Easy enough to carry on with

All is fair in love and cod war. And with the EU’s coastal states under pressure to give way on Britain’s demands for greater fishing catches in its waters post-Brexit, any old argument is worth a try.

When the issue of the future access of European fishing fleets was being discussed by EU ambassadors in Brussels on Wednesday the Belgian government’s representative, Willem van de Voorde, made a notable intervention.

To the confusion of some, and the delight of others, the ambassador cited a treaty signed some 350 years ago by King Charles II which had granted 50 Flemish fishermen from Bruges “eternal rights” to English fishing waters. It was an important historical footnote illustrating the long relationship between Belgian fishermen and British waters, Van de Voorde suggested.

Cool. So, 50 fishermen – if there are that many in actual Bruges, and not Zeebrugge – gain access to British waters. Limit ’em to late 17th century technology and we can stand tall as peeps who keep their word then, right?

16 thoughts on “Easy enough to carry on with”

  1. Fishermen rather than fishing boats.

    How many men staff a fishing trawler these days?

    In any event, if we’re going back to Charles II’s time shouldn’t we be hanging heretics or something. Chancel rights or whatever were in perpetuity until repealed fairly recently I think.

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    It is even easier than that. So 50 Flemish fishermen have rights to fish? By all means. Let them.

    I don’t suppose they will be all that spry after 340 years.

  3. Cool. Jacob Rees-Mogg made the quite interesting point that the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht – which is still in effect – forbids Jews or Moors from Gibraltar.

  4. If a monarch can make deals, subsequent monarchs can rescind them.

    An announcement from HRH that you revoke the Treaty of Whatever should suffice.

  5. A few years ago Spain argued that it should get Gibraltar back because Britain had reneged on “forbids Jews or Moors from Gibraltar” by allowing a chap who was both a Moor and a Jew to be Chief Minister.

    Fair takes the breath away, the cheek of these Continental johnnies.

  6. Maybe that means we can have Calais back…but would we want it?

    My old dad (who was admittedly racist to his dying breath) always said “Wogs start at Calais” which is probably true since the inhabitants of Calais have become a lot darker skinned of late…

  7. @ dearieme
    Wikipedia says that his *wife* was a Moroccan Jew. Depends upon the precise wording of the Treaty of Utrecht but she was a Jewess, not a Jew, and not a Moor, for which the modern terminology is “Berber”.
    Otherwise a fun point.

  8. Bloke in North Dorset

    “ How many men staff a fishing trawler these days?”

    The ones I’ve seen going in and out of Weymouth appear to have 3-4, at most, and they’re not small vessels.

  9. @j77: his obituary in the Independent says ‘he described himself as “100 per cent Sephardic Jew. Hassan is normally an Arab first name; but, in the Jewish tradition, it is a surname. In my case, there is no possible confusion. With first names like Joshua and Abraham, nobody could think I am anything but a Jew. My family has a history of nearly 300 years in Gibraltar. They arrived from Morocco in 1728; and some came earlier from Minorca.”‘

  10. @ dearieme
    Thanks – wikipedia was misleading in saying that his wife was Jewish and omitting the fact that he was. I stand corrected on that point although he was not a Moor.

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