Boris Johnson to host world leaders at G7 summit in Cornwall

16 January 2021, 22:30 | Updated: 17 January 2021, 08:46

Boris Johnson will host the G7 in Cornwall
Boris Johnson will host the G7 in Cornwall. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

Boris Johnson will host the G7 summit at the Cornish seaside resort of Carbis Bay, where he will urge of world leaders to unite in "building back better" from coronavirus.

Incoming US president Joe Biden is expected to attend the event starting on June 11, as well as the other G7 leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the EU.

The Prime Minister has also invited Australia, India and South Korea to attend as guests, as he seeks to promote a green recovery from the crisis.

"Coronavirus is doubtless the most destructive force we have seen for generations and the greatest test of the modern world order we have experienced," he said.

"It is only right that we approach the challenge of building back better by uniting with a spirit of openness to create a better future."

It will be the first time the summit has met in person in nearly two years, with the US moving the 46th online because of the pandemic.

Malcolm Bell from Visit Cornwall on the county hosting the G7

The last time the UK hosted the summit, in 2013, the venue was a resort in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.

Gleneagles in Scotland, London and Birmingham have also in the past played hosts.

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The Carbis Bay Estate will be the main focus of the summit, but the seaside village will be supported by neighbouring St Ives and other towns across the region.

Mr Johnson said that Cornwall "is the perfect location for such a crucial summit".

"Two hundred years ago Cornwall's tin and copper mines were at the heart of the UK's industrial revolution and this summer Cornwall will again be the nucleus of great global change and advancement," he said.

With so much of the world's power expected to be based in the seaside resort for the weekend, the summit will require a major security operation.

Devon and Cornwall Police's Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer said: "We have been preparing for this event for several months, including speaking with colleagues who have managed similar events, so we can ensure that we continue to effectively serve our local communities in the run up to, during and after the event."

Kim Conchie from Cornwall Chamber of Commerce on the county hosting the G7

Boris Johnson has suggested he wants international allies to agree a treaty on coping with future pandemics after the coronavirus crisis showed they were "totally unprepared".

He wants to help shape the meeting into a wider group of like-minded powers, with the leaders of India, Australia and South Korea invited as guests - forming a "D10" of democracies.

At the Commons Liaison Committee, Mr Johnson said: "If you look at the pandemic it caught the international system totally unprepared in all sorts of ways and we need to work together on preparing for pandemics in the future."

On whether to close borders or impose quarantine measures, there was "no international consensus" and there were similarly divergent responses on vaccine prioritisation, lockdown restrictions and the use of PPE.

"The global system basically failed to match the demands of the time," he said.

"One of the things we are looking at is the possibility of a treaty on pandemics."

Other items on the agenda will be job creation, global free trade and how to respond to the challenges posed by China.

Asked whether he would seek an agreement on the principles around the use of data, and how to protect privacy, Mr Johnson said: "We are looking at all that kind of thing, particularly on data, not just in the context of the G7 but also of the D10 - so if you add Australia, India, South Korea to the G7 you have some of the major democratic countries of the world coming together."

The G7 is made up of the UK, US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, with the European Union also represented.