Brexit 50p coin – when is out and where can I get one?

BRITS can expect a new 50p coin to be entering their pockets to commemorate leaving the European Union.

Butwhat is the 50p Brexit coin and when does it enter circulation?

PA:Press Association

The Brexit 50p coin will commemorate the UK’s ‘new chapter’[/caption]

What is the 50 pence Brexit coin?

To mark the UK’s exit from the European Union, a new coin has been made – dubbed the ‘Brexit’ coin.

It will be the same shape as the classic 50p coin, but will bear a new description, reading: “Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, initially ordered the production of Brexit coin for the UK’s original departure on 31 October.

But the Brexit delay meant about a million coins had to be melted down and the metal put aside until a new exit date was confirmed.

When will the Brexit coin enter circulation?

Commemorating the new chapter in affairs, about three million Brexit coins will enter circulation around the UK from Friday 31 January.

A further seven million 50p coins are expected to be added later on in the year.

As part of the launch of the coin, the Royal Mint will open the doors of its south Wales HQ for 24 hours to let people strike their own Brexit coins.

On 31 January, the public can mark the milestone in the UK’s history by having a tour of the Royal Mint followed by an opportunity to forge the coin for themselves.

What has Chancellor Sajid Javid said about the Brexit coin?

Mr Javid, who is Master of the Mint, was given the first batch of coins and will present one to Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week.

As he unveiled the 50p coin, he said: “Leaving the European Union is a turning point in our history and this coin marks the beginning of this new chapter.”

PA:Press Association

The coin says ‘Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations’ alongside the date of Brexit[/caption]

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Wetherspoon to cut beer and vodka prices to mark Brexit

WETHERSPOON is slashing the price of ten drinks, including certain beers and vodkas, from January 31 to mark Brexit taking place the same day.

Its so-called “Let’s stay friends” move will offer customers around 60p off drinks which originate in European countries, as well as from across the UK.

Bar worker pulling a pint
Wetherspoon says it’s slashing the price of ten drinks to celebrate Brexit
Getty – Contributor

Drinks include Estrella Galicia, Beck’s, Peroni, Tyskie, Jameson Irish Whiskey, and Grey Goose Vodka – see the box below for the full list.

Under the offer customers will be able to buy a bottle of Beck’s for £1.49, a bottle of Peroni at £1.99, Grey Goose Vodka (175ml and mixer) for £2.99, and a pint of Ruddles (England) for £1.49 at 700 Wetherspoon pubs. Prices will vary at the other Wetherspoon pubs.

Customers will see the discounted prices in all of the company’s 870 pubs in Britain, but sadly it’s not a permanent price cut as the promotion will end on February 29.

Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin said: “Many of our customers are keen to celebrate Brexit.

“At the same time we want to remain friends with our European neighbours and offer a range of drinks at an excellent price.

“In my opinion, there has been far too much political posturing in negotiations between the UK and the EU up until now.

“The UK should aim to treat all countries of the world equally by eliminating current protectionist tariffs on nearly 13,000 non-EU imports, which cause every person, and most businesses in the UK, to pay artificially high prices for everyday goods, including rice, oranges, wine and children’s clothing and shoes.

“The EU and UK need to understand that tariffs and protectionism are counter-productive.

“UK consumers will shun EU goods if tariffs are imposed on UK exports – as EU consumers might do if the roles were reversed.

“It is therefore pointless for one side to threaten the other with tariffs.

“The public and businesses will be the ultimate decision-makers through their purchasing choices.

“Let’s stay friends and enjoy free trade, but take account of the economic reality.

“Consumers hold the whip hand in these negotiations, not governments.”

How I bought £174k first home by using an investment Lifetime Isa and holidaying in the UK

USING an investment Lifetime Isa for his savings and giving up holidays abroad helped Alistair Clamp buy his first home aged 21.

The financial adviser paid £174,000 for his one-bed Southampton flat in April last year with a £8,700 deposit.

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Alistair bought his first home in April last year using the Help to Buy equity loan[/caption]

He saved the cash in three years, tucking money aside after bagging a job as a trainee financial adviser earning £17,000 a year aged 18.

After a year of putting money aside, Alistair opened a stocks and shares Lifetime Isa (LISA), which allowed him to invest his cash and boost his savings – something you can’t do with a Help to Buy Isa.

Over the two years, he made an extra £350 on his savings on top of the 25 per cent annual government bonus that the LISA offers.

That meant after saving £4,000 in the first year and £3,000 in the second, he got £1,750 extra towards his first home.

The modest profit was more than what he would have earned in interest in a Help to Buy Isa, and help him cover the costs of the legal fees.

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The one-bed flat in Southampton is near to where he works[/caption]

To increase his salary, Alistair, who’s now 22, decided to take his exams to qualify as a financial adviser because he knew the job comes with a greater pay packet.

He dedicated evenings and weekends to studying, which made him cut back on his social life allowing him to boost his savings.

Paying £200 a month to live with his parents kept his living costs low and he limited himself to spending £200 on seeing friends every month.

Are you a first-time buyer who want to share tips on how you did it? Email us at or call 0207 78 24516. Don’t forget to join the Sun Money’s first-time buyer Facebook group for the latest tips on buying your first home.

In the three years of saving, he didn’t holiday abroad and instead opted for short mini-breaks in the UK to save cash.

By the time it came to move into his one-bed flat, Alistair had gained his qualification and was earning £28,000 a year. This is increased the amount he could borrow.

He also used a £34,800 Help to Buy equity loan to get him on the property ladder and took out a mortgage for the remaining £130,500.

We sat down with Alistair for the My First Home series.

What is your home like?

I live in a new build block of flats in Southampton, near to the marina.

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Alistair only looked at buying new build properties as he wanted to use a Help to Buy loan[/caption]

There’s a double bedroom, a bathroom and an open plan kitchen and living room.

The flat has a Juliette balcony but there is a communal roof terrace I can use when the weather gets hotter.

Buying somewhere was always something I’d dreamed of, and I’d rather own my own place if I could help it.

I’d rather not have to rent and worry about a landlord selling or you coming to the end of your lease.

How much did you pay for the flat?

I bought the flat for £174,000 in April this year. It was on the market for £179,000 but I’d done my research and knew that in December 2018, when I made the offer on the flat, the market was slow.

I haggled them down and negotiated a discount on legal fees too if I went with the solicitor that they’d recommended.

They also threw in £1,000 Ikea voucher which I used to furnish the property.

I used the Help to Buy loan to make my mortgage smaller.

Without it, I don’t think I would have been able to borrow enough to purchase the flat, or I would have had to save for another few years to come up with a bigger deposit.

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Alistair haggled £5,000 off the asking price and bought it for £174,000[/caption]

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The financial adviser was given a £1,000 voucher for Ikea to furnish his flat[/caption]

I also only needed a minimum 5 per cent deposit to qualify for the scheme, whereas as a single first-time buyer, I would have needed at least a 10 per cent deposit to buy without it.

I put down £8,700 for the deposit, which was equal to the value of five per cent of the whole flat.

The Help to Buy loan was for 20 per cent worth £34,800 and my mortgage is £130,500.

I took it out over 35 years to lower the monthly payments. I’m currently fixed-into a deal for two years at a rate of 1.64 per cent.

It means my monthly repayments are about £410.

I know that I could have got an even lower rate if it’d fixed-in to a longer deal but I think five years is a bit of a long commitment and I don’t know how long I’ll live here for.

Have you got a plan to repay the Help to Buy loan?

I’m not too worried about it at the moment as it’s interest-free for five years.

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The flat has one bathroom and a Juliette balcony[/caption]

I got a pay rise shortly after I moved in so I’m saving about £5,000 a year, which I could use to help pay it off before the interest-free period is up.

My other option is to see if I can add it onto the mortgage when I come to renew and keep my savings. I’ll decide closer to the time.

How did you save enough for the deposit?

I’ve been saving to buy my own place even since I finished school and got a full-time job aged 18.

In three years, I saved a bit more than the deposit and kept some to help cover the rest of the moving costs.

What help is out there for first-time buyers?

GETTING on the property ladder can feel like a daunting task but there are schemes out there to help first-time buyers have their own home.

Help to Buy Isa – It’s a tax-free savings account where for every £200 you save, the Government will add an extra £50. But there’s a maximum limit of £3,000 which is paid to your solicitor when you move.

Help to Buy equity loan – The Government will lend you up to 20 per cent of the home’s value – or 40 per cent in London – after you’ve put down a five per cent deposit. The loan is on top of a normal mortgage but it can only be used to buy a new build property. You can no longer open a new account, but existing account holders have until December 1 2030 to claim the bonus.

Lifetime Isa – This is another Government scheme that gives anyone aged 18 to 39 the chance to save tax-free and get a bonus of up to £32,000 towards their first home. You can save up to £4,000 a year and the Government will add 25 per cent on top.

Shared ownership – Co-owning with a housing association means you can buy a part of the property and pay rent on the remaining amount. You can buy anything from 25 to 75 per cent of the property but you’re restricted to specific ones.

“First dibs” in London – London Mayor Sadiq Khan is working on a scheme that will restrict sales of all new-build homes in the capital up to £350,000 to UK buyers for three months before any overseas marketing can take place.

Starter Home Initiative – A Government scheme that will see 200,000 new-build homes in England sold to first-time buyers with a 20 per cent discount by 2020. To receive updates on the progress of these homes you can register your interest on the Starter Homes website.

I didn’t go to uni but instead got a job as a trainee financial adviser on £17,000 a year, which wasn’t enough money to buy anywhere.

I knew that I needed to increase my income if I wanted to be taken seriously for a mortgage so I decided to get qualified.

I’d spend evenings and weekends studying for the exams, which really ate into my social life. I guess that helped me cut back on my spending though too.

I had to take six exams over three years and every time I passed one I got a pay rise.

I qualified in February last year so by the time it came to getting a mortgage, my salary had increased to £28,000 a year. This meant I could borrow more.

For the first 18months that I started saving, I put aside £200 a month but it wasn’t until I turned 20 that I seriously began saving to buy somewhere. By this point, I’d saved £2,000 and I upped my monthly payments to £400.

I lived with my parents paying them £200 a month to cover bills, which is obviously much cheaper compared to renting somewhere.

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The kitchen opens up into the living room in the flat[/caption]

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Alistair has lived in the flat for eight months now[/caption]

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Alistair put down a 5 per cent deposit worth £8,700 for the flat[/caption]

I kept my £25 a month gym membership and Spotify subscription but budgeted myself to £200 a month for socialising.

I mean to be fair, I’m not a massive drinker so I’d offer to drive, which cost me less.

But it did mean that rather than going for dinner with my friends, I might them afterwards for a drink instead

I also didn’t go on holiday abroad at all while I saved and instead went on road trips in the UK to places like Cornwall or Wales.

I found it hard to pace myself on the tight budget that I’d set. I’d easily spend £60 on an event just after payday but then I’d find that I’d have to limit myself for the rest of the month.

It was so much easier when I automated my payments. For example, I sent up a standing order on payday for my savings to go straight into my LISA so I couldn’t spend it.

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Alistair bought his home aged 21 after three years of saving[/caption]

I also traded in my old car and bought an electric car so that I didn’t have to pay for petrol. It was a Nissan Leaf and my friends totally took the mick out of me because it was so naff.

I didn’t really save much by doing this as before I was spending about £240 a month on fuel but the finance deal for the Nissan cost the same.

But it helped me manage my money as I knew exactly how much it would cost me every month because it didn’t cost me anything to charge it, whereas petrol would always vary.

Why did you choose the Lifetime Isa over the Help to Buy Isa?

The Help to Buy Isa limits you to saving just £200 a month and you don’t get the bonus until completion so you can’t use it for the deposit.

The LISA lets you save up to £4,000 a year and you get the bonus paid at the end of every year, so you can earn interest on that bit too. I got two tax years out of mine.

The LISA also lets you invest, unlike the Help to Buy so I could make some extra money on it.

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Alistair was only offered a £50,000 mortgage from the bank who holds his current account[/caption]

Did you have trouble getting a mortgage being a first-time buyer?

At first I talked to my bank who I’d been with for years to see what I could borrow. They offered me just £50,000 which was no way near enough.

I was shocked but my dad, who’s a mortgage broker, said that some lenders aren’t keen on lending to first-time buyers and advised me to look elsewhere.

I was lucky that he didn’t charge me, but I would definitely recommend getting one if you can afford it as it totally took the stress out of it.

How did you decide on location?

I grew up in Ringwood, which is about 25 minutes away and I work in Southampton.

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Alistair kept his gym membership and Spotify subscription while he saved[/caption]

I know that I wanted to use the Help to Buy scheme so I’d have to look at new build developments.

I did look at some off-plan in Bournemouth but it was really hard to visualise what it was going to look like so I ended up looking in Southampton where I worked.

How did it feel when you finally moved in?

Completing is very exciting – especially when you’ve spent the previous few months waiting for all of the paperwork to go through.

It’s an amazing feeling knowing that you own something and that all of the hard work paid off.

I’ve learned so much about the house-buying process – it’s so complicated and not something they teach you about at school.

Now, me and my friends are planning on starting a YouTube channel to help other first-time buyers.

McDonald’s is giving away free fries today – how to claim yours

MCDONALD’S is kicking off the weekend early by giving away free fries on its app today, January 10.

The freebie is for one medium portion of chips and the good news is both new and existing customers can claim the deal.

Did someone say Fri-yay? McDonald’s is giving away fries on its app today

You’ll be saving around £1.09 on the usual cost of medium fries but prices do vary between branches.

To get your hands on the free food, you need to have the My McDonald’s app downloaded to your smart phone.

The app can be downloaded via Google Play or the App Store.

Once you’ve installed it, go to the deals section and you’ll find the offer.

The deal will only be available from 11am until midnight, and you don’t need to purchase anything else on the Maccies menu to claim your free fries.

You also can’t redeem it on Uber Eats, meaning you’ll need to visit your nearest restaurant to get the fries.

Pretty much all of McDonald’s 1,200 restaurants will be participating in the deal, apart from 28 stores that aren’t available on the app.

Check the terms and conditions of the offer when it goes live on the app today to see a full list of restaurants that are taking part.

In the meantime, you can find your nearest McDonald’s by using the online store finder.

The fries offer is part of McDonald’s month-long Appy Deals, with the fast food chain giving away freebies and discounts throughout January.

Each deal, including the free chips, can only be redeemed once per person.

Previous freebies include McMuffins and cheese melt dippers for app users.

McDonald’s is also giving away free hot drinks until January 31.

The fast food chain has just launched its first-ever vegan meal and it includes dippers that taste of pesto.

McDonald’s is giving away FREE cheese melt dippers today

CHEESE lovers are in for a treat as McDonald’s is giving away free cheese melt dippers today.

Each portion contains five delicious dippers made from a blend of Emmental and mozzarella cheese in a herb-infused breadcrumb with a tomato dip.

McDonald’s is giving away free cheese dipper melts today only

All you need to do to take advantage of the tasty offer is download the McDonald’s app.

The app can be downloaded for free via Google Play or the App Store.

The dippers, which usually cost £1.69 a portion will be available from 11am until midnight, January 8, in all participating restaurants.

Because McDonald’s is a franchise, not all stores have to take part in the offer, but the vast majority do.

You can check if your nearest restaurant does in the terms and conditions on the app.

24-hour McDonald’s restaurants have also been running the offer from 00:01 until 5am today – perfect for anyone working the night shift or having a night out.

You don’t need to order anything else on the menu to take advantage of the free dipper offer.

The promotion is part of McDonald’s January promotions, with the chain launching deals and freebies everyday until January 24.

Tomorrow – January 9 – the chain will be discounting the brand new Fajita Chicken Wrap in either crispy or grilled from £2.99 to just 99p.

Veggies are in luck too as the Spicy Veggie wrap will also be slashed to 99p.

There will be more daily offers throughout January, but McDonald’s is keeping them tightly under wraps for now.

McDonald’s has another free drink voucher which can be used once at any point in January.

Again, all you need to do is look on the app and select the deal you want from the offers section.

The deals aren’t available through Uber Eats, which delivers McDonald’s, so you’ll need yo head out to the nearest store.

McDonald’s has 1,200 restaurants to choose from in the UK – use the online store locator tool to track down the closest.

How to get your free hot drink from McDonald’s today.

McDonald’s fans were left fuming as app crashes leaving customers without free McMuffins.

The chain has launched its first-ever vegan meal with dippers that taste of pesto.