The new 50p coin marking Britain’s departure from the EU next week has been unveiled by Chancellor Sajid Javid.

The grinning chancellor held up one of the new pieces, inscribed with the words ‘Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations’ and the date of January 31.

Around three million Brexit coins start circulating in the UK from Friday, with another seven million to be minted later in the year.

Mr Javid previously ordered a batch of coins marking the original Brexit date of October 31, but an extension to the departure deadline was agreed at the last minute.

About a million of them had to be melted down, with the metal kept aside until a new date was confirmed.

The idea for a commemorative coin was first pitched by former chancellor Philip Hammond, although he reportedly planned a batch of just 10,000 pieces.

Advertisement

Advertisement

The text on the inscription has remained the same despite the change of dates.

Mr Javid, who is also Master of the Mint, will present a coin from the very first batch to Boris Johnson this week.

The Royal Mint will also open its doors for 24 hours to let people strike their own Brexit coins. Coins can only normally be struck as part of an organised tour.

The coin producer regularly issues commemorative currency, with a notable set minted to represent each of the sports played at the 2012 London Olympics.

Gold-plated Brexit coins are being sold by a private company for £19.99 a pop, for those inclined to splash out.

The Mint Editions item description reads: ‘Whatever your view, the nation leaving the EU clearly represents one of the most remarkable moments in British history.  Now to mark this momentous day, you can own the Brexit Gold-Plated Commemorative.’

The European Parliament is expected to rubber-stamp the withdrawal agreement on Wednesday after it was signed by Mr Johnson and the EU’s representatives.