Boris Johnson makes his international summit debut on Saturday at the G7 summit.
– What is the G7?
It is an informal club of rich nations that meets annually to discuss major issues. The members are: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
– Where is the summit happening?
This year France holds the rotating presidency of the G7, and the leaders’ summit will take place from Saturday to Monday in Biarritz.
– What’s on the agenda?
In working sessions on Sunday and Monday, the leaders will discuss issues including the international economy, trade, tackling inequality, the environment and the challenges posed by the growth of new digital technology.
– Anything else?
Plenty. Host Emmanuel Macron wants the leaders to consider the fires in the Amazon rainforest as an emergency issue.
Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rain forest – the lungs which produces 20% of our planet’s oxygen – is on fire. It is an international crisis. Members of the G7 Summit, let's discuss this emergency first order in two days! #ActForTheAmazon pic.twitter.com/dogOJj9big
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) August 22, 2019
Tensions over Iran’s actions in the Middle East and the protests in Hong Kong are also likely to feature in talks between leaders during the summit.
– How does the Prime Minister’s schedule look?
Packed. The stand-out items in his diary are meetings with US President Donald Trump, where talks are likely to turn to a future trade deal, and European Council president Donald Tusk, which is likely to focus on the Prime Minister’s Brexit plan. Both those meetings take place on Sunday.
– What’s likely to come up in the PM’s talks with Mr Trump?
Both sides are keen to talk about the prospect of a post-Brexit trade deal. US Ambassador in London Woody Johnson said the first meeting between the two leaders would start a “new era” for the UK-US relationship.
— Ambassador Johnson (@USAmbUK) August 23, 2019
– Is anyone else attending?
France has invited India, Chile, South Africa and Australia as important regional democracies, plus four African nations: Burkina Faso, Egypt, Senegal, and Rwanda.
– What have critics said about the gathering?
⌛D-5#G7Biarritz will start on Saturday in a renewed format and with the unprecedented participation of leaders from 8 invited countries and several heads of international organizations.
— G7 France (@G7) August 19, 2019
Oxfam claimed the G7 was fuelling inequality and holding back efforts to beat poverty and called for higher taxes on the nations’ wealthiest citizens to fund measures to help the world’s poorest.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said G7 governments are “key drivers of global inequality” and have a “major responsibility for the climate emergency, which should be brought sharply into focus by the terrible fires in the Amazon”.