Brexit holds no fears for Flanders fishermen

Part of the letter of Privilege
Part of the letter of Privilege Credit: VRT Twitter

FISHERMEN in Flanders aren’t so worried about a no-deal Brexit as they have access to a piece of paper issued in 1666 by King Charles II which gave which gave 50 fishing boats the right to fish in British waters in perpetuity.

After the execution of King Charles I and the establishment of the Protectorate, Prince Charles and his brother James (later to become James II) had to leave England and they spent three years in the Flanders City of Bruges before returning to England in 1660 thanks to the Restoration of the Monarchy.

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Never forgetting the hospitality he had received in Bruges, the king wrote a letter concerning Fishing Privileges, allowing 50 vessels from Bruges to fish in British waters (including rivers) and this was never rescinded.

When Britain joined the European Union the common fishing policy allowed vessels from other member states to enter British waters but now that this is a sticking point in Brexit negotiations, the 60 odd fishing boats from Flanders believe that they will be immune to any ban.


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