G7 Summit: lessons must be learned from mistakes of Covid pandemic, says Boris Johnson

The Prime Minister has said the G7 must ‘build back better’ and ‘level up society’ following the coronavirus crisis

The Prime Minister predicted the advanced economies would 'bounce back' from the recession caused by coronavirus (PA Media)

Boris Johnson has said the G7 must learn lessons from the errors of the Covid pandemic.

During the summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, the Prime Minister predicted the so-called advanced economies would “bounce back” from the recession caused by the crisis, while insisting they should ensure the recovery helps all of society.

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At a glance: 5 key points

- The G7 nations will promise a billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines to help poorer nations tackle Covid, with Mr Johnson pledging at least 100 million extra doses from the UK over the next year

- He said the G7 economies - the UK, US, Canada, Japan, France, Germany and Italy - had the potential to “bounce back very strongly” from the pandemic but it was “vital” they should avoid the errors that followed the 2008 financial crash

- Mr Johnson said there was a risk the Covid crisis could leave a “lasting scar” and entrench inequalities, as he called for societies to “level up”

- The Prime Minister also suggested the recovery should be a “gender neutral” or “more feminine” one

- It is the first face-to-face meeting for the group in almost two years as a result of what Mr Johnson called the “most wretched pandemic”.

What’s been said

“We need to make sure that we learn the lessons from the pandemic, we need to make sure that we don’t repeat some of the errors that we doubtless made in the course of the last 18 months or so.

“But it is vital that we don’t repeat the mistake of the last great crisis, the last great economic recession of 2008, when the recovery was not uniform across all parts of society.

“We need to make sure that as we recover, we level up across our societies and we build back better.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson at G7 Summit

Background

Over the coming days at the summit, Mr Johnson will have talks with Mrs Merkel and other key EU players, including Mr Macron and the European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, as efforts continue to resolve the dispute over Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit arrangements.

A “sausage war” trade dispute looms if the UK unilaterally delays imposing a ban on British-made chilled meats heading to Northern Ireland which is due to come into force at the end of the month.

And the pledge on vaccines comes with the leaders under pressure to do more to share the burden of protecting the world from the virus, with Mr Johnson’s plan seeing the UK provide five million doses by the end of September, with 25 million more by the end of 2021 and the rest in 2022.

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