Boris Johnson and Joe Biden to meet for pandemic recovery talks ahead of G7

9 June 2021, 19:38 | Updated: 10 June 2021, 08:09

By Will Taylor

Joe Biden will hold his first meeting with Boris Johnson later today, after arriving in the UK for the G7 summit in his first foreign trip as US President.

The two leaders will discuss work on recovering from the coronavirus pandemic and efforts to resume flights between the US and UK "as soon as possible."

Downing Street said the leaders will also discuss climate change, security and global trade.

Mr Biden is also expected to tell the prime minister not to let the row over Northern Ireland's Brexit arrangements put the Good Friday Agreement at risk.

Speaking after arriving on Airforce One last night at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk, Mr Biden said tackling coronavirus is a worldwide effort. He said: "We have to end Covid-19 not just at home, which we are doing, but everywhere.

"There's no wall high enough to keep us safe from this pandemic, or the next biological threat we face - and there will be others.

"It requires co-ordinated multi-national action."

The G7 event, which sees leaders of some of the world's wealthiest countries meet, will see 5,000 officers deployed to support Devon and Cornwall Police in a huge security operation.

They will join the inevitable security entourage that follows a US president on his travels.

Mr Biden arrived on board Air Force One, the US president's aeroplane, at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk on Wednesday evening. The base has a major US Air Force presence.

Joined by the First Lady, Dr Jill Biden, the president addressed military personnel and their families.

Joe Biden touched down on Wednesday
Joe Biden touched down on Wednesday. Picture: PA

Read more: Restart travel between UK and US, aviation bosses tell Boris Johnson and Joe Biden

Read more: G7 summit 2021: Dates, Cornwall location and participating countries revealed

As well as the pandemic, other topics on the table at the G7 are likely to be big tech and global taxes and action to tackle climate change.

Both leaders have used the slogan of "build back better" to tagline their bids to have their countries recover from the health and economic damage caused by coronavirus.

Observers have made demands that the wealthiest nations should do more to supply vaccines to poorer countries.

There are fears about the impact Covid is having on less-developed nations, with wealthier countries vaccinating their populations much quicker, aided by their ability to develop, produce and buy jabs.

Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr John Nkengasong said ahead of the summit that leaders should share spare Covid vaccines to avoid a "moral catastrophe".

African nations have barely begun rolling out vaccines. South Africa, with its robust economy, has fully vaccinated just 0.8% of its population, according to Johns Hopkins University in the US.

Meanwhile, issues around Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol may feature as Mr Biden and Mr Johnson meet.

The UK and the EU are locked in a dispute over Northern Ireland's status after Brexit, with the UK concerned the protocol will prevent Britain sending goods like sausages to the province.

Mr Biden's administration has warned against putting the Northern Ireland peace process at risk.