Coin, Other Commemorations to Mark Brexit

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January 26, 2020

Among the commemorations of Brexit will be an official 50-pence coin.

Brexit coin

United Kingdom Finance Minister Sajid Javid said that about 3 million of the coins would go into circulation on January 31, the day that the U.K. leaves the European Union, and that another 7 million coins would enter circulation later in the year. The roughly seven-sided coin contains the words "Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations. 31 January 2020."

Parliament passed a Withdrawal Agreement that the heads of the European Union have now ratified. The European Parliament is expected to approve the agreement in a vote on Wednesday.

The official split occurs at midnight on Saturday, February 1. That will be 11 p.m. in the U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is scheduled to give a speech that night. The Government is not planning a wholesale celebration because of the divisive nature of the issue. Since a slight majority of referendum voters approved the U.K.'s withdrawal from the EU, arguments have punctuated political and social discussions across the spectrum of U.K. life, inside Parliament and out. The U.K. does have a political party called the Brexit Party; its leader, Nigel Farage, has been outspoken in his desire for Brexit and plans to celebrate.

Once the split is official, negotiators in the U.K. will get to work on trade deals with other countries and with the EU itself–something that hasn't been necessary for 47 years. The U.K., along with Denmark and Ireland, joined the European Economic Community (the predecessor of the EU) in January 1973.

Another area of concern for many EU citizens is whether they will be able to stay in the U.K. if they are not citizens. This hasn't been an issue until now because EU rules preclude any sort of immigration barrier; however, the U.K. is now saying that anyone living in the U.K. who is not a citizen must register for "settled status" by June 2021 or risk being declared illegal. About 2.8 million people have already applied for such status; more than half were granted "settled status," and nearly of the rest were granted "pre-settled status," which means that they will have reapply in five years. The U.K. Government has denied the applications of a handful of people who have extensive criminal records.

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