Related video: Biden tells USAF personnel in UK he’ll tell Putin ‘what I want him to know’
Joe Biden has not come to the UK to lecture Boris Johnson about Northern Ireland and is not looking to be confrontational or adversarial, a senior US official has said ahead of the G7 summit.
“He didn’t come here to give a lecture,” the official, who was unnamed in quotes given to Reuters, said. “He came here to communicate what he believes very, very deeply about peace in Northern Ireland.”
It comes after the Biden administration warned the British government not to imperil peace in Northern Ireland amid fraught Brexit negotiations with the EU which ended without a breakthrough on Wednesday.
On Thursday afternoon during his first trip abroad since taking office in January, Mr Biden met with Mr Johnson and their wives and strolled along the beachfront at Carbis Bay.
‘We both married way above our station’: Biden ‘thrilled’ to meet Johnson’s wife
Boris Johnson and Joe Biden traded pleasantries on Thursday as the US president arrived in Cornwall for the start of a G7 summit.
With the cameras rolling ahead of a potentially difficult meeting over Brexit, the prime minister told his US counterpart that “everyone” is “absolutely thrilled to see you”.
Mr Biden replied: “It’s a thrill to be here. I’m thrilled to meet your wife” – referring to Carrie Johnson (née Symonds) who married Mr Johnson at the end of last month.
Tom Batchelor10 June 2021 16:17
Extinction Rebellion protests planned for Friday
Extinction Rebellion is planning a range of protests over the weekend (see post at 10.28am). Here is their schedule for Friday, the first day of the summit:
- 10am: “Stop Rearranging the Deckchairs” Titanic theatrical beach action by XR Money Rebellion (location: Town Beach / Harbour Beach)
- 12 – 1.30pm: Sound The Alarm march (route: from the Leisure Centre to Porthminster Beach)
- 3.30pm: “Drowning in Oil” symbolic action (location: north end of Harbour Beach)
- 4 – 4.30pm “Inquest on the Pandemic” by Doctors for Extinction Rebellion (location: north end of Harbour Beach)
- 5pm “Smoke & Mirrors” signalling action to the G7 leaders (location: Gwithian beach)
- 5pm “Stop the Amazon Burning” by Amazon Rebellion (location: “The Island” Porthmeor Road)
Tom Batchelor10 June 2021 16:12
‘Not well informed‘: DUP leader attacks Biden over Brexit warning
DUP leader Edwin Poots has criticised comments by Joe Biden that the UK government was risking peace in Northern Ireland over Brexit, calling his remarks “not well informed”.
“It would strike me that it’s not well informed in that the imperilling of the peace has been as a consequence of the Protocol and because of the implementation of the Protocol,” Mr Poots said.
“We’ve seen riots on the streets in Northern Ireland which we hadn’t seen for many years and I think the President would do well to reflect on what the reality is.
“The east/west relationship has been harmed, barriers have been put east/west, that is unconstitutional and the issue that regulation is being made on behalf of Northern Ireland in Brussels without representation is something that is against democracy, and the United States of America was always a country which wished to have democracy right around the world, so I would like to think that the United States of America would recognise and respect the democratic rights of people in Northern Ireland to have some say over the people who are making the laws that are actually applied to them.”
Tom Batchelor10 June 2021 15:53
UK and US leaders kick off summit with seafront greeting
Tom Batchelor10 June 2021 15:41
Johnson meets Biden in Carbis Bay
Boris Johnson has greeted Joe Biden in Carbis Bay ahead of the summit.
“It’s gorgeous, I don’t want to go home,” Mr Biden said of the seaside view as he walked with First Lady Jill Biden, the PM and his wife, Carrie.
Later the two men were sat next to each other, and Mr Biden said: “I told the prime minister we have something in common. We both married way above our stations.”
Mr Johnson responded: “I’m not going to dissent on that one. I’m not going to disagree with you there or indeed on anything else, I think highly likely.”
The prime minister then shook his head as he and the president faced a cacophony of questions from journalists.
Tom Batchelor10 June 2021 15:34
Gordon Brown | Nobody remembers G7 summits – this one needs to be different
Biarritz, Quebec, Sicily, Shima, and Bavaria. Only the most obsessive followers of politics might recognise these locations as the five most recent places to host the annual G7 summit, writes Gordon Brown.
If they are remembered at all, G7 gatherings are usually notable only for the leaders’ photo calls – and not for any big decisions made.
But as the world’s richest countries prepare to gather again this Friday, one monumental decision can save Carbis Bay in Cornwall from being added to the list of long forgotten G7 meetings. Leaders this weekend have a historic opportunity to stop Covid dead in its tracks, but they will only do so if they turn Boris Johnson’s promise to mass vaccinate the world into a concrete plan.
Here is the former prime minister’s comment piece in full:
Tom Batchelor10 June 2021 15:11
Have your questions answered live about the event’s impact on Cornwall
The Independent’s Colin Drury has been reporting from Carbis Bay and St Ives in recent days and will be here to answer reader questions about how the town is responding to being at the centre of the summit.
He will be joined on the phone by Oliver Baines, a Cornwall organic farmer and Extinction Rebellion co-ordinator who will be stewarding protestors through St Ives as your questions come in.
Put your questions in the comments of the story below and he will answer as many as he can from 3pm on Friday June 11. All you have to do is register to submit your question by 1pm on Friday.
Tom Batchelor10 June 2021 14:57
Anger as trees cleared for summit venue to hold discussions on nature loss
The Carbis Bay Hotel has raised eyebrows by cutting down trees in order to build new meeting rooms in which the planet’s environmental wellbeing will be under discussion.
“If you look at the grass verges, they’ve all been replanted with flowers,” St Ives Extinction Rebellion coordinator Neil Scott observed. “As far as I can tell, that’s the legacy project.”
Here is a rundown of the G7’s environmental impact:
Tom Batchelor10 June 2021 14:37
Boris Johnson criticised for flying from London to Cornwall to discuss climate crisis
Boris Johnson has been widely lambasted on social media for arriving at the G7 summit in Cornwall by plane.
A picture posted on Mr Johnson’s official Twitter account showed him leaving a plane making the thumbs-up gesture as he departed the aircraft last night.
High on the agenda for discussions over the coming days will be the response to the global coronavirus pandemic and climate change.
Shadow environment secretary Luke Pollard tweeted: “This is plane stupid. There’s no trainline to Washington or Tokyo but there is one between Cornwall and London. Take the train, Prime Minister.”
Leonie Chao-Fong10 June 2021 14:09
Which leaders will be at summit?
Boris Johnson is welcoming leaders from around the world to the UK on Friday as he hosts the latest summit.
The gathering marks the first time the leaders have come together in almost two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s also US President Joe Biden’s first overseas visit since entering the Oval Office in January.
Here’s everything you need to know.
Leonie Chao-Fong10 June 2021 13:47