President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Boris Johnson will pledge to open a US-UK travel corridor ‘as soon as possible’ and open up Transatlantic travel restrictions when the two leaders met face-to-face for the first time on Thursday.
They will also establish a new ‘Atlantic Charter,’ modelled on the one put together by Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt in World War II.
International travel will be a top issue at this week’s G7 summit, where the coronavirus pandemic has essentially halted traffic as the summer holiday season approaches. Johnson planned to press Biden about a ‘green channel’ between their respective nations so those who are vaccinated could travel without observing a quarantine.
Before the outbreak of coronavirus more than 5 million British subjects visited the US and over 4.5 million Americans visited the UK every year – more than any other country.
To restart transatlantic travel, the two leaders will launch a new travel taskforce that will make recommendations on safely reopening it.
‘We’ve established two working groups of experts — public health experts: one with the United Kingdom and one with the European Union,’ National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters in a press briefing on Air Force One.
‘The point of these working groups is to share data and set out both milestones and criteria to enable a reopening of travel between our two countries as swiftly as possible, consistent with public health guidance,’ he said.
Thursday marks the first time that Biden and Johnson have met face-to-face. They have spoken on the phone numerous times since Biden was elected president.
Additionally, Biden and Johnson will also agree to a new ‘Atlantic Charter’, modelled on the historic joint statement made by Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941 that set out the leaders goals for the world post-WWII.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden step off Air Force One at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk, England, upon their arrival in the UK on Wednesday
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is hosting the G7 summit; he and Biden hold their first face-to-face meeting on Thursday
Joe Biden’s G7 schedule includes a meeting with the Queen after summit
President Joe Biden’s first foreign trip as the US leader will feature a meeting with the Queen following the G7 summit. Here’s his full schedule to June 16:
Wednesday, June 9
Biden and his wife, Jill, leave Washington on Wednesday morning. Their first stop in the UK will be at Royal Air Force Mildenhall to greet US Air Force personnel stationed there. Mildenhall is home to the 100th Air Refueling Wing, the only permanent US Air Force air refueling wing in the European theater.
Thursday, June 10
Biden will meet Prime Minister Boris Johnson at St Michael’s Mount, a 17th-century castle on an island just off the coast of Cornwall.
Jill Biden will have tea separately with the Prime Minister’s wife Carrie Johnson.
The Bidens are staying at Tregenna Castle Hotel n St Ives with the rest of the G7 leaders.
Friday, June 11
Biden will attend the G7 summit for three days starting on Friday, to work on US policy priorities such as the economy and allied unity.
Saturday, June 12
Biden will attend more G7 summit meetings in Cornwall and have bilateral meetings with fellow G7 leaders.
Jill Biden will meet members of Bude Surf Veterans, which helps UK military veterans through surfing.
Sunday, June 13
Biden will finish his meetings at the G7 summit. Afterward, the Bidens will meet Britain’s Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle. Then Biden will travel to Brussels for the night.
Monday, June 14
Biden will meet NATO leaders and have a private meeting with the president of Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan.
Tuesday, June 15
Biden will hold more NATO meetings and then fly to Geneva for the night.
Wednesday, June 16
Biden will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, their first face-to-face meeting since Biden became president. White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Monday it was unclear whether the two leaders would hold a joint news conference after their talks.
The ‘special relationship’ between the US and the UK was formed during the dark days of that war. Since then, leaders of the two nations have used it to describe the close alignment of American and British interests.
Biden touted the importance of the ‘special relationship’ between the US and the United Kingdom in his remarks to Air Force personnel upon his arrival in the UK.
‘These bonds of history, the shared sacrifice, run deep and are strong, based on values. They endure – the connection and camaraderie between our troops, this community and American citizens, stationed in UK,’ he said. ‘You are not only warriors. You are bridge builders. You are an essential part of this special relationship.’
The 1941 Atlantic Charter was devised at sea on board the Royal Navy battleship HMS Prince of Wales and the American ship USS Augusta.
The modern namesake of HMS Prince of Wales will sail along the coast of Cornwall providing the backdrop for the two leaders’ sit down, which will take place at St Michael’s Mount, a 17th-century castle on an island just off the coast of Cornwall.
The new Atlantic Charter will focus on threats to modern democracies, an agenda item the White House as emphasized ahead of the trip as American worries grow about the growing world influence of Russia and China.
The areas the two leaders will pledge to work together include defending democracy, reaffirming the importance of collective security, and building a fair and sustainable global trading system.
It will also recognize the threats of cyber attacks and climate change.
Biden called climate change a great threat to the world.
‘When I went over to the tank in the Pentagon when I was first was elected vice president with President Obama, the military sat us down and let us know what the greatest threats facing America were, the greatest physical threats,’ he told Air Force personnel stationed at Royal Air Force Maidenhall on Wednesday night.
‘This is not a joke. You know what the Joint Chiefs told us the greatest physical threat facing America was? Global warming,’ he said.
‘There will be significant population movements, fights over land, millions of people leaving places because they’re literally sinking below the sea in Indonesia, because of the fights over what is arable land anymore,’ he added.
The US formally rejoined the Paris Climate Accord this year after then President Donald Trump removed the country from it.
Afterward the meeting with Johnson, Biden will attend the G7 summit, where he will hold bilateral meetings with fellow G7 leaders. The G7 includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.
On Sunday, he and first lady Jill Biden will travel to Windsor Castle to meet with The Queen.
Then Biden will travel to Brussels, Belgium, to participate in in a NATO meeting and an EU Summit.
Biden and Johnson will announce a new Atlantic Charter modelled on one announced by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill during World War II
There, the president will discuss transatlantic security and the collective defense of Europe.
He will also meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Biden also will participate in the U.S.–EU Summit while in Brussels. That meeting with focus on global health and the world economy. Leaders will discuss climate change, trade, and democracy.
President Biden will also meet with His Majesty King Philippe of Belgium and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.
Then Biden travels to Geneva for his sit down with Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 16. He will also meet with Swiss President Guy Parmelin and Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis.