Watch live as President Biden arrives in UK for G7 Summit
The president touched down at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk — home to US Air Force personnel — at around 7.30pm. He was expected to fly on to Cornwall later for his meeting with Boris Johnson on Thursday.
The EU has said its patience with the UK is “wearing thin” and has threatened to “suspend” parts of the Brexit trade agreement unless London complies with the Northern Ireland protocol.
Biden touches down in UK
Joe Biden has landed in UK ahead of a meeting with Boris Johnson on Thursday on his first overseas trip as US president.
Mr Biden will warn Boris Johnson and the European Union not to “imperil” the Northern Ireland peace process, the US president’s national security adviser said, as they struggle to resolve a trade row.
The president will also use the visit to strengthen ties with allies at the G7 summit on Friday and join efforts to agree a strategy to vaccinate the world against coronavirus.
Matt Mathers9 June 2021 19:51
Climate group pokes fun at PM ahead of summit
Climate activists have poked fun at Boris Johnson ahead of the G7 summit.
Ocean Rebellion, a branch of Extinction Rebellion, made a display of the PM “in bed” with an oil tycoon.
The group says it wants to highlight the G7 countries’ “backhanded subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.”
Matt Mathers9 June 2021 19:46
Is it a bird, is it a plane, is it Joe Biden’s motorcade?
A series of large SUVs have been spotted filling up at a scenic petrol station in Cornwall.
They look similar to those used in Joe Biden’s ‘motorcade’ – a long line of vehicles used to protect the president while he is on the move.
Whenever he arrives in the UK later, Mr Biden will be transported from the airport in the presidential limousine, nicknamed the ‘The Beast’.
The heavily armoured car has bulletproof windows, reinforced tyres, 8-inch thick doors and is equipped with a weapons store and is driven by a secret service official.
Matt Mathers9 June 2021 19:20
ICYMI: EU threatens to suspend parts of Brexit agreement and warns ‘patience wearing thin’
The fall out from Brexit’s Northern Ireland protocol continued today, with both the EU and UK failing to agree on a path through the impasse.
The EU threatened to “suspend” parts of the Brexit trade agreement unless the UK ends its refusal to implement the protocol in full.
Speaking after talks failed to achieve a breakthrough, Maros Sefcovic, the European Commission vice-president, warned that “patience is wearing very, very thin”.
Our deputy politics editor Rob Merrick reports:
Matt Mathers9 June 2021 19:03
HMS Tamar spotted off coast at St Ives
HMS Tamar has been spotted off the coast at St Ives.
The Royal Navy vessel is the fourth of the five new Offshore Patrol Vessels being built to replace the current River Class vessels.
The boat forms part of the huge security operation in place to protect the world’s leaders at the G7 summit.
Matt Mathers9 June 2021 18:34
PM: Protocol solution ‘easily doable’
Boris Johnson has been speaking to reporters in Cornwall ahead of the G7 summit.
More comments from the PM here:
Responding to an accusation by President Biden’s security adviser, Jake Sullivan, that the UK is impeding the Northern Ireland peace process with its behaviour on the protocol, the prime minister said: “I think that what we want is something that enables us to protect trade flows, east-west as well as north-south. And they’re easily doable.
“I’m very, very optimistic about this. I think that’s easily doable.
“And the reason to do that is because that is the way to preserve the essential balance of the Belfast Good Friday Agreement, which has to look at things both north-south in the island of Ireland, but also east-west. And don’t forget that the bulk of the trade from Northern Ireland goes east-west.”
Matt Mathers9 June 2021 18:20
PM ‘not worried’ about Brexit row overshadowing G7 summit
Boris Johnson insisted the G7 summit will not be overshadowed by his row with the European Union over the Brexit deal’s impact on Northern Ireland.
“Well, I’m not worried about that,” he told reporters in Cornwall.
“I think that this is an amazing opportunity for the world. It’s a big moment.”
He added: “Don’t forget, this is the first time in six months in office, almost, that Joe Biden, the US President, has been able to come overseas for a major trip, it’s his first time on the European continent.
“It’s the first time any of us really have been able to see each other face-to-face since the pandemic began. And, you know, the pandemic, let’s face it, was a pretty scratchy period for the world. It was a pretty miserable period of competition and squabbling over PPE, and all sorts of things.”
The G7 will aim to achieve a new treaty on pandemics and “building back greener, building back better” after coronavirus, he said.
Matt Mathers9 June 2021 18:05
Protocol solution ‘must guarantee’ Good Friday/Belfast Agreement, Johnson says
Boris Johnson has said any solution to the problems surrounding Brexit’s Northern Ireland protocol “must guarantee” the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement.
Speaking to reporters in Cornwall ahead of the G7 summint, the prime minister said the peace process must be protected as well as the “economic and territorial integrity” of the UK.
He said: “On the Northern Ireland protocol, let’s be absolutely clear the purpose is to uphold the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, to make sure that we keep the balance in relationships in Northern Ireland.
“Of course, there’s a north-south dimension to that, between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, making sure that trade flows freely there.”
He added: “There’s also an east-west dimension, that’s very, very clearly at the heart of what the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement is trying to do.
“So, what we want to do is make sure that we can have a solution that guarantees the peace process, protects the peace process but also guarantees the economic and territorial integrity of the whole United Kingdom.”
Matt Mathers9 June 2021 17:50
Labour demands probe into Gove’s ‘unlawful contract’
Labour has demanded an investigation into Michael Gove after a judge ruled the government acted unlawfully by awarding a lucrative contract to a company with ties to Dominic Cummings.
Deputy leader Angela Rayner called on Wednesday for Boris Johnson to open an investigation into whether the senior Cabinet minister breached the ministerial code over the decision.
In a letter to the prime minister, she noted Mrs Justice O’Farrell found that a “fair-minded and informed observer” would conclude that there was a “real possibility, or a real danger” of bias in the awarding of the contract.
“On this basis, this appears to be a clear case of the ministerial code being breached,” Ms Rayner said in a letter to the prime minister.
“I would also urge you to set out what steps you are taking to recoup the taxpayers’ money that your government has handed out unlawfully to Conservative Party friends and associates at Public First.”
But the Cabinet Office said “there will be no investigation”, arguing that Mr Gove “was not involved in the decision to award this contract”.
Matt Mathers9 June 2021 17:37
Patel urges police forces to be ‘more proactive’ in sharing bodycam footage
Priti Patel is urging police forces in England to be “more proactive” in sharing bodycam footage of controversial arrests.
The home secretary said “transparency is vital” and that forces more quickly sharing footage would help to combat what she described as “misleading” video clips uploaded to social media.
In a speech to the annual Police Federation of England and Wales Conference, Ms Patel said: “I will not let the police be subjected to trial by social media.
“That’s why I backed the federation’s call for forces to share body-worn video footage to counter highly selective, and misleading, video clips uploaded on to social media.
“I want forces to be more proactive in sharing body-worn video footage to highlight the fantastic work of their officers, to build public confidence, and to correct harmful misinformation circulating online.”
The MP for Witham added: “It is critical that we work as a system to ensure that we maintain public confidence in policing, which is vital for victim reporting, intelligence-led policing, and to maintain our treasured model of policing by consent.
“As part of this process, we will be looking carefully at strengthening the system of local community scrutiny and the value of body-worn video, because transparency is vital.”
Matt Mathers9 June 2021 17:13