‘Nothing is negotiable’ Macron holds firm on Brexit negotiations
French president Emmanuel Macron has ramped up the pressure on Boris Johnson over the Northern Ireland protocol, insisting “nothing is negotiable” and wrecking the UK’s attempts to claim there is “harmony” at the G7 summit.
In a defiant statement at the Elysee, which he gave ahead of travelling to Cornwall, Mr Macron warned his British counterpart that France is not open to renegotiating any aspect of the protocol – and appeared to question whether the UK could be trusted.
“If after six months you say we cannot respect what was negotiated, then that says nothing can be respected. I believe in the weight of a treaty, I believe in taking a serious approach. Nothing is negotiable. Everything is applicable,” he said.
It comes as Mr Johnson played down divisions with US president Joe Biden, telling the BBC this morning that their alliance should be known as the “indestructible relationship … [which] has endured for a very long time, and has been an important part of peace and prosperity both in Europe and around the world”.
There were concerns after it was revealed on Thursday that Mr Biden’s most senior diplomat accused No 10 of “inflaming” tensions in Northern Ireland.
Dunn family keen to met Biden and say justice ‘has to be done’
The mother of Harry Dunn has said his family would welcome the opportunity to meet US president Joe Biden, after remarks made by Boris Johnson this morning (see my post from 8.03am).
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Charlotte Charles, whose 19-year-old son died in Northamptonshire in 2019, was asked if she was hoping to meet Mr Biden.
“I certainly wouldn’t say no. The last time we had a meeting with a president of the United States, Mr Trump, clearly it didn’t go well,” she said.
“We had a pretty nasty trick played on us that has left some quite deep emotional scars to be honest. It was one horrific day. So absolutely, we would very much welcome a meeting with President Biden, considering he has got personal experience of what we are going through.”
Probed about whether a civil claim lodged in the US could represent justice for Harry, if the US continues to assert suspect Anne Sacoolas’ diplomatic immunity, Mrs Charles told Today: “No. Justice means standing up and accepting accountability for your actions. The civil claim is extremely separate to the criminal case. So justice still needs to be done here in the UK. That’s always been my goal – that isn’t going to change.”
“She needs to face UK jurisdiction, it has to be done,” Mrs Charles added.
Sam Hancock11 June 2021 08:24
Nandy tells Johnson he ‘absolutely must deliver’ global vaccine aid
Shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy said this morning there was a moral, economic and health case for Britain to help vaccinate the world against coronavirus.
She told BBC Breakfast on Friday that Boris Johnson’s pledge ahead of the G7 summit to donate at least 100 million surplus vaccine doses to some of the world’s poorest countries was a “welcome agreement” but there needed to be a plan not just an ambition.
“What we need over the next 48 hours is not just ambitions to get the world vaccinated but an actual plan,” she said. “That would be in Britain’s interest as well, the International Monetary Fund says that this would represent the biggest return on investment in modern history for wealthier countries because of the economic fallout if we don’t deal with this.”
She added that the “the prime minister absolutely has to deliver this”.
Sam Hancock11 June 2021 08:10
Biden ‘engaged’ in case of Harry Dunn, Johnson claims
Joe Biden is “actively engaged” and “extremely sympathetic” in the case of teenage motorcyclist Harry Dunn, Boris Johnson has said.
The leaders of the US and UK discussed the 19-year-old, who was killed when a car crashed into his motorbike outside a military base in Northamptonshire, ahead of the G7 summit of world leaders in Cornwall.
The death, in August 2019, sparked an international controversy after Anne Sacoolas had diplomatic immunity asserted on her behalf. She has since been charged with causing the death of the teenager by dangerous driving.
Mr Johnson was asked if there had been any progress made on the case following his discussion with his American counterpart and said he understood there were “limits” to what Mr Biden could do.
“You should really – when you get the chance – put your question to the president because he is actively engaged in the case,” the PM said in an interview with the BBC.
“As you know, he has his own personal reasons for feeling very deeply about the issue. And he was extremely sympathetic, but this is not something that either government can control very easily because there are legal processes that are still going on.”
The Dunn family said they were pleased to see the case raised at the “first available opportunity”.
Sam Hancock11 June 2021 08:03
PM hails ‘indestructible relationship’ between US and UK
Boris Johnson has hailed the alliance between the US and the UK as the “indestructible relationship”.
In an interview with the BBC Mr Johnson said he and Joe Biden were enjoying “terrific” talks at the G7 summit, which 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.
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.
Speaking to 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.
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.
Sam Hancock11 June 2021 08:01
Macron attacks UK’s failure to implement Brexit deal ahead of G7 showdown
Emmanuel Macron has launched an angry attack on the UK’s failure to implement the Brexit deal for Northern Ireland, branding the PM’s attempt to reopen the legal protocol governing trade across the Irish Sea as “not serious”, saying: “Nothing is renegotiable.”
The attack – ahead of a face-to-face meeting with Mr Johnson in Cornwall – came after the US issued the UK with an extraordinary diplomatic rebuke for putting the Northern Ireland peace process in jeopardy.
Joe Biden’s top diplomat in London warned David Frost, the Brexit minister, that the government is “inflaming” tensions by refusing to introduce checks at ports, revealed in a memo which No 10 did not deny.
Our deputy political editor Rob Merrick reports:
Sam Hancock11 June 2021 07:55
Hello and welcome to The Independent’s rolling coverage as the G7 summit gets underway in Carbis Bay, Cornwall.
Sam Hancock11 June 2021 07:49