British Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid on Sunday unveiled the new commemorative 50p (about 65 U.S. cents) coin to mark the country’s departure from the European Union (EU) on Jan.31.
Javid originally ordered production of the celebratory coins in advance of the previous departure date of Oct. 31. However, the Brexit delay meant about a million coins had to be melted down and the metal put aside until a new exit date was confirmed.
Bearing the inscription “Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations” and the new Brexit date, about 3 million such Brexit coins will enter circulation across Britain from Friday. A further 7 million are expected to be added later in the year.
As part of the launch of the coin, the Royal Mint will open its doors on the Brexit day for 24 hours to let people strike their own commemorative Brexit coins.
“Leaving the European Union is a turning point in our history and this coin marks the beginning of this new chapter,” Javid said.
Javid, who is Master of the Mint, was given the first batch of coins, and will present one to Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week.
The European Parliament is expected to vote to approve the Withdrawal Agreement on Wednesday, after Johnson signed the treaty last Friday, paving the way for Britain’s exit from the bloc.
During the transition period, which ends on Dec. 31 this year, Britain will abide by EU rules despite no longer being a member. Negotiations between Britain and the EU will soon start on a future trade deal. Johnson has repeatedly insisted that he will not extend the transition period. Enditem