Commemoration of Brexit?

I asked the Business Secretary what plans there are to issue commemorative coins and stamps to mark the UK departure from the EU. I have at last received this answer:

“Matters relating to postage stamps, including commemorative stamps, are the responsibility of Royal Mail. The commemorative 50p to mark the UK leaving the European Union will be made available following the UK’s departure”

This is a curious reply as the Business Department is responsible for postal policy but not responsible for the Royal Mint.



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  1. Stephen Reay
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    I’ve got a nasty feeling that brexit will be stolen from us and we won’t be needing them.

    • Peter
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

      Small potatoes. Let’s concentrate on delivering Brexit first before we roll out the bunting and organise the street parties.

  2. The Prangwizard
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps it’s the remainiac Civil Service which is in charge of government and does his thinking – whoda thunkit.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      Indeed bureaucrats still operating in the dire Greg Clarke mode it seems. Why has Andrea Leadsom not stamped the right agenda on them yet?

      What about the bank holiday to celebrate the referendum date too?

  3. Bob
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Curiously, Steve Barclay tweeted that the backstop must go, as if that is the only sticking point in the Surrender Treaty.

    Are we being warmed up for another fudge?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      Steven Barclay is another one who voted for May’s totally unacceptable W/A. Perhaps you are right and we are being warmed up for another betrayal. The whole W/A must be ditched in full.

    • Len Grinds
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 5:26 am | Permalink

      Of course you are. There will be a few platitudes mouthed, and a tweaked version of Mrs May’s deal will be passed. Boris has stitched up the ERG, and I admire his cunning.

  4. Mick
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    This is a curious reply as the Business Department is responsible for postal policy but not responsible for the Royal Mint.
    So is there a hidden agenda to keep us in after October 31st !!!

  5. Lieard
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    It’s almost as if they think you are some kind of maniac ideologue who is best not engaged with

  6. steve
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Nice to see that something in circulation will commemorate our freedom.

    But the reply you received doesn’t surprise me at all.

    I suppose we should at least be grateful the Royal Mint is doing something.

  7. BrahmS
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Coins and stamps will be the least of our concerns- what about the government issuing new passports and new driving licences? Don’t know how drivers are going to manage in Europe or anywhere else post brexit- not even with an International driving licence because these licences will have to be accompanied by a valid national licence from the home country. The same with passports- UK citizens proffering EU passports after 31st Oct, might well be surprised to find they are accepted in some countries but not in others? because of this I can see real trouble and confusion ahead- stamps and coins won’t even figure.

  8. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    You’ll have that silly blue passport – which the UK could always have had anyway.

    However, it won’t get you past the three-hour queue for non-European Union passport holders at the airports on the Continent. Assuming that the UK has negotiated – and paid for if necessary – full access rights for its planes to the airspace etc., that is.

    Yes, you can go to the UK passport holders-only gate when you return. If you haven’t missed your plane that is. Time saving won’t matter at this end though.

    • Edward2
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 6:21 am | Permalink

      I note you have modified your failed Project Fear post from a day or so ago on this subject to now be a Project Fear post about queues only the Continent not in the UK. Martin.
      Do we see daily “three hour queues” at airports and other borders in Europe when thousands of non EU citizens arrive?
      No we don’t

    • libertarian
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      Martin in Cardiff

      Why is a blue colour silly? Passports are necessary and come in all types of covers and colours . Are you so dumb that you think the passport office only changed back to blue because of Brexit? Oh and I just got a new passport, its burgundy .

      I also travelled to France last week to visit my French business. There were more than 120 people in the EU queue and just 3 people in the Non EU queue . It didn’t take them 3minutes let alone 3 hours . Only people such as you who have never actually travelled in Europe come up with this kind of moronic guff .

    • czerwonadupa
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      You obviously didn’t travel through Europe before we were deceived into joining. Having driven from north to south & west to east without any problems, if after Brexit there are delays it will simply the panjandrums of Brussels showing the natives what happens to upstarts who want to leave their empire

  9. tim
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    I will do his job for £20,000 a year?

  10. Iain Gill
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    free weatherspoons magazine for everyone

  11. forthurst
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Be careful what you wish for: they might stick a picture of Nigel Farage on it. It wasn’t all bad though: a lot of bankster friends of the Tories made a killing at our expense.

  12. Fred H
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Indicates the Business Sec didn’t get a job description!

  13. Alan Jutson
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    The Probate service is supposed to be responsible for the speedy process of those wanting Probate, so that an Executor can get on with settling a deceased persons affairs, but it also seems to be unaware of its remit.

    It treats its customers with absolute contempt, simply because it can, there is absolutely no alternative service so e mails go unanswered, telephone calls are answered by an answerphone to say they are all busy, and then advise you to ring back when they are not busy (how do you know when that is) because they do not take messages, or offer a stacking calls service, so they advise that you will be cut off after the answerphone message has finished, and it does exactly that.

    Given the staggering increase in fees of late you would have thought common courtesy would be to improve the service, but no, seems like a wait of a couple of months or more is now the norm to wait for even a very simple and basic estate to gain Probate.

    Just like the BBC, Government and many Local Authority Departments they all have a legal monopoly on service provision, for a set range of fees, and you should think yourself lucky they that you will be dealt with, at their convenience.

    Customer service, that’s for the private sector to satisfy.

    Oh just out of interest John, Ref your posting of a few months ago.
    THE TELL ME ONCE SYSTEM for REGISTERING a DEATH does seem to work for the most part, but a few departments actually fail to act on that information given in a timely manner, so overpayments and charges can still happen, which cannot be sorted or paid back promptly, because you cannot get Probate very quickly !!

    • Know-Dice
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      I have used the Winchester Probate Registry twice and they have been reasonably quick (less than 1 month)…

  14. Fred H
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Would you ask, in high places, whether a large firework display is planned for the late evening of October 31st – banks of Thames alongside Houses of P – like New Year’s Eve?

    If not – WHY NOT!

    • bill brown
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      Fred H

      Very deep and insightful contribution from your side/

      thank you very much

      • Fred H
        Posted August 13, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

        have I rattled your cage, Bill?

      • libertarian
        Posted August 13, 2019 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

        Bill Brown

        You know that just changing your name doesn’t stop us spotting your silly posting style hans

  15. Nick O.
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    The lack of an answer to your question regarding a commemorative stamp suggests that they wish to avoid the topic altogether, for fear of political embarrassment.

    This in turn probably means that they have done nothing to prepare for the issue of such a commemorative stamp. It also probably means that they have no intention, as things stand, of issuing such a stamp.

    I would further suggest that this is a position that follows the wishes of the senior civil servants in the ministry rather than the minister.

  16. Pominoz
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,

    “The commemorative 50p to mark the UK leaving the European Union will be made available following the UK’s departure”

    It would have been more reassuring if he had stared “from 1st November”.

    As I search the internet for Brexit related articles, and read your diary, I seem to be confronted with more and more apocalyptic rantings about the disaster which will unfold when we leave. Is this a sign that the ‘know best’ Remainers are starting to get frantic?

    I fear that these anti-democratic fanatics will attempt some form of extreme action before exit day in order to preserve their beloved subservience to the bureaucrats. Watch out!

  17. Andy
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    I am sure there will be a book-burning outside your local Wetherspoons.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Say you’re right and that we’re all suicidal loons, Andy.

      Do you go up to a man you’re tethered to who is sitting with his legs dangling over a cliff edge and who is about to top himself and then take the piss out of him ? “Racist racist racist. Stupid stupid stupid.”

      Because this is all you (Newmania, BBC, politicians) have done for three years.

      Thank goodness you don’t volunteer for The Samaritans.

      Our kids went off an economic cliff edge over ten years ago – Maastricht cause the generation gap. Remainers have rubbed our noses in dramatic and forced changes over two decades. Be thankful that we gave fair warning and then used the ballot box peacefully and quietly.

      • Andy
        Posted August 13, 2019 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        I am right. And if you cared about your kids you wouldn’t have voted to make them pointlessly poorer.

        As for the cliff – you lot are not depressed, you are stupid. And you can’t fix stupid.

        • libertarian
          Posted August 14, 2019 at 6:15 pm | Permalink


          Oh look

          Venture capital (VC) funding in the UK soared to a record high during the first half of this year, bolstered by a growing appetite for tech investments.

          Funding in VC rose to £4.3bn during the first half of 2019, rising 45 per cent on the same period last year.

          Oh look 32 million people in jobs

          oh look 820,000 unfilled full time jobs

          We are making our children richer, healthier and happier

          You aren’t

  18. Richard1
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    I’d wait to see whether Brexit happens and how it goes before starting to celebrate.

    If it happens and goes well I hope there won’t be too much triumphalism over continuity remain.

  19. James Bertram
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    “Matters relating to postage stamps, including commemorative stamps, are the responsibility of Royal Mail….’
    This would seem to be correct, as I understand it. The Royal Mail was privatised and is a Plc. I think the Government has thus given away all authority over what stamps are produced. It will be a business decision of the CEO and BoD. In the old days the Queen use to approve the designs and the Postmaster General was a Cabinet decision – times have changed. And does a business want to celebrate something that might provoke it’s unionised (CWU) workforce, or 48% of its customers? Designs authorised by a business are likely to be of a non-controversial nature so I doubt there will be an official ‘Brexit Stamp’.
    However, some enterprising person may well design an unofficial set of stamps that you can stick on the envelope alongside your normal postage stamp (and are likely to be postmarked).
    Have we any budding entrepreneurs or printers reading this blog?

    • James Bertram
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      for ‘decision’ read ‘position’

  20. Original Richard
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    BJ should declare that henceforth 01/11 will become a public holiday and known as Independence Day.

  21. John Struan Robertson
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    It is not the first time that this ‘Leave’ voter now Business Secretary has given some odd responses for someone who claimed to have voted leave.

    I don’t know I just think she has given a number of odd responses for a ‘Leave’ voter.

  22. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Could it be we’re not leaving? Who would be surprised? I hope Farage is ready for the extra support coming his way if a general election happens.

  23. miami.mode
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    The confusion in that department almost legitimises the old joke of the businessman hearing the words he dreads “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help”.

  24. AlmostDead
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    More virtual signalling …. waste of money. If people want to celebrate …. pay for it yourself

    Reply No extra cost to mint a commem 50p once you have designed it

    • AlmostDead
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      Reply To Reply; Then people won’t mind paying out of their own pocket.

      • NickC
        Posted August 13, 2019 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

        Almostdead, They will be doing.

  25. Lisa Jones
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 4:14 am | Permalink

    Commemorative coins. You are like a six year old child. What else do you want, balloons and jelly? Pathetic

    • Mark B
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 5:00 am | Permalink

      We has commemorative 50p coins when we joined. Irony seems lost on you.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      I would like a commemorative event at the site of the signing of Magna Carta.

    • margaret howard
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Lisa Jones

      “Commemorative coins. You are like a six year old child. What else do you want, balloons and jelly? Pathetic”

      Spot on. But maybe the coins will be chocolate ones like the ones my son used to find in his Christmas stocking years ago. Bit of nostalgia for the ancient Brexit voters should keep them happy!

      • libertarian
        Posted August 13, 2019 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

        Margaret howard

        I bet you also said that when we issued an EC commemorative 50p coin…. Oh no I bet you didn’t .

        Once again your total ignorance catches you out.

        You might also find out WHY the Royal Mint COMMERCIALLY like to introduce commemorative coins for all kinds of things .

    • libertarian
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      Lisa Jones

      The 1992-93 EC 50p was first issued between 1992 and 1993. It was released to celebrate that the UK held the presidency of the Council of the European Union

      I bet you feel pathetic now eh Lisa….

    • NickC
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

      Lisa Jones, A coin issued to commemorate UK independence is the least that should be done. Most newly independent nations do a lot more. And sneering at such a minor celebration simply makes you a pompous bore and killjoy.

  26. Anonymous
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 4:49 am | Permalink

    I don’t see anything to celebrate about Brexit. I am a Leaver but I see membership of the Common Market, EC, EEC, EU … whatever they choose to call it today as being a mistake on our part.

    The People were certainly not told that Iron Curtain countries would be part of it and that it would mean the abolition of Britain by membership (or by Brexit as they keep telling us.)


    Yesterday’s post. We should not spend money on Help to Buy instead fund Help to Move for old people. Most I know live in big family houses on their own for up to thirty years. I’m not talking a few – there are lots of them. This while young working families are being crammed into small flats. It is tragic to build over our country when there is all this family living space virtually empty and being superheated just to keep one granny going.

  27. Mark B
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 4:56 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Well it looks like we will get neither. Shame.

  28. agricola
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Get it done and commemorate it a year later. You do not commemorate events as they happen. I recall that we first had D-Day but did not celebrate until we achieved VE-Day. D-Day only got celebrated fifty years later.

  29. Sea Warrior
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    A commemorative 50p? No, Sir John: we need a commemorative SOVEREIGN!

  30. villaking
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Do you not consider it a little insensitive and inflammatory to publicly commemorate an event which half the country finds deeply disturbing and does not support? In the 1970s, two thirds of the country wanted to join Europe and the commemorative 50p coin of that time was therefore not so symbolically divisive. A little less hubris please.

    Reply As a young man wanting us to leave in 1975, aware of the true nature of the project from reading the Treaty, I did not complain that the winners had commemorative items. MY sorrow was the result, not the public manifestation of it

    • margaret howard
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply – well, you are grown up now and should know better.

      • libertarian
        Posted August 13, 2019 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        Margaret Howard

        Well the Royal Mint has just issued a new commemorative coin Paddington Bear

        You truly are totally ignorant

      • NickC
        Posted August 13, 2019 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        Margaret Howard, Yes, I have grown up, and now I do know better – my vote in 1975 was an error.

    • libertarian
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 6:27 pm | Permalink


      The EC commemorative 50p was issued in 1992

      Do you not feel slightly silly that you dont know why the Royal Mint COMMERCIALLY produce these kind of coins?

  31. Justin Shasha
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    I shall be planting an oak tree to commemorate our Freedom from the EU.

    It’s important we have something tangible for the generations to look back on.

  32. roconnor
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Still hedging their bl##dy bets !

  33. margaret howard
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    BBC Business section today:

    “New Paddington Bear 50p coins enter circulation”

    That should do it.

  34. libertarian
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Hey Andy, Newmania, Margaret, Bill Hans Brown etc

    The new Mini Electric enters production on Nov 1st at BMW’s Oxford plant. I’m sure you will want to celebrate that as you were so fearful of UK car manufacturing

    Oh and they already have over 45,000 pre orders

    • margaret howard
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 11:28 pm | Permalink


      Yes, BMW are obviously doing well and all that extra money will flow into their Munich headquarters.

      Still, we’ll get a few crumbs off the table for being allowed to assemble it here. Well done all round!

      • libertarian
        Posted August 14, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        Margaret Howard

        It would help if you had the remotest idea about business, trade and the economy but obviously you don’t which makes you look pretty ignorant

        YOU were one of the ones who told us that European and Japanese car makers would be leaving the UK as a no deal Brexit meant that they couldn’t produce cars for the European and export markets . YOU WERE WRONG

        Oh and BMW UK employs 4600 people at their Oxford plant. You dont think they contribute significantly to UK tax revenues? Yet you tell us that Romanian fruit pickers are a huge benefit to UK tax revenues Oh and Margaret H being a self declared expert on all things German also knows how BMW UK handles its profits …. except you dont . BMW UK has a declared policy of paying all corporation tax on profits made in the UK … In the UK They even have a published position paper on it

        …. Hmmm you are and theres no polite way to describe this. Totally stupid

      • libertarian
        Posted August 14, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        Hey Margaret Howard

        You are really going to love this, no honestly you are

        The Chief Business Editor of respected German broadsheet Welt has said that Germany has become “the sick man of Europe”.

        OH. MY . WORD

  35. Dominic
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Let’s offer asylum to anyone from Hong Kong who wants to flee the horror of totalitarian Communism. This would be a wonderful expression of our belief that democracy, sovereignty, freedom, liberty and individualism is of supreme importance.

    • david price
      Posted August 14, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      Not just asylum. Freedom to live, work and study here would be better.

  36. margaret
    Posted August 14, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    My feelings on Brexit echoes those voices at a time of taking management ethics. ” Only take on what you can manage”
    Personally I cannot speak 27 different languages and would not be able to cope with the goings on in a Federal State of Europe. I find it difficult coping with about 8 different languages in my daily work place. I cannot detect any lies told in Urdu , Chec, Bolivian, Eritrean etc, so how could I cope with a USE. Following this line we would have to leave it to central Management who had the resources available and ready for communication ; in other words management is totally out of our hands .

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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