G7: UK to host Cornwall seaside summit in summer

By Justin Parkinson
Political reporter, BBC News

Published
image copyrightEducation Images
image captionCarbis Bay is a popular destination for walkers

The leaders of most of the world's biggest economies will get a brief taste of the English seaside this June as they gather for the G7 summit.

Cornwall's Carbis Bay, known for its sandy beach and clear waters, will be the venue for discussions on debt, climate change and post-Covid recovery.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson called it the "perfect location for such a crucial summit".

The UK, US, Germany, France, Canada, Italy and Japan make up the G7.

Leaders from Australia, India, South Korea and the EU will also attend the event, from 11 to 13 June, as guests.

Visit Cornwall estimates the county will make £50m, with the summit providing a boost to tourism and the area's international profile.

But the likes of US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron are unlikely to enjoy an ice cream and a barefoot stroll through Carbis Bay's surf.

G7 summits require security cordons, with anti-globalisation protests having affected several previous get-togethers.

Measures in place for the meeting in Biarritz, France, in 2019, saw the seaside resort likened to a temporary "fortress".

The Cornish meeting will be the first face-to-face G7 since the pandemic started. Last year's event - scheduled to take place at Camp David, Maryland - took place online instead.

The previous two UK-hosted meetings were at Lough Erne, Co Fermanagh, in 2013, and Gleneagles, Perth and Kinross, in 2005.

image captionBoris Johnson invoked the leading role of Cornwall's mining communities in the industrial revolution

This year, delegates will be put up - with Covid restrictions in place - at the Tregenna Castle Resort, overlooking nearby St Ives, and other locations.

The National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth will host international media.

The UK is hosting the summit as president of the G7 for the year.

"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," Mr Johnson said.

He added that leaders should approach the economic challenges of Covid "by uniting with a spirit of openness to create a better future".

"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," the prime minister said.

image copyrightReuters
image captionThe 2019 G7 summit in Biarritz involved a huge security operation

Visit Cornwall chief executive Malcolm Bell said the summit would "not only showcase the beauty of Cornwall but give us the opportunity to communicate our heritage, culture and the connections".

The government said it would announce more of its plans "in due course".

The G7 meeting comes five months ahead of UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November.

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