Home   Bury St Edmunds   News   Article

Joe Biden heads to the UK and expected to land at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk for his first foreign trip as US president




Joe Biden will begin his first overseas trip as US president when he touches down in Britain ahead of a G7 Summit with an emphasis on coronavirus vaccines.

The Democrat and wife Jill are expected to land on Air Force One at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk on Wednesday to kick off an eight-day trip to Europe.

Mr Biden will meet US personnel stationed at the base, and is expected to be greeted himself by a far calmer reception than his predecessor Donald Trump, who was met by a wave of protest.

Landing at RAF Mildenhall today will kick off an eight-day trip to Europe. Picture by Niall Carson/PA
Landing at RAF Mildenhall today will kick off an eight-day trip to Europe. Picture by Niall Carson/PA

The president will share face-to-face talks with Boris Johnson on Thursday in Cornwall, where the summit begins the following day.

Having succeeded Mr Trump after his single fractious term in the White House, Mr Biden said the trip is about “realising America’s renewed commitment to our allies and partners” in an article for the Washington Post.

Mr Biden also said he would meet with the Prime Minister to “affirm the special relationship between our nations”.

However, this week it emerged Mr Johnson is not a fan of the expression after an American magazine reported he told aides he does not like the seemingly “needy and weak” term.

Downing Street said he “prefers not to use the phrase” and is instead intent on fostering a “close relationship” with Washington.

Part of that, Mr Johnson hopes, is a trade deal with the States. However, the president has repeatedly raised concerns about Brexit’s impact on Northern Ireland.

Joe Biden will warn Boris Johnson and the European Union not to “imperil” the Northern Ireland peace process, the US president’s national security adviser said, as they struggle to resolve a trade row.

Jake Sullivan warned that Mr Biden harbours “very deep” concerns on the issue provoked by Brexit.

Mr Sullivan said the president believes the post-Brexit Northern Ireland Protocol is “critical” to ensuring that the Good Friday Agreement is protected, as Britain and the EU try to resolve the issue of checks in the Irish Sea.

The adviser told the BBC that both sides must continue with negotiations, adding: “But whatever way they find to proceed must, at its core, fundamentally protect the gains of the Good Friday Agreement and not imperil that.

“And that is the message that President Biden will send when he is in Cornwall.”

Mr Biden will join others from the G7 group of leading economies in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, on Friday, where there is the prospect of protest.

The Prime Minister 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.

After the summit ends, the president and the first lady will meet the Queen at Windsor Castle.

Mr Biden will then depart for Brussels and later Geneva in Switzerland.

Head to our politics page for expert analysis and all the latest news from your politicians and councils

Read more: All the latest news from Suffolk

Read more: All the latest news from Mildenhall