G7 summit - live: Biden accuses Boris Johnson of ‘inflaming’ Northern Ireland tensions as leaders meet in Cornwall

G7 summit – live: Biden accuses Boris Johnson of ‘inflaming’ Northern Ireland tensions as leaders meet in Cornwall

G7 summit – live: Biden accuses Boris Johnson of ‘inflaming’ Northern Ireland tensions as leaders meet in Cornwall

G7 summit – live: Biden accuses Boris Johnson of ‘inflaming’ Northern Ireland tensions as leaders meet in Cornwall

Related video: Biden tells USAF personnel in UK he’ll tell Putin ‘what I want him to know’

Joe Biden will deliver a Brexit warning to Boris Johnson in their first face-to-face meeting on Thursday ahead of the start of the G7 summit, telling the British prime minister not to imperil peace in Northern Ireland.

On his first trip abroad since taking office in January, the US president will meet Mr Johnson in Carbis Bay a day after talks between UK and EU officials ended without agreement.

“President Biden has been crystal clear about his rock-solid belief in the Good Friday Agreement as the foundation for peaceful co-existence in Northern Ireland,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters on board Air Force One.

“Any steps that imperil it or undermine it would not be welcomed by the United States.”

Such was Mr Biden’s concern over Northern Ireland that Yael Lempert, the top US diplomat in the UK, issued London with a demarche – a formal diplomatic reprimand – for “inflaming” tensions, The Times reported.


Extinction Rebellion plan ‘street theatre actions’ in St Ives and Falmouth

Climate protest group Extinction Rebellion is planning “street theatre actions” in St Ives on Friday and in Falmouth on Saturday.

The first in St Ives will see local climate activists “drowned in oil” in a “dramatic performance action to highlight the impact continued extraction of fossil fuels is having on the climate and ecological emergency”.

The second protest in Falmouth will involve activists dressed as “old style cleaners and armed with mops and dusters” who will be scrubbing down the shop fronts of high street banks in a “theatrical performance designed to highlight the role of banks in the climate and ecological emergency”.

Tom Batchelor10 June 2021 10:28


US motorcade arrives in Cornwall

Tom Batchelor10 June 2021 10:16


Sea shanties sung to celebrate ‘culture of Cornwall’

Strolling down the Prince of Wales pier in Falmouth, local sea shanty group Bryher’s Boys belt out a rendition of the traditional Cornish song “Lamorna” to the delight of onlookers, reports Reuters.

The 11 men, aged in their mid-50s to mid-70s, specialise in the traditional seafaring songs, which surged in popularity after a Scottish postman posted a performance of one on social media that went viral during the coronavirus lockdown.

Bryher’s Boys were performing ahead of this weekend’s G7 summit, which is being held near Falmouth, and before the International Sea Shanty Festival on 19 June – virtual this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Cornwall has a tradition of these sorts of songs,” said band leader Trevor Brookes.

“The miners and the acoustics down in the mine helped choir singing, and that’s where the traditional Cornish singing came from. And then … we’re surrounded by the sea, so mariners, fishermen and all that, so it is a natural link for us to sing both those two genres.”

He said sea shanties were once sung to galvanize sailors as they went about daily chores like raising the anchor and hauling in the sails.

“You had to get the men in unison, so they would have a shanty singer, and that sort of inspired that group singing together, and people like that.”

Mr Brookes sees the G7 meeting of leaders of major developed economies as an opportunity to showcase the culture and traditions of Cornwall.

“There are so many things that could capitalise on that,” Mr Brookes said. “The businesses, the maritime industries, the hospitality. But also the entertainment and opportunity to plug into the culture of Cornwall.”

Sea shanties entered popular culture after postman Nathan Evans sang the 19th century “Wellerman” and posted the performance on TikTok last year.

A pop re-mix of his song reached number one in the UK music charts and he has reportedly been offered a record deal.

Tom Batchelor10 June 2021 10:07


EU urges Johnson to implement Northern Ireland Protocol ‘completely’

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has said the Northern Ireland Protocol is the “only solution” to prevent a hard border with the Republic and must be implemented “completely”.

Speaking at a press conference in Brussels ahead of the G7 summit, she said: “We have been debating that for years and we have found the one and only solution.

“We have a treaty on that – the Withdrawal Agreement. It has been signed by both sides. It is important that we now implement the protocol.

“We have shown flexibility, we will show flexibility, but the protocol and the Withdrawal Agreement have to be implemented completely.”

Ursula von der Leyen speaks ahead of the G7 summit at the EU headquarters in Brussels


Tom Batchelor10 June 2021 09:59


Matt Hancock questioned over Covid response

Away from the G7 in Cornwall briefly to London, where Matt Hancock is facing questions about the government’s response to the pandemic and accusations made by Dominic Cummings over care homes as he appears in front of a select committee.

The health secretary was accused by the prime minister’s former chief aide of lying to Boris Johnson over coronavirus plans and being “disastrously incompetent”.

On Thursday morning, Mr Hancock denied saying anything to the PM which he knew not to be true.

For live coverage of that hearing click here.

Tom Batchelor10 June 2021 09:49


Biden warns Russia of ‘robust and meaningful’ response to ‘harmful activities’

Joe Biden began his trip on Wednesday in Suffolk by hailing America’s unwavering commitment to Nato and warning Russia it faced “robust and meaningful” consequences if it engaged in harmful activities.

Speaking to about 1,000 troops and their families, the US president said he would deliver a clear message to Vladimir Putin when they meet next week after separate summits with Nato, G7 and European leaders.

“We’re not seeking conflict with Russia,” Mr Biden said. “We want a stable and predictable relationship … but I’ve been clear: The United States will respond in a robust and meaningful way if the Russian government engages in harmful activities.”

More on Mr Biden’s comments here:

Tom Batchelor10 June 2021 09:43


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Tom Batchelor10 June 2021 09:33


Why you won’t hear mention of the ‘special relationship’

Prime ministers dating back to Winston Churchill have referred to the relationship between London and Washington as “special”, reflecting Britain’s close defence and economic ties with the US and its status as a trusted partner in intelligence sharing, as well as the many historical and family ties uniting the two allies.

But Boris Johnson has ditched the term “special relationship” to describe London’s partnership with Washington.

The PM’s spokesman told reporters that No 10 does not lay great store by the term.

“The prime minister is on the record previously saying he prefers not to use it as a phrase,” said the spokesperson.

“That in no way detract from the importance with which he regards our relationship with the US, our closest ally.”

Tom Batchelor10 June 2021 09:25


Police evacuate hotel near G7 summit after hoax suspicious package

Early on Thursday police in Falmouth evacuated a hotel after reports of a suspicious package.

Officers later confirmed this was a “hoax incident”.

“We currently believe that this was a hoax incident and a criminal investigation has been launched,” Devon and Cornwall Police said.

Security for the G7 event, the first in-person meeting of the leaders of major developed economies for nearly two years, is tight, with 5,000 extra officers from around the country having been drafted in to support Devon and Cornwall Police.

In total, 6,500 officers and staff will be deployed in the operation, with 1,000 of them effectively living on a ship moored in Falmouth.

Police have closed off roads and coastal paths to Carbis Bay, the small seaside resort which is hosting the event, erecting steel fences and putting other restrictions in place.

Tom Batchelor10 June 2021 09:14


Climate protesters target G7 summit

Greenpeace activists staged a protest at RAF Mildenhall as US President Joe Biden arrived in the UK on Wednesday, holding up a banner as Air Force One landed.

Greenpeace UK’s senior climate campaigner, Ariana Densham, said: “Since the government has turned Cornwall into Fort Knox, we’re calling on world leaders directly to ACT NOW, ahead of the G7. As the most powerful leader on the planet, Joe Biden must enter these crucial talks this weekend with our demand front of mind.

“We have just eight years left to prevent catastrophic runaway climate breakdown, yet world leaders are still sitting on their hands. Enough of the warm words and empty promises, it’s imperative that this G7 brings about meaningful action to tackle the climate and nature crises so we’re going to hound the G7 leaders until they deliver.”

(© Luca Marino / Greenpeace)

There is likely to be more disruption once the summit kicks off on Friday.

Extinction Rebellion activists have promised a series of demonstrations to call on the G7 to do more to tackle climate change.

The Kill the Bill movement will also protest against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

Tom Batchelor10 June 2021 09:03

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