Joe Biden set to ‘affirm special relationship’ at G7 after accusing Boris Johnson of ‘inflaming tensions’ in Brexit row

BORIS Johnson looked in good spirits as he arrived at the G7 summit in Cornwall for his Brexit showdown with Joe Biden this afternoon.

The PM waved and grinned for the cameras as he walked into the posh Carbis Bay Hotel where the get together of world leaders is taking place.

Read our Joe Biden UK trip LIVE blog for the latest updates

He also gave a big thumbs up to supporters who had gathered to see him and took a moment to enjoy the sea view before ducking inside.

Boris is set for a tense meeting with the US President this afternoon after Washington waded into the sausage war row with the EU.

The pair were due to meet at historic St Michael's Mount but had to alter their plans at the last minute due to bad weather.

Ahead of the get-together Mr Biden vowed "affirm the special relationship" between the UK and the US.

He said: "Today, I’ll be meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson ahead of the G7 Summit in Cornwall.

"I look forward to affirming the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom and discussing how we’ll tackle our shared challenges together in the years ahead."

But privately the US President has sensationally accused the PM of "inflaming" tensions in Ireland ahead of their first meeting.

He is expected to address post-Brexit peace with the Prime Minister to ensure that the Good Friday Agreement is protected – as Britain and the EU try to resolve the issue of checks in the Irish Sea.

But tensions over Britain's handling of Irish issues have already been voiced by Biden, reports The Times.

Yael Lempert, America’s most senior diplomat in Britain, told Lord Frost, the Brexit minister, that the government was “inflaming” tensions in Ireland and Europe with its opposition to checks at ports.

Lempert said she had been told to take the step of issuing London with a demarche – which is a formal diplomatic reprimand rarely exchanged between allies. 

The memo said that the US “strongly urged” Britain to come to a “negotiated settlement”, even if that meant “unpopular compromises,” according to reports.

In a meeting on June 3, the US diplomat warned Frost that the increasingly bitter dispute between Britain and the EU over the protocol was “commanding the attention” of Biden before his first meeting with Johnson. 

This morning US sources denied that they had issued a demarche to the UK over Northern Ireland.

An official with the Biden administration said the President "will not be confrontational or adversarial" in his meeting with the PM.

They added: "He did not come here to give a lecture."

Ahead of the talks, his national security adviser Jake Sullivan warned that the president harbours "very deep" concerns on the issue provoked by Brexit.

Mr Sullivan said the president believes the post-Brexit Northern Ireland Protocol is "critical" to ensure that the Good Friday Agreement is protected – as Britain and the EU try to resolve the issue of checks in the Irish Sea.

The adviser told the BBC that both sides must continue with negotiations, adding: "But whatever way they find to proceed must, at its core, fundamentally protect the gains of the Good Friday Agreement and not imperil that.

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"And that is the message that President Biden will send when he is in Cornwall."

The G7 summit at its core will advance Joe Biden's foreign policy, the national security adviser said – rallying the world's democracies to tackle the great challenges of our time.

Joe Biden is set to visit three countries over eight days in his first overseas venture as the President.

Having succeeded Donald Trump in January, Mr Biden said the trip – which also takes in a Nato meeting and talks with Russia's Vladimir Putin – was aimed at smoothing relations with allies that had been strained under his predecessor.

He told reporters the aim was "strengthening the alliance, making it clear to Putin and China that Europe and the United States are tight".

Mr Biden has promised the meeting with the Prime Minister would "affirm the special relationship between our nations".

Downing Street said Boris is intending to foster a "close relationship" with Washington.

The PM is hoping to strike a trade deal with the US – but the national security adviser's comments were the latest in a string of warnings about Brexit's impact on Northern Ireland.

Boris Johnson plans to use the summit of leading economies to urge the members – also including Canada, Japan, France, Germany and Italy – to "defeat" Covid by helping to vaccinate the world by the end of next year.

The US President told reporters that he would be announcing a vaccine strategy for the world.

Mr Johnson also wants a new treaty on responding to pandemics after the "pretty scratchy period" where countries were competing and "squabbling" over access to PPE.

The summit would focus on "building back greener, building back better" after the pandemic, he said.

After the summit ends, the president and first lady will meet the Queen at Windsor Castle.

Mr Biden will then depart for Brussels and later Geneva in Switzerland.

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