Published On: Sat, Aug 24th, 2019

G7 latest: Boris Johnson to tell EU chief Tusk that Macron and Merkel have CAVED | Politics | News

At his first international summit since being appointed prime minister in July, Mr Johnson will also hold discussions with Donald Trump focusing on a UK-US post-Brexit trade deal. The prime minister is to tell the Republican president the NHS is not up for grabs. During his trips to Berlin and Paris this week, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron expressed a desire to reopen the Withdrawal Agreement.

Speaking ahead of the gathering in the French seaside town of Biarritz, Mr Johnson said the UK will not “retreat” from the international stage when it breaks ties with Brussels at Halloween.

He said: “Some people question the democratic decision this country has made, fearing that we will retreat from the world. Some think Britain’s best days are behind us.

“To those people I say: you are gravely mistaken.”

This week the UK signed its first trade deal with an Asian nation which will come into effect after October 31.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss celebrated the deal with South Korea, saying it would mean “huge gains” for British businesses.

Issues affecting the global community such as climate change, inequality and security are some of the topics thought to be on the agenda at the three-day event which kicks off on Saturday.

The G7 is an annual gathering of representatives of the world’s seven richest countries – the UK, the US, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada.

Representatives of the European Union also attended, although the body is not an official member of the G7.

See below for live updates.

8.51am update: Experts devise alternative to backstop

Leading academics have come up with an alternative to the main sticking point in Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement – the backstop.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the proposal would see checks carried out on goods at a distance from the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

There would also be severe penalties for those caught trying to smuggle products across the 310-mile boundary.

The arrangement would not require the UK to remain in the customs union.

The German chancellor has given Mr Johnson 30 days to come up with a solution to the backstop, which aims to prevent a hard border in Ireland.

During his first overseas visit since entering Number 10, the prime minister accepted it was the UK’s responsibility to come up with an alternative, not the EU’s.

During a cordial press conference between the two leaders in Germany’s capital, Ms Merkel said: “If one is able to solve this conundrum, if one finds this solution, we said we would probably find it in the next two years to come but we can also maybe find it in the next 30 days to come.

“Then we are one step further in the right direction and we have to obviously put our all into this.”

READ MORE: ‘Show us the rabbit!’ EU demands Boris Johnson shows ‘magical’ plan

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