UK's commemorative Brexit coin on hold amid political crisis

The Royal Mint, Britain's official coin-maker, has joined the legions of people and businesses left in limbo over Brexit as the country asks the EU to delay its departure from the bloc.

The 1,100-year-old government-owned company had planned to issue a new 50-pence coin to mark Britain's European Union exit on March 29 -- with the date inscribed on it -- and had started producing test pieces.

The Treasury announced in October the commemorative piece "will be available to buy from Spring 2019". But amid the chaos engulfing the withdrawal process, it said that no coins have been produced yet for sale.

"The commemorative 50-pence coin... will be made available following our departure," a Treasury spokesman told AFP on Thursday.

Asked on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show over the weekend whether he would have to melt coins with the wrong date, Finance Minister

Philip Hammond said they could instead become "collectors' pieces".