A special British 50 pence coin struck to honor Great Britain’s exit from the European Union, originally planned for October 31, is being “recycled” according to the Royal Mint as the Brexit plan has been delayed for another three months. Many of the special commemorative coins, bearing the “31 October 2019” date, had been struck, but as the October 31 date no longer holds significance for the Brexit move, the coins will be scrapped. The Royal Mint has struck some 10,000 examples of the copper-nickel coin in anticipation of Brexit taking place at the end of October. But with British Parliament failed to agree on a Brexit deal, Prime Minister Boris Johnson must forestall the plan and accept an extension that delays the exit until January 31, 2020.
The coins, declaring “peace, prosperity, and friendship with all nations,” were proposed by Chancellor Sajid Javid as a goodwill gesture honoring the momentous occasion that Britain left the EU while still recognizing its place in the larger global community. The Royal Mint plans to strike more commemorative coins recognizing the departure date and those coins will enter circulation at that time.
Up to 10 million Brexit coins were to be produced, most issues as legal-tender pieces made in the aforementioned cupronickel format, with numismatic editions to be struck in gold and silver. The design incorporates a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, as customary on current British coinage, with the reverse carrying the goodwill message and date of the nation’s departure from the EU. Citing matters of sensitivity, the British Treasury has not commented on the cost of producing the coin but states the Brexit commemoratives are being designed and minted without cost to taxpayers and is being funded by the Royal Mint.