Here is a transcript of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s pooled interview with broadcasters on Thursday following his meeting with President Biden at the G7.
Question: You’ve just come from your talks with President Biden, the first time you’ve met face to face, you clearly had high hopes talking about Churchill and Roosevelt. But how were the talks? And did you make specific agreements on anything?
Mr Johnson: “Yes, I – look – I don’t think it is any exaggeration to say that the relationship between the UK and the US is – the relationship between North America and Europe – which really sort of is incarnated in that Atlantic Charter of 1941, which we’ve renewed today between me and President Biden, is of massive, massive strategic importance for the prosperity, the security of the world, for all the things we believe in together, democracy, human rights, the rule of law, the US and the UK stick up for those two things together. So it’s incredibly important that we should affirm that and the talks were great, they went on for a long time, we covered a huge range of subjects, and it’s wonderful to listen to the Biden administration and to Joe Biden because on… there’s so much that they want to do together with us, from security, NATO, to climate change, and it’s fantastic. It’s a breath of fresh air. A lot of things they want to do together.”
Question: One of the things the US clearly wants you to do, though, is sort out the problem with the Northern Ireland protocol. Did President Biden urge you to crack on with that? He’s made his alarm about the situation very clear.
Mr Johnson: “Well no, he didn’t. But what I can say is that the… America, the United States, Washington, the UK, plus the European Union, have one thing we absolutely all want to do and that is to uphold the Good Friday, the Belfast Good Friday Agreement and make sure we keep the balance of the peace process going and that’s absolutely common ground and, you know, I’m optimistic that we can do that.”
Question: There’s concern what is happening with the protocol is inflaming tensions.
Mr Johnson: “As I say there’s complete harmony on the need to keep going, find solutions and make sure we uphold the Belfast Good Friday Agreement and I think what’s interesting is that, you know, Northern Ireland is a fantastic place and it’s got amazing potential and it’s a great, great part of the of the UK. A great story to tell about its young people, its tech, all the exciting businesses going on there. And what we need to do now is make sure that we get the balance right in the new arrangements we have and I’m sure we can do that.