MILFORD Haven, UK: Welsh fishmonger Lenny Walters has a warning for Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he celebrates his one-month anniversary in office on Saturday.
If he goes back on his promise to deliver Brexit at any cost on October 31:
“I think there will be riots.”
“People are getting nasty, ” the 67-year-old said while filleting monkfish with a razor-sharp knife.
The new British leader is trying to steer his splintered nation through one of its most perilous moments in generations as it hurtles out of the European Union (EU).
The 46-year partnership has helped places like Milford Haven — a once-thriving Welsh fishing community that has turned into one of the poorest corners of Europe and a major recipient of aid from Brussels.
Its waters are now filled mostly with non-British European trawlers who land their catch at the tiny town’s wharf.
Locals see Johnson as their last great hope for reviving the local fishing industry. Their trust in his ability to do so is not terribly strong.
“Do I have faith in Boris? I am not sure,” fish merchant Mark Davis said after a moment’s thought.
“I’d vote for Boris because there is no alternative,” the 58-year-old added. “He’s the only choice.”
Johnson needs places such as Milford Haven behind him as he battles his own parliament and the 27 EU leaders through the denouement of a Brexit saga that kicked off when Britain voted by a 52 to 48 percent margin to leave the EU three years ago.
The region around Milford Haven backed Brexit 57 percent to 43 and in the recent European elections anti-EU Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party won with 38 percent.
The Brexit Party has said that a no-deal Brexit is “the best deal” and is poised to win support at any future election if Johnson strikes a compromise with Brussels.
Johnson’s past as mayor of London has many in this corner of Wales doubting his true commitment to the Brexit cause.