G7 summit: What to expect from Biden and other world leaders in Cornwall's Carbis Bay

The G7 media centre in Falmouth in Cornwall.
The G7 media centre in Falmouth in Cornwall.

Boris Johnson will welcome leaders from around the world to the G7 summit in Cornwall

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The UK has taken on the Presidency of the G7 Summit, with Boris Johnson meeting with the leaders of the other nations in Carbis Bay, Cornwall.

What is the G7?

The Group of Seven countries brings together some of the world’s richest democracies – the UK, US, Canada, Japan, France, Germany and Italy, along with representatives of the European Union.

Where is the summit happening?

A sign advising drivers of road closures in Carbis Bay ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall.
A sign advising drivers of road closures in Carbis Bay ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall.

The UK holds the rotating presidency so has responsibility for hosting the summit, which will take place from Friday to Sunday at Carbis Bay in Cornwall.

Why is it important?

It is the first time the leaders have met in almost two years, due to the pandemic. The fight against coronavirus will be one of the main items on the agenda, with vaccine diplomacy set to take top billing.

Boris Johnson has called on his fellow leaders to commit to vaccinating the world against Covid-19 by the end of next year.

What else is on the agenda?

US President Joe Biden waves on arrival on Air Force One at Cornwall Airport Newquay.
US President Joe Biden waves on arrival on Air Force One at Cornwall Airport Newquay.

It is Joe Biden’s first overseas visit as US President. He is expected to use the trip to try to build an alliance of democracies as a counterweight to China, with the White House saying they expect G7 leaders to announce a new initiative to provide financing for physical, digital and health infrastructure in the developing world as an alternative to the “belt and road” measures offered by Beijing.

The leaders are also expected to discuss issues including climate change and getting more children into education around the world.

The E7 has been created out of e-waste, in the likeness of the G7 leaders and in the style of Mount Rushmore by British artist Joe Rush.
The E7 has been created out of e-waste, in the likeness of the G7 leaders and in the style of Mount Rushmore by British artist Joe Rush.

Who are the leaders attending the event?

Along with Mr Johnson and Mr Biden, Canada’s Justin Trudeau, Japan’s Yoshihide Suga, France’s Emmanuel Macron, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Italy’s Mario Draghi will represent their countries.

The European Union will be represented by commission president Ursula von der Leyen and council president Charles Michel.

Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison, South Korean president Moon Jae-in and South African president Cyril Ramaphosa will all attend as guests, while India’s Narendra Modi will participate via video link due to the coronavirus crisis.

What are the potential problems facing the Prime Minister?

Boris Johnson during a visit at St Issey C of E Primary school near Wadebridge in Cornwall.
Boris Johnson during a visit at St Issey C of E Primary school near Wadebridge in Cornwall.

The summit is an opportunity for Mr Johnson to push his “Global Britain” agenda, placing the UK at the centre of the world stage.

But the days leading up to the summit have seen a damaging row within the Tory party over his decision to cut aid spending from 0.7% of national income to 0.5%, with predecessor Theresa May warning “the damage it does to our reputation means that it will be far harder for us as a country to argue for change” around the world.

Will Brexit be an issue?

Brexit is always an issue. The ongoing row between the UK and European Union over the Northern Ireland Protocol is likely to loom large.

Unusually for a summit of leaders, Brexit Minister Lord Frost will be in attendance and the Prime Minister will hold talks with European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen as well as the leaders of France, Germany and Italy.

US President Mr Biden also takes an interest in the issue, with the White House warning against anything that would imperil the Good Friday Agreement.

Are protests expected?

A lone Extinction Rebellion protester at Falmouth Harbour in Falmouth.
A lone Extinction Rebellion protester at Falmouth Harbour in Falmouth.

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.

Will security be tight?

Police officers on motorcycles patrol through Carbis Bay in Cornwall.
Police officers on motorcycles patrol through Carbis Bay in Cornwall.

Very. Some 5,000 extra officers from around the country have 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.