Money & Banking

UK to melt down commemorative Brexit coins amid repeated delays

PTI London | Updated on October 29, 2019 Published on October 29, 2019

The concept of such a new 50-pence coin featuring the UK’s scheduled departure date from the economic bloc are now to be moved on to a later date   -  Bloomberg

The UK’s Royal Mint plans to melt down and recycle the commemorative coins minted to mark Brexit on October 31 after the UK’s exit from the European Union was delayed by a further three months until January 31, 2020.

The concept of such a new 50-pence coin featuring the UK’s scheduled departure date from the economic bloc are now to be moved on to a later date.

“We will still produce a coin to mark our departure from the European Union, and this will enter circulation after we have left,” a UK Treasury spokesperson said.

The dates on the coin have been reworked from the original March 29, 2019 Brexit deadline but the text — Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations — has remained constant.

The phrase echoes that of third US President, Thomas Jefferson, in his inaugural address — in which he vowed “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations” with the caveat “entangling alliances with none“.

The government has sought to flag that the cost of designing and producing the commemorative coins will be met by the Royal Mint out of its own revenues, rather than any cost to the UK taxpayer. The Royal Mint regularly issues commemorative currency, with notable coins minted in honour of the 2012 London Olympics.

Under plans signed off by Queen Elizabeth II earlier this month, three different types of 50p Brexit coins were to be made from gold, silver and cupro-nickel — a mixture of copper and nickel. The silver and cupro-nickel pieces were set to become legal tender.

The design, featuring the UK monarch’s head and a standard inscription on one side and the special message and date on the other, was approved at a meeting of the UK’s Privy Council on October 8.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson took charge at 10 Downing Street in July with a vow to leave the EU by October 31 with or without a deal, “no if or buts”.

But he was forced by law to send a letter seeking an extension from the EU with no deal in place by mid-October, which was accepted by the remaining 27 EU members setting the new January 2020 deadline for Brexit.

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Published on October 29, 2019
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