Chancellor Sajid Javid plans to issue millions of commemorative Brexit 50p coins in time for the UK’s exit from the European Union on January 31st.
The coins were initially scheduled to be minted in limited numbers to coincide with the UK leaving the EU in March 2019, but Mr Javid now hopes to see them in mass-circulation by the end of the month.
As a result of Theresa May failing to secure the backing of parliament for her Brexit deal a record-breaking three times, the original coins, which featured the text “March 29th 2019, so long and thanks for all the fishing quotas”, had to be scrapped.
“The Prime Minister and the Chancellor wanted a coin that would commemorate the historic occasion of Brexit,” says George Crown head of engraving at the Royal Mint.
“Initially we thought that a relief of Prime Minister Boris Johnson would be fitting, but his hair proved too challenging to engrave with such a short deadline.
“I think that it’s fitting that future generations will be able to look at the coins in their pocket and remember the people that did the most to deliver Brexit.”
While the coin is not expected to be popular with everyone, treasury officials hope the new fifty pence piece will remind the public that although Brexit has divided the country, the arguments are fundamentally two sides of the same coin.