British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden will meet in-person for the first time on Thursday in Cornwall, ahead of the UK-hosted G7 Leaders’ Summit starting on Friday.
The leaders are expected to agree to a new “Atlantic Charter”, modelled on the historic joint statement made by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin D Roosevelt in 1941 setting out their goals for the post-war world, Downing Street said.
The original Atlantic Charter included landmark agreements, leading directly to the creation of the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). ‘
The 2021 Atlantic Charter is designed to echo those values and cover new partnerships, including a new Travel Taskforce for renewed US-UK exchanges.
“While Churchill and Roosevelt faced the question of how to help the world recover following a devastating war, today we have to reckon with a very different but no less intimidating challenge – how to build back better from the coronavirus pandemic,” said Johnson.
“And as we do so, cooperation between the UK and US, the closest of partners and the greatest of allies, will be crucial for the future of the world’s stability and prosperity. The agreements President Biden and I will make today [Thursday], rooted as they are in our shared values and outlook, will form the foundation of a sustainable global recovery,” he said.
“Eighty years ago the US President and British Prime Minister stood together promising a better future. Today we do the same,” he added.
The new Atlantic Charter will outline eight areas to work together, around values of defending democracy, reaffirming the importance of collective security, and building a fair and sustainable global trading system, Downing Street said.
The principled commitments made in the new Atlantic Charter will be underpinned by a series of new policy priorities expected to be agreed by the two leaders ahead of the formal G7 deliberations.
These include working to open up travel between the UK and US as soon as possible.
“Many people in the UK and US have been prevented from seeing family and friends for over 400 days as a result of coronavirus travel restrictions. Before the outbreak of coronavirus more than 5 million Brits visited the US and over 4.5 million Americans visited the UK every year – more than any other country,” Downing Street said.
Biden and Johnson expected to agree to work to relaunch UK-US travel as soon as possible through a new Travel Taskforce, which will make recommendations on safely reopening international travel.
The taskforce will work to explore options and to ensure that the UK and US closely share thinking and expertise on international travel policy going forward.
It’s also expected that the leaders will agree to pursue a landmark bilateral technology agreement, to be signed next year.
“The agreement will start a new era of strategic cooperation by reducing the barriers British tech firms face when trying to work with their US counterparts. By combining our shared expertise in areas like AI and quantum technology, the UK and US have the potential to transform the way we live,” Downing Street said.
It added that the two leaders will agree to work together to harness their power to address modern challenges like climate change, fighting cancer and antimicrobial resistance, as well as strengthening our strategic advantage on the international stage as like-minded democracies.
To strengthen UK and US efforts to beat the coronavirus pandemic and prevent any future outbreaks, the two leaders are expected to agree to “scale up” joint work on genomic sequencing and variant assessments.
This includes the UK Health Security Agency’s new Centre for Pandemic Preparedness linking up with its US counterpart, the proposed National Center for Epidemic Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics, as part of an integrated global surveillance system.
Discussions between the Prime Minister and President Biden are also expected to cover other areas of bilateral cooperation.