Steve Allen 4am - 7am
Boris Johnson to meet Angela Merkel for talks on Covid travel rules
2 July 2021, 07:24
Boris Johnson is to welcome Angela Merkel to the UK on Friday for talks on coronavirus travel restrictions.
The Prime Minister will host his German counterpart at his Chequers country residence for her final UK visit before stepping down as Chancellor later this year.
Mrs Merkel is expected to address a virtual meeting of the Cabinet, the first foreign leader to do so since Bill Clinton in 1997, while the two leaders are set to discuss relations between London and Berlin.
The pair are expected to clash over Covid-19 travel arrangements following Mrs Merkel's request for EU leaders to impose tough quarantine rules on arrivals to the bloc from Britain - regardless of whether they have been vaccinated.
Meanwhile, Mr Johnson claims "double jabs will be a liberator" when asked about reports that fully vaccinated people may be able to travel quarantine-free from amber list countries by 26 July.
It will be named after Caroline Herschel, a German-born British astrophysicist who was a pioneer in the field, with the first medal expected to be awarded in early 2022.
The leaders are also expected to announce annual joint meetings of the UK and German cabinets, starting next year, as well as an intention to increase future funding to a bilateral programme for young people in both countries.
Ahead of the visit, the Prime Minister said: "The UK and Germany have a steadfast friendship and a shared outlook on many issues.
"Our scientists, innovators and industrialists work together every day to make the world a better place.
"Over the 16 years of Chancellor Merkel's tenure the UK-Germany relationship has been re-energised and reinvigorated for a new era. And the new joint ventures we will agree today will leave a legacy that will last for generations."
The Queen will also welcome Mrs Merkel at Windsor Castle on Friday as part of the Chancellor's visit, which will be her 22nd since taking office in 2005.
Mrs Merkel is making a series of farewell trips as she prepares to stand down as Chancellor in the autumn.