Canadian Justin Trudeau joked that Boris Johnson’s Airbus A321 was bigger – to which the British Prime Minister insisted his plane was ‘very modest’.
Image: Andrew Parsons/No10 Downing Street)
Boris Johnson and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau compared the size of their official planes during talks in Bavaria today.
The two men met on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Germany – and started by discussing their plane.
Mr Johnson told his Canadian counterpart he spotted ‘Canada Force One’ on the tarmac at Munich Airport when he landed this morning after flying eight hours from the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in the Rwandan capital, Kigali.
“Can Force One”, as the aircraft is known, is an Airbus A310 classed as CC-150 Polaris.
Mr Trudeau joked that Mr Johnson’s Airbus A321 was bigger – to which the British Prime Minister insisted his plane was ‘very modest’.
The Tory leader was forced to use the smaller of his two jets because Prince Charles called the Airbus A330 RAF Voyager to Rwanda first, due to protocol.
The Voyager was converted from a troop carrier and air-to-air tanker for use by the British Prime Minister and his aides on overseas trips.
The redesign cost taxpayers £10m – and when Mr Johnson entered No 10 he demanded a £900,000 paint job to change the plane from military gray to red, white and patriotic blue.
Mr Johnson also met French President Emmanuel Macron as the crucial gathering of world leaders kicked off today.
The Prime Minister and Mr Macron put their arms around each other’s shoulders as they slapped each other on the back.
POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The French Prime Minister had taken off his jacket as the summit was bathed in summer sunshine and temperatures hit 25C.
Mr Johnson asked Mr Macron, who also suffered an election setback last week, how he was doing.
The president replied, “I am fine.
The summit is expected to be dominated by the West’s response to Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine.
Mr Johnson admitted he fears allies’ support for Ukraine is waning as he prepares for tense G7 talks.
Warning that “realistically there is going to be fatigue among people and politicians,” he added: “I think the pressure is there and the anxiety is there, you have to be honest there -above.
“But the most incredible thing about the way the West reacted to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was unity – NATO was strong, the G7 was strong and we continue to be. solid.
Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street)
“But to protect that unity, for it to work, we have to have really, really honest discussions about the implications of what’s going on, the pressures that individual friends and partners are feeling, that people are feeling – whether it’s on the costs of their energy or food or whatever.”
Asked whether France and Germany are doing enough for Ukraine, the prime minister praised Berlin’s efforts without mentioning France.
“Look what the Germans alone did,” he said.
“I never believed in my lifetime that I would see a German chancellor step in like Olaf Scholz and send weapons to help Ukrainians protect themselves.
“He’s made huge, huge progress. We have 4% of our gas coming from Russia, in Germany it’s 40%.”
Meanwhile, Britain will ban imports of Russian gold in the latest stage of efforts to cripple the Russian economy because of the war in Ukraine.
In a coordinated announcement, the UK, US, Canada and Japan unveiled plans to block shipments.
Gold exports were worth £12.6 billion to Moscow last year.