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Special 50p coin to mark Brexit

50p coin from 1998 Image copyright PA
Image caption A commemorative 50p was issued when the UK held the presidency of the EU 1998

A commemorative 50p coin will be issued to mark the UK's departure from the European Union (EU) next year.

The Budget documents confirmed the coin would be made available in spring 2019.

According to The Sun, the coin will feature the Queen's head and the date 29 March 2019 and on the reverse the phrase "Friendship with all nations".

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.

It is not yet known exactly what the new Brexit coins will look like.

Last year, the Royal Mint issued more than 66 million new 50p pieces in five different designs featuring the Beatrix Potter characters Peter Rabbit, Tom Kitten, Jeremy Fisher and Benjamin Bunny, as well as the physicist Isaac Newton.

Earlier this year, it minted two special 50p coins to mark the 60th anniversary of Michael Bond's first Paddington Bear book.

The Sun newspaper has claimed the minting of the new 50p as a "victory" saying it had "campaigned for the Government to create an enduring gesture to mark Brexit as a landmark national moment".

The newspaper quoted sources as saying Brexit was "an historic moment which will rightly be commemorated".

It also said, according to Treasury sources, the department had been secretly working on plans for the coin for months, before Conservative MPs began to campaign for one.

50p fact file

  • There are just over one billion 50p coins in circulation, with a face value of £530m
  • Some 43 million 50p pieces were put into circulation in the year to end of March 2018
  • Each coin lasts between 30 to 40 years
  • Recent 50p coins in circulation have commemorated the 2012 Olympics, Kew Gardens, Paddington Bear and the Battle of Hastings
  • The rarest 50p piece was the 2009 Kew Gardens coin, with only 210,00 going into circulation
  • The Kew Gardens coin is the most sought after by collectors. Earlier this year, consumer body Which? reported on one which had sold for £80 on eBay

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