Early in the morning, Boris Johnson jumped into the sea, which was 13 degrees cold, in order, as British journalists suspected, to prepare for his conversation with Emmanuel Macron.
Saturday is the day of the bilateral meetings at the G7 summit, and the French president is considered the toughest dog in Europe when it comes to Brexit issues in the UK.
Political correspondent in London.
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After the interview, Johnson's office stated that the Prime Minister had backed Britain's position on the Northern Ireland Protocol (in the Withdrawal Agreement).
"He (Johnson) expressed his desire for pragmatism and willingness to compromise on all sides and underlined that the Good Friday Agreement in all its dimensions is of paramount importance".
The French delegation said that Macron had offered Johnson a “reset”, a kind of restart of relations - provided he respected the Brexit agreement and “kept his word to the Europeans”.
Translated, all of this means: You stay at odds.
Johnson speaks of "misunderstandings"
The question of how goods controls should be organized at the new trade border between Northern Ireland and Great Britain also took up a large part of the conversation that Chancellor Angela Merkel had with Johnson on Saturday. At that meeting, it was said in a statement that Johnson had "underscored the British position and the need to preserve both the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the kingdom."
Foreign Minister Dominic Raab put it even more sharply: Should the EU show itself to be “stubborn” and “purist”, London would be forced to act: “We will not allow a threat to territorial integrity.” On the German side, the concern was heard on Saturday that that the post-Brexit process could unduly strain important relations with the UK. The approach in Berlin is evidently more conciliatory than in Paris. Chancellor Angela Merkel later summed up her conversation with the words that she had promoted “pragmatic solutions”, even if nothing had changed in the position that the EU basically insists on the agreed goods controls.
Johnson had spoken to the BBC about “misunderstandings” that existed in the EU about the situation in Northern Ireland and the implications of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
When asked whether she understood the situation in the region better after the conversation with Johnson, Merkel replied that one should consider “where one can do it better when it comes to practical feasibility issues, if one can help the citizens and Serves women citizens in Northern Ireland better. "
Remembering the "war over vaccination doses"
Brexit is not an official G-7 issue, but it mixes dissonantly with the tune Johnson and the other heads of government pitched for the Cornwall summit: that the West is united and back. Although delegates emphasized the wonderful working conditions in the seaside resort of Corbis Bay and the good atmosphere of a physical meeting again, it can be seen that not everything is going smoothly. Johnson's goal for the G7 to make one billion vaccine doses available for poorer countries by the end of next year and thus to show Western unity is met with resistance from EU members.