Belgium has inadvertently annexed a part of France after an irate farmer decided to move a border marker blocking the route of his tractor. The incident took place near the town of Erquelinnes which sits along the border opposite the French town of Bousignies-sur-Roc. While the mayor of Bousignies-sur-Roc is not pleased, the mayor of Erquelinnes David Lavaux is reported to be “happy” that his community has grown by more than two metres at the expense of his French counterpart.
Mr Lavaux told the TV network TF1 the farmer had “enlarged Belgium and reduced France” by moving the stone which had marked the border for more than 200 years.
While “not a good idea” in the eyes of the official, the mayor of Erquelinnes did admit he was glad to have come out on top.
He said: “I’m happy that my community is bigger but the mayor of Bousignies-sur-Roc doesn’t agree.”
A reporter from TF1 explained the French village was now 2.20m smaller as a result of the alteration.
He described the incident as a “violation of the Treaty of Kortrijk which had drawn the Franco-Belgian border for 200 years.”
The Treaty of Kortrijk was an agreement brokered in 1820 to agree on the modern border between France and Belgium.
Initially, the chaos triggered by the removal of the block left inhabitants wondering who wanted to move the boundary and why.
The reporter said: “Everyone is asking the question: who moved the block?
The protesters won the support of Les Patriotes leader Florian Philippot who declared the next step was the exit of France from the EU.
He said: “Well done to the farmers! They must now fight for Frexit.
“Unique solution to get rid of the CAP and Free Trade Treaties which create unfair competition with the whole Earth.
“France will have a much better national agricultural policy!”