In Brief

Sajid Javid plans Brexit 50p blitz

Chancellor’s plan a ‘statement of intent’ Treasury is fully behind UK leaving the EU on 31 October

The Chancellor Sajid Javid is planning to flood Britain with millions of commemorative 50p coins to mark the UK leaving the EU later this year.

According to The Daily Telegraph, Javid, who also holds the title of Master of the Mint, has asked officials to see whether it would be possible to produce the coins in time for the UK's scheduled departure date of 31 October.

Javid’s proposal for the coins to be produced for mass circulation “was being portrayed as a statement of intent that the Treasury is fully behind Brexit”, reports The Guardian, and “is in marked contrast to [Phillip] Hammond who infuriated Brexiteers with his warning about the likely economic impact of leaving the EU and his opposition to a no-deal break”.

Under the former chancellor around 10,000 commemorative coins - costing £10 each - were to be produced and sold to collectors. However, the BBC reports that “beyond a few test versions, none of the coins were minted after the UK delayed its departure from the EU”.

Javid plans by contrast are much grander. The new coins will carry the same design, bearing the words “peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations” but will be updated with the new departure date with up to three million expected to be minted for general circulation.

Tory MP Craig Mackinlay, who first raised the idea with the Treasury last year, said: “This is a time for national celebration that our independence and new global freedom is with us. Great news and a clear, positive indication of intent from the prime minister and his new government.”

A 50p coin was struck when the UK joined the European Economic Community in 1973 and when the UK held the presidency of the EU in 1998.

However, the Telegraph says “one possible headache is that the coin has to be signed off by a meeting of the Queen's Privy Council of ministers which is not due to meet again until October”.

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