higher education enrolment across the country, the shortfall in student housing exceeds 600,000 beds. Likelihood: 70 percent.1
  • Rents rise 25% as landlords pass on mortgage costs to tenants. Likelihood: 70 percent.1
  • Over 250,000 UK-based households consider a solar installation, up from 130,000 in 2022. Likelihood: 65 percent.1
  • Two nuclear power plants, Heysham 1 in Lancashire and Hartlepool in Teesside, are shut down. Likelihood: 65 percent.1
  • More than 250,000 extra construction workers are needed to meet growing demands. Likelihood: 70 percent.1
  • The Emergency Services Network, which serves police, fire, and ambulance communications, starts rolling out. Likelihood: 60 percent.1
  • The Tata Group's £4-billion UK gigafactory for electric car batteries starts operations. Likelihood: 40 percent.1

Environment predictions for the United Kingdom in 2026

Environment related predictions to impact the United Kingdom in 2026 include:

  • Recycling is standardized, with all homes, businesses and schools recycling the same materials. Likelihood: 65 percent.1

Science predictions for the United Kingdom in 2026

Science related predictions to impact the United Kingdom in 2026 include:

Health predictions for the United Kingdom in 2026

Health related predictions to impact the United Kingdom in 2026 include:

  • Anyone aged 15 and below in the UK is banned from buying cigarettes for their entire lifetime. Likelihood: 50 percent.1

More predictions from 2026

Read the top global predictions from 2026 - click here

Next scheduled update for this resource page

January 7, 2022. Last updated January 7, 2020.

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