The future of a batch of commemorative Brexit 50p coins emblazoned with 31 October has been thrown into doubt as it becomes increasingly unlikely that Britain will leave the European Union before that date.
Chancellor Sajid Javid had asked for three million of the coins to be in circulation and ready for 31 October, with a further seven million to be released within a year, but the government’s loss of a key vote has made the Halloween departure date look increasingly unlikely.
MPs voted down Boris Johnson’s attempt to fast-track his deal through parliament earlier this week, and the prime minister is now awaiting EU leaders’ decision on whether to grant a further Brexit extension.
It is thought around 1,000 of the 31 October coins had already been minted as part of a trial, The Telegraph reported.
The Treasury declined to comment on whether they had already begun minting the first batch of the coins, describing it as commercially sensitive information.
The coins were due to be emblazoned with the words “peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations”.
Users took to Twitter following news that the fate of the commemorative coins was uncertain, with one Telegraph writer suggesting: “can they not just leave you a space so you can fill in the exit date yourself with a pen”.
The Royal Mint regularly issues commemorative coins to mark significant national occasions, and 22 new 50p coins have been issued since 2012.
A commemorative coin was minted when the UK joined the European Economic Community in 1973, and another when it hosted the EU Council in 1998.
Main image credit: HM Treasury