The G7 Public Showtime: Against the backdrop of Biden’s demarche against Boris Johnson and his government, the two leaders play down their differences in front of the press.
On Thursday, President Biden and Prime Minister Boris Johnson met for a bilateral meeting in Caris Bay, Cornwall, UK that lasted more than 90 minutes. Meeting participants on the US side along the present were Blinken, Sullivan, Lempert, Jeffrey Zients, Daleep Singh, Amanda Sloat, and Rebecca Neff.
On the UK side, meeting participants along with PM Boris Johnson, were Dominic Raab, Karen Pierce, Lord David Frost, Sir Stephen Lovegrove, Will Gelling, John Bew, and Jack Doyle.
At the arrival, the two leaders were seen together on a deck overlooking the water, both accompanied by their wives. Biden stated, “It’s gorgeous. I don’t want to go home.” The four then climbed stairs to go inside a building where Biden and Johnson looked at the old charter.
Inside the room, as they looked at the charter documents and photos, Johnson noted that Churchill showed up in his naval uniform. Biden responded that he could because of his previous life. Johnson pointed out a photo of Averell Harriman at the conference and Biden said that he had spoken to Harriman shortly before he died about the signing of the Atlantic Charter. Johnson pointed out a section of the charter that embraces labor rights and said that it’s rumored that Chamberlain got it inserted. Biden made a fist of approval. They looked at a photo of one of FDR’s sons who accompanied his father to the same 1941 meeting.
In a brief meeting with the traveling press, Biden stated, “I told the prime minister we have something in common, we both married above our station.” Johnson responded, “I’m not going to dissent from that one, I’m not going to disagree with the president there or indeed on anything else, I find it highly likely.”
Today the two leaders set out a global vision in a new Atlantic Charter to deepen cooperation in democracy and human rights, defense and security, science and innovation, and economic prosperity, with renewed joint efforts to tackle the challenges posed by climate change, biodiversity loss, and emerging health threats.
“We had a very productive meeting,” stated Biden after the meeting between the two.
Biden and Johnson agreed on a new charter for the 21st century. The old charter was initially signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1941 after World War II.
But after 80 years, the two leaders signed a new charter on Thursday. In the new Atlantic Charter, it states, “Our revitalized Atlantic Charter, building on the commitments and aspirations set out eighty years ago, affirms our ongoing commitment to sustaining our enduring values and defending them against new and old challenges. We commit to working closely with all partners who share our democratic values and to countering the efforts of those who seek to undermine our alliances and institutions.”
Northern Ireland was a part of the discussion amid the issue over economic barriers between Northern Ireland and Ireland, that arose after the UK’s decision to exit the European Union. The President called Johnson a “physical and emotional clone” of Trump during his presidential campaign in 2020. Despite differences, Johnson spoke with Biden about how he would uphold the Good Friday Agreement for Northern Ireland.
In a joint statement released Thursday, it stated, “Today, the U.K. and the U.S. reaffirm their commitment to working closely with all parties to the Agreement to protect its delicate balance and realize its vision for reconciliation, consent, equality, respect for rights, and parity of esteem.”
Responding to demarche, a formal diplomatic protest against the government, a UK government source talked to Good Morning DC, stating that Biden apparently is doing everything Von Der Leyen, President of the European Commission wants. “They regarded Britain as the US player in the EU, but since we left, he is siding with the EU,” the source stated.
On the Northern Ireland protocol, the source stated, “The U.K. has stood alone against tyranny before and we will do it again. The EU interpretation of the Northern Ireland protocol is in clear breach of the Good Friday Agreement and will prevent the import of goods to be sold in NI supermarkets from the mainland, effectively stifling trade within the U.K.”
At the G7 summit, climate change will be definitely on the mind of PM Boris Johnson. Not only is the UK the host of the G7 summit, but it is also the host of COP 26 the Climate Change Conference in Glasgow later this year.
“At the G7 I’ll be urging leaders to cut emissions and preserve our planet. But we all need to be part of this conversation. Schools around the UK can use COP 26’s new education packs to help get young people involved,” wrote Johnson in a Twitter post this morning.
When it comes to combating the virus, Biden announced the U.S. will be donating 500 million doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine to the world, in hopes of tackling the virus across the globe.
The meeting between the two world leaders came before the upcoming G7 summit on Friday. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is the first world leader to meet with President Biden.
In the UK, 40 protest groups have arrived in St. Ives and Caris Bay. A total of 6,500 police officers from across the UK are on duty for the upcoming G7 meetings.
Biden announced that tackling Covid is the ‘major focus’ for the G7 summit.
After the G7 meeting tomorrow, Biden plans to attend NATO, the EU Summit, and travel to Geneva to meet with President Putin.