Roughly 3 million commemorative Brexit 50p pieces will begin entering circulation from Friday, as Britain officially leaves the European Union.
Britain is set to officially leave the EU at 11pm on 31 January, over three years after the nation voted to leave the bloc.
The Treasury ordered the Royal Mint to create commemorative coins to mark the occasion and the first batch will start turning up at banks, Post Offices, and shops from today. A further 7 million coins will enter circulation later this year.
“We’ve always commemorated major events, so it’s really great for us to be able to do this,” Leighton John, operations director at the Royal Mint, told the Press Association news agency
Some supporters of remaining in the EU have threatened to take the coins out of circulation in protest but John said: “I think everyone will agree, whichever side of the argument you’re on, it’s a major event for the country.”
The new coins will be inscribed with the phrase: “Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations” above the Brexit date, 31 January 2020.
A batch of special gold and silver coins were put on sale by the Royal Mint on Thursday for up to £985.
The new coins were originally planned for 29 March, 2019, the first Brexit deadline. No coins had been minted by the time the exit date was pushed back to October 31.
About one million coins stamped with the 31 October date were minted before Brexit was again delayed to January. These coins had to be melted down and recycled by the Royal Mint after the second delay to the Brexit timetable.
The Royal Mint Experience in South Wales will let people strike their own commemorative Brexit coins to mark the occasion. Tours for 31 January are sold out, but visitors will have the opportunity to strike commemorative coins until 12 February.
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