THE BRITISH government is marking the UK’s imminent departure from the European Union with a special commemorative coin.
From January 31, a brand new 50p coin will enter circulation featuring the engraved message of “Peace, Prosperity and Friendship with all nations”.
Three million of the Brexit coins are set to handed out to banks, post offices and shops across the UK.
A further seven million are set to follow into circulation later this year.
UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, said: "Leaving the European Union is a turning point in our history and this coin marks the beginning of this new chapter.
"As part of the launch, the Royal Mint will also open its doors for 24 hours to let people strike their own commemorative coins."
This coin marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in British history. Let’s look forward with confidence & unleash the enormous potential of our great country. https://t.co/QNpEDHDutz pic.twitter.com/HZDVhEzSXK
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) January 26, 2020
News of the new 50 pence piece was not well received in all quarters.
Some on Twitter noted the engraving’s striking similarities with some not-so-popular household decorative items.
“This 50p is the equivalent of having ‘live, laugh, love’ on your living room walls,” one person wrote.
“’Live, laugh love' signs in homes where families do little other than scream at each other and the new #Brexit50p have similar energy,” another noted.
Others failed to see the funny side.
“The utter delusion of commemorating an event which only half the nation voted for and has caused such hatred and division over the last few years,” one critic said.
“The aims of the EU project on a coin celebrating Brexit,” another reflected.
“These are not the views of the Leavers, these are the views of World citizens who wish to stay in the EU, not closeted little englanders who don't care for other countries or peoples.”
Several users came up with alternative versions too.
— Jim QC (@Jim_Watford) January 26, 2020
— christhebarker (@christhebarker) January 26, 2020
— Colin Jellie (@Jelliewobbler) January 26, 2020
— Elliot Gonzalez (@elliot_gonzalez) January 26, 2020
The Brexit 50 pence has been long in the making.
In fact, a previous delay to the UK’s departure saw one million previously minted coins melted down with the metal put aside until the exit date was officially confirmed.