G7 Summit: Boris Johnson calls Joe Biden ‘breath of fresh air’ after first face-to-face meeting

Mr Johnson insisted there was ‘common ground’ between himself and the new US President over the Northern Ireland protocol as they met in Cornwall before the summit

Boris Johnson met Joe Biden in Carbis Bay in Cornwall on Thursday before the G7 Summit (PA Media)

Boris Johnson has hailed working with new US President Joe Biden as a “breath of fresh air” after the leaders’ first in-person meeting.

The prime minister met Mr Biden, Donald Trump’s successor, in Carbis Bay in Cornwall on Thursday (10 June) before this weekend’s G7 Summit.

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At a glance: 5 key points

- Following reports that Mr Biden had accused the UK Government of “inflaming” tensions in Northern Ireland over post-Brexit arrangements, Mr Johnson hailed the “common ground” between the UK, US and EU on protecting the Good Friday Agreement

- The Prime Minister said the new US administration had "so much they want to do together" - including on NATO and climate change

- Discussions lasted around an hour and 20 minutes, with the two leaders covering “a huge range of subjects”

- Mr Johnson and Mr Biden had been due to meet at Saint Michael's Mount, an historic castle on a tidal island off the coast of Cornwall, but a No 10 source confirmed the visit had been called off “due to the weather”

- Talks were rearranged to the resort of Carbis Bay, where the G7 Summit will take place from Friday through to Sunday.

What’s been said

“What I can say is that America – the United States, Washington – the UK plus the European Union have one thing we absolutely all want to do and that is to uphold the Belfast Good Friday Agreement and make sure we keep the balance of the peace process going.

“That’s absolutely common ground and I’m optimistic that we can do that.

“It’s wonderful to listen to the Biden administration and Joe Biden because there’s so much that they want to do together with us – on security, on Nato, to climate change.

“It’s fantastic, it’s a breath of fresh air.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Background

Mr Biden’s first overseas visit has provided the US President with the opportunity to repair some of the international relations damaged by predecessor Donald Trump.

He has dramatically different viewpoints to Mr Trump on subjects including NATO and climate change.

And there were reports of a possibly strained conversation between Mr Biden and Mr Johnson over post-Brexit arrangements in Northern Ireland, but the prime minister suggested that these had been avoided.