Related video: Biden tells USAF personnel in UK he’ll tell Putin ‘what I want him to know’
A warning from the Biden administration to Boris Johnson not to imperil peace in Northern Ireland amid fraught Brexit negotiations stands as an “unprecedented rebuke” for a British prime minister, Sir Keir Starmer has said ahead of the G7 summit.
The Labour leader said the government’s handling of the matter was not only “undermining the peace process” but was now “also undermining our relationship with America”.
Aides to the US president said Joe Biden will stress the need to “stand behind” the Northern Ireland Protocol, the element of the Brexit deal which has triggered a UK-EU dispute.
On his first trip abroad since taking office in January, Mr Biden will meet Mr Johnson in Carbis Bay – however a planned trip to Saint Michael’s Mount, a castle on a tidal island off the coast of Cornwall, has been cancelled due to the weather.
The issue of Brexit has threatened to overshadow their meeting and the UK’s hosting of the summit, which begins on Friday.
Cornwall hospital ‘reserves space for G7 VIPs’
The Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro has reportedly set aside space in case it is needed for G7 dignatories as well as those caught up in planned protests.
Local news site Cornwall Live said the area reserved for any patients linked to the summit was “small”.
The prospect of protests this weekend will have fed into local health plans ahead of the gathering of world leaders in Carbis Bay.
Earlier this week the Lib Dems claimed two wards had been reserved at the Royal Cornwall hospital in preparation for the G7.
Andrew George, the health spokesperson for the Lib Dems in Cornwall, told The Guardian that ensuring hospital beds had been cleared was an “inevitable consequences of the government failing to put proper plans in place before theG7comes to town”.
NHS Kernow, the clinical commissioning group (CCG) for Cornwall and the Scilly Isles, said there was sufficient capacity to deal with any extra demand linked to the summit.
“As at any time when we expect increased demand for our services, we work together with our health and care partners to create additional capacity in our hospitals,” the statement said. “We have done this to ensure we are prepared for G7, as we would with any major event in the county.”
Tom Batchelor10 June 2021 12:18
Chance of rain scuppers Biden-Johnson trip
Poor weather in Cornwall is being blamed after a trip to a coastal beauty spot planned for Joe Biden and Boris Johnson was cancelled.
The two leaders were due to meet at Saint Michael’s Mount, a castle on a tidal island off the coast of Cornwall, for their talks ahead of the G7 summit.
A No 10 source told the PA news agency the visit to Saint Michael’s Mount was “off due to the weather”.
Weather forecasts for Marazion, the town closest to Saint Michael’s Mount, suggest the trip would have been hit by a high chance of rain around lunchtime with a moderate breeze.
The leaders will meet instead in Carbis Bay, the location for Friday’s summit.
Tom Batchelor10 June 2021 12:06
Global vaccine plan must be G7 priority, says Labour
Plans for supplying vaccines to less developed countries should be the priority at G7 discussions this weeked, Labour has said.
Leader Sir Keir Starmer, speaking in Batley, said it was important the UK should send vaccines to developing countries but said “on its own, it’s not enough”.
He said: “We need a global agreement; we need global funding.
“That ought to be the most important topic of discussion at the G7 this weekend.
“And, what I want to see from the prime minister is real leadership on this.”
Tom Batchelor10 June 2021 11:57
Travel industry criticises lack of detail in transatlantic plan
Plans to look at how transatlantic travel can be restarted safely have been dismissed by industry leaders as lacking “clarity”.
Boris Johnson and Joe Biden will agree on Thursday to launch a taskforce to make recommendations on reopening international travel.
Virgin Atlantic chief executive Shai Weiss warned that the “absence of a definitive timeframe” means airlines, businesses and consumers have not been given “much-needed clarity”.
British Airways boss Sean Doyle the industry was desperate for “action without delay, including clear criteria and a timeline. Anything other than this could result in tough consequences.”
A spokeswoman for travel trade association Abta said there was “little in this announcement in terms of detail or timings”.
Tom Batchelor10 June 2021 11:46
Reaction to reports of White House Brexit warning
Tom Batchelor10 June 2021 11:34
‘Mount Recyclemore’ made from waste in Cornwall
Tom Batchelor10 June 2021 11:24
‘Unprecedented rebuke’ from US president over Brexit, says Starmer
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said the US president delievered an “unprecedented rebuke” over Brexit negotiations in relation to Northern Ireland.
“And that comes on the back of months of chaos, of lack of preparedness and, frankly, the government misleading the public,” he said.
“I’ve worked in Northern Ireland. I know what it means for those communities and the way the government is going about this is undermining the peace process.
“But it’s now also undermining our relationship with America. So we need to make progress on this.”
Speaking in Batley, West Yorkshire, Sir Keir added: “Just as the world is watching, we’re in this situation in Northern Ireland.
“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.”
Tom Batchelor10 June 2021 11:11
Man arrested over Falmouth bomb hoax
A 20-year-old man from Falmouth has been arrested on suspicion of a bomb hoax and has been taken into police custody after a hotel was evacuated as the world’s media gathers in the Cornish town for the G7.
In a statement, Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Police were called at around 3.15am on Thursday 10 June following reports of a suspicious package having been located on the grounds outside of the Falmouth Hotel, Cliff Road in Falmouth.
“Following assessment from the Royal Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), the device was declared not viable and therefore safe.
“In order to maintain public safety, the area was evacuated as a precautionary measure and a 100-meter cordon was put in place.
“In total around 100 people were displaced, all of whom have since been allowed back and the 100-meter cordon has been removed. We would like to thank the public and those who were evacuated for their assistance.
“We currently believe that this was a suspected hoax incident and a criminal investigation has been launched.
“A 20-year-old man from Falmouth has been arrested on suspicion of a bomb hoax and has been taken into police custody.”
Tom Batchelor10 June 2021 10:59
Opinion | Of course Boris Johnson took a private jet to Cornwall – he doesn’t give a damn what we think anymore
Scarcely a day goes by without Boris Johnson staging some sort of photo opportunity, writes Rupert Hawksley.
If he’s not in a hard hat, he’s holding a sausage, twiddling a knob or doing his best to break a tram (and more likely than not, a promise).
It’s easier than actually running the country and, one assumes, is supposed to show that the prime minister is one of us, as comfortable in hi vis as a Hermes tie. Or, it turns out, a private jet.
Yes, here comes the man of the people… And here is the comment piece:
Tom Batchelor10 June 2021 10:51
G7 nations must ‘shoulder their responsibilities and vaccinate the world’, says Johnson
Boris Johnson has called on G7 nations to “shoulder their responsibilities and to vaccinate the world” ahead of the summit which starts tomorrow.
The prime minister urged countries to put the pandemic “behind us” and focus on reducing carbon emissions, fighting the loss of biodiversity and getting another 40 million girls into school by 2025.
He wrote: “Wherever you look — the G7, Nato, the global struggle against COVID — Britain is the “buckle that fastens, the hyphen that joins” everything together, to adopt Walter Bagehot’s phrase. We can do this because of the breadth of our capabilities and friendships.
“The UK can at once devise a vaccine against COVID, conduct nearly half of the world’s genomic sequencing of new variants, bring the world’s most powerful leaders to Cornwall, and send an aircraft carrier to the Indo-Pacific.
“But we would never wish to go it alone; on the contrary, we are blessed with alliances that help to keep us safe and advance our values. Now we are putting all of this to work for the benefit of the British people and to ensure this country is a force for good.”
Tom Batchelor10 June 2021 10:42