Why won’t leav­ing be marked with a stamp?

Daily Mail - - News - By Claire El­li­cott Po­lit­i­cal Cor­re­spon­dent

ROYAL Mail has been crit­i­cised for re­fus­ing to print a stamp for Brexit – de­spite mark­ing al­most ev­ery other piv­otal event in mod­ern Bri­tish his­tory.

It pro­duced stamps in 1973 when the UK joined the Euro­pean Eco­nomic Community, which later be­came the EU.

And, sub­se­quently, it has man­aged to cel­e­brate ev­ery­thing from the lat­est Star Wars film and, in 1989, the 150th anniversary of Royal Mi­cro­scop­i­cal So­ci­ety.

But the de­ci­sion not to record the UK’s exit will dis­ap­point those who voted in June last year to leave the EU in March 2019.

For­mer Brexit min­is­ter David Jones said the de­ci­sion was ‘ab­so­lutely out­ra­geous’ and in­sisted Royal Mail had a duty to mark Brit- ain’s ‘lib­er­a­tion’ from Brus­sels. Mr Jones, the Tory MP for Cl­wyd West, said he would com­plain to Busi­ness Sec­re­tary Greg Clark, who over­sees Royal Mail, adding: ‘The Royal Mail has an ab­so­lute obli­ga­tion to recog­nise a new chap­ter in the his­tory of this coun­try.

‘It was a suf­fi­ciently im­por­tant is­sue to at­tract the votes of 17.2 mil­lion peo­ple – and as a mat­ter of sim­ple re­spect Royal Mail should be en­sur­ing that the oc­ca­sion is prop­erly marked.

‘It is out­ra­geous. This is a new and im­por­tant chap­ter in the his­tory of this coun­try – and they have a pos­i­tive duty to mark it.’

He told The Daily Tele­graph: ‘If they can mark our ac­ces­sion to it, then they should mark the coun­try’s lib­er­a­tion.’

Royal Mail marked Bri­tain’s in­clu­sion in the EEC with a stamp de­pict­ing a Union Jack jig­saw piece in a Euro­pean puz­zle.

It has also com­mem­o­rated events such as the death of rock star David Bowie last year and a se­ries of stamps in 2012 to cel­e­brate the comic The Beano.

Ukip also crit­i­cised the de­ci­sion, say­ing that Royal Mail ‘cel­e­brates ev­ery­thing from Star Wars to The Beano but can’t be both­ered to record the date of our de­par­ture from the EU’.

But those who op­posed Bri­tain leav­ing the EU backed the de­ci­sion, say­ing Brexit was not be some­thing to cel­e­brate.

Eloise Todd, of Best For Bri­tain, said: ‘The Royal Mail aren’t cre­at­ing stamps be­cause Brexit day will be a day of mourn­ing, not cel­e­bra­tion for mil­lions of peo­ple who believe that Bri­tain should lead, not leave Europe.

‘We are pulling away from our friends and al­lies in a deeply un­cer­tain world. Brexit Day won’t be con­firmed un­til Par­lia­ment has agreed, so Royal Mail is right not to waste its money. We might need stamps to com­mem­o­rate the re­vival of com­mon sense.’

A Royal Mail spokesman said: ‘Royal Mail does not in­tend to is­sue a stamp to mark the UK’s exit from the EU.’

Sticky is­sue: Stamps for join­ing the EEC

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