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World UK and US relationship indestructible, PM says

08:25  11 june  2021
08:25  11 june  2021 Source:   bbc.com

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The alliance between the US and the UK should be known as the " indestructible relationship ", Boris Johnson has told the BBC after meeting US President Joe Biden for the first time. He said he had "terrific" talks with Mr Biden, who has travelled to Cornwall for the G7 summit of world leaders. The summit begins later, with vaccines and climate change on the agenda. Mr Johnson insisted the US president had not rebuked him over post-Brexit tensions in Northern Ireland. However, Mr Biden is said to have "deep concern" over the situation.

US President Joe Biden will tell PM Boris Johnson not to let the row over post-Brexit trading in Northern Ireland affect the peace process. Sir Keir said he knew "what it means for those communities and the way the government is going about this is undermining the peace process", adding that the situation was also undermining the UK 's relationship with the US . "The government needs to make much more of an effort to settle this, to negotiate and get to a settlement for the people of Northern Ireland and for the world."

The alliance between the US and the UK should be known as the "indestructible relationship", Boris Johnson has told the BBC after meeting US President Joe Biden for the first time.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Boris Johnson and Joe Biden met in Cornwall on Thursday ahead of the start of the G7 summit © EPA Boris Johnson and Joe Biden met in Cornwall on Thursday ahead of the start of the G7 summit

He said he had "terrific" talks with Mr Biden, who has travelled to Cornwall for the G7 summit of world leaders.

The summit begins later, with vaccines and climate change on the agenda.

Mr Johnson insisted the US president had not rebuked him over post-Brexit tensions in Northern Ireland.

However, Mr Biden is said to have "deep concern" over the situation.

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Mr Johnson said the US , UK and EU all wanted to protect the Good Friday Agreement. Earlier, Mr Biden warned that the UK -EU dispute over border controls should not "imperil" the peace process. During their meeting, the two men also established a taskforce to re-establish travel across the Atlantic, after the US banned most British people from entering at the start of the " We affirmed the special relationship - that is not said lightly - the special relationship between our people and renewed our commitment to defending the enduring democratic values that both our nations share," he added.

And we are so grateful for your and your family's service,' she said . Biden and his wife Jill, a university professor, touched down at RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk in Air Force One just after 7.30 pm , kicking off the president's eight-day trip to Europe. The UK stop also includes face-to-face meetings with the Queen Speaking at a press conference in Downing Street alongside Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Blinken said : 'It is also the 75th anniversary of Winston Churchill's famous speech at Westminster College in Missouri where he described the Special Relationship between the United Kingdom and the United

The two men met in Carbis Bay, Cornwall on Thursday ahead of the start of the G7 summit, which will see the leaders of Canada, the EU, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the US and UK gathering in person for the first time since the pandemic.

Ahead of the meeting, Mr Johnson pledged the UK would donate more than 100 million vaccines to poorer countries in the next year, while Mr Biden promised half a billion doses of Pfizer vaccines to 92 low and middle-income countries and the African Union.

The G7 nations are expected to collectively agree to provide a billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine in an effort to end the pandemic in 2022.

  • How does Biden-Johnson relationship stack up?
  • Why does the G7 summit matter?
  • Why is President Biden concerned about the Northern Ireland Protocol?

In an interview with the BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg, Mr Johnson said the UK and US shared a belief in human rights, the rules-based international order and the transatlantic alliance.

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Between the US and the UK . So what do we know about that right now. And discussion in the president has said that he wants a stable and predictable relationship . Now Playing: ABC News Live Update: Biden to meet with UK PM Boris Johnson for 1st time.

A Number 10 statement said the prime minister and president would "work to relaunch UK - US travel as soon as possible". But the boss of Virgin Atlantic said the announcement "falls short". Chief executive Shai Weiss said : "The creation of the Atlantic Taskforce is positive recognition of the importance of the UK - US travel corridor and a first step towards reopening the skies." But he said the lack of a specific time frame for reopening travel meant airlines, businesses and passengers faced a lack of certainty.

He said he thought of the association as "an indestructible relationship" or the "deep and meaningful relationship".

"It's a relationship that has endured for a very long time, and has been an important part of peace and prosperity both in Europe and around the world," he said.

The PM had previously let it be known that he preferred a new term for the so-called "special relationship" between the UK and US after decades of use.

'Burdensome'

One area which could cause friction between the two men is the Northern Ireland Protocol - the part of the Brexit deal that prevents checks along the Irish border.

Mr Biden has previously warned that the new arrangements should not jeopardise the Good Friday Agreement, a peace deal signed in 1998 that helped end decades of violence in Northern Ireland.

Asked if Mr Biden had expressed his concerns, Mr Johnson said: "No, the president didn't say anything of the kind."

Johnson describes the "indestructible" relationship with the United States

 Johnson describes the © Toby Melville The two leaders have addressed different even those who are angry as the case of Ireland. AFP / Toby Melville after His first meeting with Joe Biden before the G7 summit which opens today, Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister described as "indestructible" the relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States.

US first lady Jill Biden, US president Joe Biden, UK prime minister Boris Johnson and Carrie Johnson in Cornwall, ahead of the G7 summit. Photograph: Toby Melville/PA. " We affirmed the special relationship -- it's not said lightly -- the special relationship between our people," Biden says of his Johnson meeting, using and repeating a phrase that Johnson reportedly bristles at.

Priti Patel said in February that "use of the accommodation was all based on Public Health England (PHE) advice". However, a Home Office email said PHE advice viewed dorms as unsuitable. Amid calls in the Commons for Ms Patel to resign, SNP MP Joanna Cherry said : "What she said - that the department had previously followed public health guidance regarding Napier Barracks in every single way - was simply not factually correct." She asked: "Why isn't the home secretary tendering her resignation as Amber Rudd (the former home secretary) had the grace and decency to do?"

The prime minister did suggest the way the EU was implementing the agreed arrangement was "excessively burdensome" and said while the UK, the US and the EU wanted to preserve the balance in Northern Ireland, a resolution to the issue was unlikely to be found in the coming days.

However, he added that the different sides would be able to "work it out".

The arrangements were set down in the 2019 Brexit withdrawal deal, but the UK has since sought more flexibility.

Speaking on Thursday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the protocol was the "only solution" and should be implemented fully.

And French President Emmanuel Macron said: "I think it's not serious to want to review in July what we finalised after years of debate and work in December.

"We have a trade deal - it has been painfully discussed for years... if six months later, they say: 'What we negotiated with you, we don't know how to respect it', then that means that nothing is respectable anymore."

Joe Biden, Boris Johnson are posing for a picture © BBC

Mr Johnson also defended his decision to cut overseas aid spending from 0.7% to 0.5% of national income, despite a manifesto promise to maintain the higher level.

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Earlier in the week, Mr Johnson faced strong criticism from some of his own MPs, one of whom said the cuts would lead to "hundreds of thousands of avoidable deaths".

The prime minister said his government's aid spending as a percentage of GDP exceeded the amount spent by the last two Labour prime ministers.

He argued the public understood the financial strain caused by the pandemic, adding: "I think people in this country, in spite of the constant running down of this country's efforts are incredibly proud of what we're doing in spite of the difficulties that were facing."

He also pointed to the UK's commitment to donate 100m surplus vaccine doses to poorer countries in the next year, as well as previous doses contributed to Covax - the scheme that distributes vaccines to the world's poorest nations.

"We will have a colossal sum of vaccines that we'll be distributing - the fight against Covid would not be possible without the UK's efforts on vaccines," he said.

Mr Johnson also said that he had discussed the case of Harry Dunn with the American President and that Mr Biden was "extremely sympathetic" and "actively engaged" in the case.

a group of people standing next to a person in a suit and tie: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arriving for the G7 summit at Cornwall airport in Newquay © Reuters Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arriving for the G7 summit at Cornwall airport in Newquay

The G7 brings together seven leading industrialised nations.

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They will spend the day discussing issues including the pandemic before a lavish reception attended by the Queen.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will also take part in their first G7 events.

William and Kate will join the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at the G7 leaders reception.

Afterwards, Prince Charles will host a reception for the G7 leaders and heads of the world's largest companies to discuss how the private sector can work with governments to tackle the climate emergency.

shape, rectangle © BBC
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  UK and US relationship indestructible, PM says © BBC

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