Boris Johnson to meet Emmanuel Macron in London today as Dominic Raab warns Gov could be sued over air bridges

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BORIS Johnson will met French president Emmanuel Macron in London today – the first foreign leader to visit since the coronavirus pandemic.

The pair will discuss World War II, Brexit and so-called travel corridors during a bilateral chat in Downing Street mid-afternoon.

Ministers are reportedly divided over if the air bridges plan will be ready by the end of June
French President Emmanuel Macron will visit London today

The pair will commemorate the 80th anniversary of General de Gaulle’s famous radio address from the city which inspired the Resistance movement.

But this morning Dominic Raab suggested the Government had to tread carefully over so-called travel corridors, also known as air bridges, which would allow people from the UK to travel without 14-day quarantine rules.

He told BBC Breakfast there was a risk of legal action if the Government did not treat all parties the same and admitted the “details were complex”.

He said: “There is also a risk of legal challenge is you open up for one country but not others.

“We want to open up as soon as we safely can.”

When asked specifically about legal action, he added: “We have heard it. If you open up airports but not the Eurotunnel.

“If you open up one country but not another, there is always a risk of legal challenge.

“Yes we want to open up, but we will only do it when it’s safe to do so.
We just need to be very careful, we don’t want to see a second spike.”

He later told Radio 4: “We will work very closely with the lowest risk countries to see how we could provide exemptions to the quarantine rules and forge those travel corridors you describe.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said an announcement on travel corridors is expected by the review period of the quarantine rules, on June 29.

The PM will today honour the last surviving members of the French Resistance as part of the French President’s visit.

Boris will hand MBEs to Edgard Tupët-Thomé, Daniel Bouyjou-Cordier, Hubert Germain, and Pierre Simonet for their help in defeating the Nazis.

The two leaders will view WWII artefacts and watch a joint fly past by the RAF and the French Air Force.

Macron will also be welcomed at Clarence House by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.

 

The PM said: “The four men we are honouring today symbolise the enduring depth and strength of the friendship between our two countries.

“They are heroes, and I am immensely proud that as a nation we are paying tribute to their courage and sacrifice in defending us and the whole world from fascism.

“The struggles we face today are different to those we confronted together 80 years ago.

“But I have no doubt that – working side by side – the UK and France will continue to rise to every new challenge and seize every opportunity that lies ahead.”

All four, now aged 98-100, will receive their medals during a ceremony in France later this year.

Sergeant Tupët-Thomé was part of the French force that defended Dunkirk, allowing trapped British troops to escape across the Channel.

 

Second lieutenant Simonet flew 137 missions covering 250 flying hours and took part in campaigns in France and Italy.

Mr Bouyjou-Cordier trained in London for the French secret services. He was parachuted into France and managed to evade the Gestapo.

Second lieutenant Germain served in Egypt, Tunisia and Italy before taking part in the liberation of southern France.

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