Joe Biden will arrive in the UK this evening as he begins his first overseas trip as US President ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall.
Mr Biden and his wife Jill are expected to land on Air Force One at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk as they kick off an eight-day trip to Europe.
He will meet US military personnel stationed at the base before heading to Carbis Bay near St Ives for the meeting of world leaders.
The President is scheduled to meet Boris Johnson for face-to-face talks tomorrow – the first time the two men will have met in person – before the summit formally gets underway on Friday.
Mr Biden’s arrival in the UK is expected to be considerably calmer than that of his predecessor in the White House, Donald Trump, who was welcomed by a storm of protests.
Joe Biden will arrive in the UK this evening as he begins his first overseas trip as US President ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall
The President is scheduled to meet Boris Johnson for face-to-face talks tomorrow – – the first time the two men will have met – before the summit formally gets underway on Friday. The PM is pictured in Downing Street’s garden at a reception for teachers today
Preparations remain ongoing ahead of the G7 summit in Carbis Bay later this week. A Royal Navy vessel is pictured off the coast of Cornwall on June 8
Where is Joe Biden going on his tour of Europe?
Wednesday June 2 evening: Arrives in UK at RAF Mildenhall
Thursday June 3: Hold bilateral talks with Boris Johnson in Cornwall
Friday June 11 to Sunday June 13: Attend the G7 summit at Carbis Bay near St Ives
Sunday June 13: Meet the Queen at Windsor Castle
Monday June 14: Travel to Brussels for a NATO summit
Tuesday June 15: Attend a joint US-EU summit in Brussels
Wednesday June 16: Travel to Geneva for bilateral summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin
Having succeeded Mr Trump after his single fractious term in the White House, Mr Biden said in an article for the Washington Post that the trip is about ‘realising America’s renewed commitment to our allies and partners’.
Mr Biden also said he would meet with the Mr Johnson to ‘affirm the special relationship between our nations’.
The fact that Mr Biden’s first overseas visit since winning the keys to the White House is to the UK has been viewed in Whitehall as a diplomatic victory for Mr Johnson.
Mr Biden’s visit to Europe will inevitably be viewed as an attempt to repair relationships which were damaged during Mr Trump’s time in the White House.
Mr Trump had engaged in a bitter trade row with the EU and also slammed NATO members for failing to spend more on defence amid fears that he could pull the US out of the alliance.
The ex-President also sparked anger in European capitals after he formally withdrew the US from the Paris Agreement on climate change. One of Mr Biden’s first acts after taking office was to rejoin the agreement.
Mr Johnson and his ministers have lavished praised on Mr Biden since he won power amid lingering fears the PM and the US President may not get along.
Why is Joe Biden landing at RAF Mildenhall?
RAF Mildenhall has been home to US airforce personnel and equipment for decades.
The Suffolk base has been used by the American military since 1950, providing Washington with a military foothold in Europe.
Several units are still based there permanently, including the 100th Air Refuelling Wing and a branch of its special operations command.
It had been originally earmarked for closure in 2022 after the Pentagon decided to scale down its military presence on the continent.
However, that decision was later reversed and operations are due to continue at the base.
Democratic sources previously questioned whether Mr Johnson was an ‘ally’, with Mr Biden having previously described him as a ‘physical and emotional clone’ of Mr Trump.
There was also speculation the pair could struggle to work together because of Mr Johnson’s past criticism of Barack Obama, who Mr Biden served as vice president.
Mr Johnson faced fierce domestic criticism over his relationship with Mr Trump.
But he repeatedly defended the ties as he insisted in January that the UK PM should always have the ‘best possible’ ties with the sitting US president.
He told the Liaison Committee at the start of the year: ‘I am in favour of the Prime Minister of the UK having the best possible relationship with the President of the United States and I had an excellent conversation very recently with president-elect Joe Biden.’
This week reports suggested Mr Johnson is not a fan of the phrase ‘special relationship’ after an American magazine reported he told aides he does not like the seemingly ‘needy and weak’ term.
Downing Street aides reportedly said he ‘prefers not to use the phrase’ and is instead intent on fostering a ‘close relationship’ with Washington.
The PM hopes that part of that will include a new free trade deal with the US.
However, the US President as well as a host of other politicians in Washington have raised concerns about Brexit’s impact on Northern Ireland amid fears the UK’s split from Brussels could derail a trade agreement.
Mr Biden will join others from the G7 group of leading economies in Carbis Bay on Friday, where there is the prospect of some protests.
The PM plans to use the summit to urge the members – also including Canada, Japan, France, Germany and Italy – to ‘defeat’ Covid-19 by helping to vaccinate the world by the end of next year.
Mr Biden and his wife Jill are expected to land on Air Force One at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk as they kick off an eight-day trip to Europe. They are pictured in Washington on June 4
Mr Biden’s arrival in the UK is expected to be considerably calmer than that of his predecessor in the White House, Donald Trump, who was welcomed by a storm of protests
Large scale protests took place in London and elsewhere when Mr Trump visited the UK. The ex-president is pictured alongside Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle in July 2018
What will happen at this year’s G7 summit?
The leaders of the world’s seven most advanced economies will arrive in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, on Friday for the start of the G7 summit.
The G7 consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the United States.
Formal meetings between the seven leaders will then get underway on Saturday as leaders from guest nations, like Australia, also arrive.
The global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and efforts to prevent a future world health crisis are expected to dominate discussions.
But climate change and trade matters are also expected to be discussed at length.
Most of the G7’s formal business will be conducted behind closed doors but leaders frequently meet each other in the margins for bilateral talks which often begin on camera.
The summit will draw to a close on Sunday afternoon after a morning of further talks with leaders often conducting individual press conferences before departing.
The UK, as the host nation, will issue a communique following the end of the event to set out what has been agreed.
After the summit ends, the US President and the First Lady will meet the Queen at Windsor Castle.
Mr Biden will then depart for Brussels where he will attend a NATO summit and a joint US-EU summit before then heading to Geneva in Switzerland.
The White House said in April when it confirmed the trip to Europe that Mr Biden will ‘highlight his commitment to restoring our alliances, revitalizing the Transatlantic relationship, and working in close cooperation with our allies and multilateral partners to address global challenges and better secure America’s interests’.
There were positive signs in March this year of the ‘special relationship’ warming up after Mr Biden’s climate envoy John Kerry visited London for talks with Mr Johnson.
The positive trend continued in May when US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington has ‘no closer partner’ than the UK.
Mr Blinken said during an official visit to the UK that the ‘special relationship’ is ‘enduring’, ‘effective’ and ‘dynamic’ as well as being ‘close to the hearts of the American people’.
Speaking at a press conference in Downing Street alongside Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Mr Blinken said of the relationship: ‘It is also the 75th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s famous speech at Westminster College in Missouri where he described the Special Relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States and how vital it is for our two countries and many others around the world.
‘Three quarters of a century later, that Special Relationship is enduring, it is effective, it is dynamic and it is close to the hearts of the American people.’
He added: ‘The United States has no closer ally, no closer partner, than the United Kingdom and I am very glad for the chance to say that again here today.’