3 February
Unemployment reaches a record high of 3,224,715.

15 March
The Budget raises tax allowances, and cuts taxes by £2 billion.

1 April
Protestors form a 14-mile human chain in response to the impending arrival of American nuclear weapons at Greenham Common.

6 May
The West German government announces that the so-called 'Hitler Diaries' published by the magazine Stern are forgeries.

9 June
Margaret Thatcher and the Conservative Party are returned for a second term in office with a majority of 144 seats.

7 July
New chancellor Nigel Lawson announces public spending cuts of £500 million.

13 July
MPs vote 368-223 against the reinstatement of the death penalty.

1 September
Korean Air Lines Flight 007 is shot down by the Soviet Union. All 269 on board are killed.

25 September
Maze Prison escape: 38 armed IRA prisoners escape from HM Prison Maze in County Antrim, Northern Ireland in the largest prison escape in British history.

2 October
Neil Kinnock is elected leader of the Labour Party on the retirement of Michael Foot.

7 October
A plan to abolish the Greater London Council (GLC) is announced.

22 October
Over a million people demonstrate against nuclear weapons at a CND march in London.

23 October
Truck bombs explode at a barracks in Beirut killing 300 American and French servicemen in the Multinational Force in Lebanon.

25 October
American forces invade the Commonwealth island of Grenada.

13 November
The first US cruise missiles arrive at RAF Greenham Common amid protests.

15 November
Turkish northern Cyprus unilaterally declares independence.

26 November
In London, 6,800 gold bars worth nearly £26 million are taken from the Brink's-MAT vault at Heathrow Airport.

17 December
An IRA car bomb kills six, three police officers and three members of the public, and injures 91 outside Harrods in London.