Thousands of commemorative Brexit 50p coins bearing the date October 31st will be melted down after the Remainer-dominated House of Commons forced Prime Minister Boris Johnson to break his pledge to deliver Brexit by Halloween.
Mr Johnson pledged to take the UK out of the EU on October 31st — after his predecessor, Theresa May, delayed Brexit from March 29th — “do or die”, “with or without a deal”. In September, he said that he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than delay Brexit any further.
However, the Remainer-dominated House of Commons forced through a bill that compelled the prime minister to ask for an extension if an exit agreement had not been passed in the lower house by October 19th to stop a clean-break Brexit.
Mr Johnson sent the letter requesting the extension ten days ago, and the European Council granted on Monday a three-month “flextension” to Article 50. The prime minister wrote to Council President Donald Tusk on Monday to formally accept the delay, officially marking that the UK will not be leaving the EU as pledged on October 31st.
On Tuesday, the Treasury admitted that its hoard of 10,000 coins bearing the date would be shredded and “recycled”, according to Sky News. The Royal Mint is absorbing the cost at no expense to the taxpayer, the Treasury confirmed.
A coin marking the March 29th date was also designed but had not been minted by the time the first delay to Brexit was announced.
“We will still produce a coin to mark our departure from the European Union, and this will enter circulation after we have left,” a Treasury spokesman said.
May promised 108 times the UK would leave the EU on March 29th https://t.co/dUmhLJaPNC
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 20, 2019
The government has also wound down its no-deal preparations, with reports outlining that hundreds of civil servants stood down on Monday night and returned to their regular duties. The Mirror reports that Operation Yellowhammer, government contingency planning for a clean-break on October 31st, was halted after London and Brussels agreed to the January 31st, 2020, extension.
On Monday, Downing Street also confirmed that it paused its £100 million advertising campaign which sought to prepare Britons and businesses to ‘Get Ready for Brexit’ on October 31st.
Sources told The Mirror that despite the scaling back, no-deal preparations had not been entirely shelved.
On Sunday, Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage criticised Mr Johnson and the Tories for failing to deliver on their promise.
“[Mr Johnson] said we are leaving on the 31st of October, ‘come what may’, ‘do or die’, I’d rather be ‘dead in a ditch’ than extend beyond the 31st of October.
“He didn’t say, ‘I’ll do my best’ to get us out on the 31st of October, he didn’t say, ‘I will try’, he didn’t say, ‘I’ll do my damnedest’. He said, ‘we will be leaving’ on that date.
“At some point, this week, do you think the prime minister will apologise for misleading the nation? I don’t think he will.”
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 28, 2019