By John Smith • 15 October 2020 • 17:09
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.
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Fishing Privileges, allowing 50 vessels from Bruges to fish in British waters (including rivers) and this was never rescinded.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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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
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