It’s not quite Paris or Venice! Tiny Cornish village Carbis Bay (population 3,000, with one Tesco and a highly-rated chip shop) prepares to welcome world’s leaders in G7 summit
- Britain is to host the first G7 summit since 2019 as part of the rotating presidency
- Boris Johnson has picked Cornish resort village of Carbis Bay as the main venue
- Summit will be first major event hosted by PM and new President Joe Biden, and one of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s last
- Carbis Bay has 4,000 residents and is served by Tesco and a fish and chip shop
A tiny Cornish seaside village is to host world leaders in the first in-person meeting of the G7 in almost two years in June.
For Boris Johnson’s first major summit in the UK, he has picked Carbis Bay in Britain’s most southerly county for the gathering, where he hopes to unite leaders on a message of ‘building back better from coronavirus’.
The resort village has a population of just over 3,000, and is served by a Tesco supermarket and a ‘popular’ fish and chip shop.
It is one of the smallest locations ever to host the G7, and in summer is often overlooked by tourists driving through on their way to nearby St Ives.
The choice could however prove a logistical nightmare, with the nearest international airport in Exeter, over 100 miles away. Cornwall regularly sees its population increase by up to 100,000 people in June, with the A30 main road grinding to a halt in places.
The tiny Cornish seaside village of Carbis Bay is to host world leaders in the first in-person meeting of the G7 in almost two years in June
It is one of the smallest locations ever to host the G7, and in summer is often overlooked by tourists driving through on their way to nearby St Ives
Some of the delegates will have to travel to and from their lodgings at the hilltop Tregenna Castle Resort just over a mile away
Mr Johnson is expected to pull out all the stops for the meeting, expected to be the first international visit by President-elect Joe Biden, and also one of the last by outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Others in attendance are French President Emmanuel Macron, Japan’s newly elected Prime minister Yoshihide Suga, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, Italy’s Giuseppe Conte, and leaders from the European Union.
The group will treated to the charms of the Carbis Bay Hotel, a four-star £300-a-night spa resort overlooking the Celtic Sea, where they will hold meetings and their ‘family photo’ at the start of the event between 11-13 June.
Virginia Woolf spent three weeks at the hotel in 1914 and, years later, wrote To the Lighthouse, inspired by Godrevy Lighthouse at St Ives Bay.
Who’s in, who’s out: Japan’s Shinzo Abe resigned for health reasons last year, while Donald Tusk’s EU Council Presidency also came to an end. Donald Trump won’t be attending after he lost the US Presidential election to Joe Biden
The hotel boasts a fine-dining spot, Restaurant 1894, which opened last summer and has an extensive wine cellar that Emmanuel Macron will approve of.
Some of the delegates will have to travel to and from their lodgings at the hilltop Tregenna Castle Resort just over a mile away.
If any of the leaders need to de-stress at the end of the day then both hotels have pools, but Carbis Bay is closer to the beachside spa that offers a barrel sauna, firelit lounge and large treatment menu.
Mr Johnson has also invited Australia, India and South Korea to attend.
The Prime Minister says he wants to use Britain’s presidency of the G7 to forge a consensus that the global economy must recover from the pandemic in a pro-free trade and sustainable way.
The Prime Minister says he wants to use Britain’s presidency of the G7 to forge a consensus that the global economy must recover from the pandemic in a pro-free trade and sustainable way. Pictured: Mr Johnson with Emmanuel Macron at the G7 in Biarritz in 2019
Newcomers: This will be the first G7 meeting for President-elect Joe Biden and Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga
‘Coronavirus is doubtless the most destructive force we have seen for generations and the greatest test of the modern world order we have experienced,” he said in a statement.
‘It is only right that we approach the challenge of building back better by uniting with a spirit of openness to create a better future.’
Britain has suffered badly during the COVID-19 crisis, with the highest death toll in Europe of more than 86,000 people.
But, while a third wave of the virus causes more than 1,000 deaths per day, the country is leading the way on vaccinations having been the first in the world to authorise their use, and hopes to have much of the population protected within months.
The G7 have not met in person since the 2019 meeting in Biarritz, France where they faced protests over inaction on climate change as well as Donald Trump’s attempts to bring Russia back into the fold, his trade war with China, and leaving several major crises out of conversation.
Mr Johnson said: ‘As the most prominent grouping of democratic countries, the G7 has long been the catalyst for decisive international action to tackle the greatest challenges we face.
The G7 have not met in person since the 2019 meeting in Biarritz, France where they faced protests over inaction on climate change as well as Donald Trump’s attempts to bring Russia back into the fold, his trade war with China, and leaving several major crises out of conversation
In 2019, according to a senior Trump administration official, Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron had agreed that Russia should be invited to the next G7 Summit to be held in 2020
‘From cancelling developing world debt to our universal condemnation of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the world has looked to the G7 to apply our shared values and diplomatic might to create a more open and prosperous planet.
‘Cornwall is the perfect location for such a crucial summit. Two hundred years ago Cornwall’s tin and copper mines were at the heart of the UK’s industrial revolution and this summer Cornwall will again be the nucleus of great global change and advancement.
‘I’m very much looking forward to welcoming world leaders to this great region and country.’
Julian German, leader of Cornwall council, told local press: ‘We want a lasting legacy that maximises inward investment, translating our moment on the global stage into trade.’
Vladimir Putin, Russia’s President, has once again not been invited to meeting he had previously attended up until 2014, when he sparked controversy for the annexation of Crimea
He cited the county hoped to contribute to sectors such as ‘space and satellite, floating offshore wind and other sources of clean energy, and globally significant geo-resources including lithium to power our future’.
Devon and Cornwall Police’s Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer said the force had been preparing for the summit, which will require a high level of security, for several months, including speaking to colleagues who had managed similar events.
‘It provides an opportunity for all my colleagues to demonstrate our operational excellence and world-class policing skills on a global stage,” he said.
‘We are excited to be playing our part working with and supporting our partners to deliver a safe and secure G7 summit.’
Previously known as the G8, the Group of Seven countries have met without Russia since 2014 following the annexation of Crimea.
However in 2019, according to a senior Trump administration official, Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron had agreed that Russia should be invited to the next G7 Summit to be held in 2020. This was cancelled as a result of coronavirus.
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