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G7 gives the PM a chance to outline the UK's post-Brexit role face to face with other leaders

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05.06.2021

The arrival of world leaders in Carbis Bay next weekend marks an early victory for Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his plans for “global Britain”. It’s not so much what has been agreed in advance but the fact that the event is taking place in person, not on Zoom.

Following a year of lockdowns and uncertainty, global meetings have been regularly reduced to video conferences. It’s a cause of frustration for the Prime Minister who sees it as limiting his ability to form bonds with fellow leaders. “He works much better in person than over Zoom,” says one colleague.

Mingling is on the menu – both in official meetings and evening socialising. A strict testing regime will be in place for guests. Ministers are keen to avoid what happened last month at a pre-summit G7 meeting in London when members of the Indian delegation tested positive for Covid.

“It will be rigorous,” says one aide. The event is seen as the first chance (the next being COP26) for Mr Johnson to show what role there is for Brexit Britain on the international stage.

So, as the leaders of Germany, Italy, Canada, France, Japan and the US descend on Cornwall for the diplomatic charm offensive, what does Johnson want to achieve? As much as there is potential for good news on his first big foreign event from home, there is also space for error.

In terms of building........

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