In Brief

Brexit coin: what would it feature and how much could it fetch?

Treasury minister backs commemorative series after Royal Mail blocks Brexit stamp

The Treasury has backed a new series of coins to commemorate Britain leaving the EU, after calls for a Brexit stamp were rejected by the Royal Mail.

The move marks “a potential turning point in the battle to commemorate Brexit”, reports The Daily Telegraph.

Tory MPs wrote to Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Robert Jenrick, who has ministerial responsibility for the Royal Mint, to demand special coins be minted to celebrate the official Brexit leaving date of 29 March 2019, revealed The Sun.

In response, Jenrick has thrown his weight behind the idea and plans have now been sent to the official Royal Mint Advisory Committee, with the government’s blessing.

What would it feature?

The final decision about what themes feature on the UK’s coins rests solely with the Royal Mint, the Treasury has told iNews.

However, the Telegraph says the race is already on to design the coin “and to decide on which image could be used to represent the UK’s divorce from Brussels”.

Tory MPs have reportedly already come up with one suggestion: Britannia, which the paper says represents “the female personification of Britain, which has traditionally been used as an emblem of national unity”.

Sir Bill Cash, a leading Eurosceptic and chairman of the European scrutiny committee, said: “I would go back to the symbolism of the coinage before the 1972 [European Communities] Act and to do that I would say the Queen’s head plus Britannia with the shield and a Union Jack on the shield.”

He added: “Simple but not corny.”

What coin will it be?

The 50p coin has “long been the coin of choice to mark important dates in our history”, says Craig Mackinlay, the Conservative MP who is leading the push for a Brexit coin.

These include 50p coins to mark the Royal Air Force’s centenary, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s platinum wedding anniversary, and the 1966 football World Cup.

A commemorative 50p was minted in 1973 to mark Britain's entry into the European Economic Community (EEC), the precursor to the EU. It consisted of nine interlocking hands, representing the nine existing members of the EEC.

Another coin was issued to mark the 25th anniversary of EEC membership in 1998.

“The truly vast number of previous commemorative 50p coins cover many landmark events, some quite surprising, and so a coin that marks the UK’s leaving the EU would be very appropriate” says Mackinlay.

How much could it be worth?

While commemorative coins vary in value dramatically, Richard Beale, a coin specialist at valuers and auctioneers Warwick & Warwick, told iNews he thought Brexit coins would be popular with the public, and fetch a high price among collectors.

The newspaper notes that a £5 coin to mark the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex earlier this month is currently on sale for £82.50.

A Brexit 50p might be more widely minted, meaning it would most likely sell for less, although its emotive subject matter could see it quickly become a collector’s item among Brexit supporters.

What about a commemorative stamp?

The Royal Mail has previously said it will not be producing such stamps as it refrains from becoming involved in political matters.

However, Brexiteers were quick to point out that a special stamp was brought out marking Britain’s entry into Europe in 1973.

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