Flemish Fishermen want to appeal to “ Eternal Access …

If Brexit negotiations fail, Flemish fishermen want to claim a 354-year-old concession under which British King Charles II granted fifty fishermen of Bruges’ eternal access to British waters.

Fishing rights remain an issue while negotiating a trade agreement with Great Britain. The EU is working in principle (like Belgium) to maintain full access to British fish-rich waters after Brexit, but the UK wants to restrict that access and is also proposing to renegotiate rights every year.

The issue is particularly sensitive in member states such as France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland and Denmark, whose territorial waters border those of the United Kingdom. To pull the negotiations out of stagnation, European negotiator Michel Barnier asked member states to seek mutual consensus on fisheries, but European member states do not want to back down, as evidenced by a meeting between the French foreign minister. On European affairs Clement Boone and Dutch Foreign Minister Steve Blok.

We want the status quo. Our Hunters are not a variant of the Brexit adjustment. “They shouldn’t be paying for the British options,” Boone said. “In order to achieve success for our fishermen, it is extremely important that France, the Netherlands and all of Europe remain united,” the Dutchman stressed.

“Eternal access” to UK waters

If that doesn’t work, Flanders will have something else to hand over, as evidenced during a meeting with EU ambassadors. The permanent Belgian delegate referred to a concession from 1666, by which British King Charles II granted fifty fishermen from Bruges eternal access to British waters, in appreciation of their hospitality. The Flemish and Belgian governments have known for some time about this document, which may soon be able to help.

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“We went to look for ancient pieces that might have been around, and this is how the concession emerged from 1666,” Flemish Fisheries Minister Hilde Krivitz (CD&V) said Thursday. the world today On Radio 1. ‘This should show that 50 fishermen in Bruges are permitted to fish in an area twelve miles off the coast of the United Kingdom forever. We have a fleet of 67 ships, so this concession could provide relief for many of our fishermen, “Krivitz said.

Or that The Visscherie franchise Legally binding is doubtful, but the ambassador referred to it as “ a diverse historical matter that shows that the links between the Belgian and British fisheries are so intertwined and that access to British waters is very important to us ”, and it can still be heard in European Union circles.

Megan Vasquez

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