April 19 2017
Recently newly-designed one pound coins have been released.
To my mind, this new design implies a strong will of the UK government to tackle with Brexit as a united country.
And a surprising announcement from the Prime Minister Theresa May to call for a general election in June. Why did she choose now?
THE UK AND ITS FOUR COUNTRIES DESIGNED IN ONE POUND COINS
The UK is made up of four countries: – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Island. Living in the UK, I often observe people’s strong identity and pride about their own countries.
The picture at the top of this page (coins in the two rows) are the current one pound coins I have. There are different designs representing the four countries. Royal Arms represents the United Kingdom, Dragon, Daffodil, Leek for Wales, Oak for England, Flax flower and Shamrock for Northern Ireland. Although I didn’t have them, there are more variations including Thistle and Lion Rampant for Scotland.
Very recently, I started seeing a new one pound coin. (the third row & enlarged image as below)
By the end of 2017, current one pound coins will be worthless and I often see a news article, “ Check your piggy bank and search in between sofas and use up all the one pound coins.”
The UK government said that they decided to change the design and make it 12 sided to prevent fraud but the new design is very interesting. From left, Rose for England, Leek for Wales, Thistle for Scotland and Shamrock for Northern Island – amalgamating all the four countries in one design.
On the 29th March 2017, the UK officially informed the European Council to trigger the Article 50. Prior to that, the First Minister of Scotland announced that the second Scottish referendum for independence should be held.
Then this one pound coin is released.
I presume that the design had been already fixed beforehand, but considering this design and this timing, I feel the strong will of the UK government to proceed the Brexit process as a one country.
SUDDEN ANNOUNCEMENT OF GENERAL ELECTION
On the 18th April 2017, Prime Minister Theresa May called for general election on the 8th June. (In the UK, the Prime Minister should receive a two thirds majority in the House of Commons and voted in favour on the 19th April.) The next general election was not due until 2020 but Mrs May chose now to bring it forward by 3 years.
I was surprised that this decision has come so early but in fact now might the best timing for the UK.
I believe that uncertainty and instability are the biggest threats for the Brexit process.
Now that the Labour party is not solid and the Conservative party can expect more votes. In the meantime, even within the Conservatives, there are a few MPs who are against Brexit, particularly Hard Brexit. Mrs May must want to gain a strong support and confidence from people to proceed the Brexit.
Now must be good, considering the timing of negotiations with the EU. After Article 50 is triggered, only two years are granted for negotiation, which means until March 2019. It is impossible to resolve everything during the 2 years and some negotiations should carry on. In addition, the UK should discuss with other nations outside of the EU. If the general election happened in 2020 with the UK facing a such a tough situation, the UK’s internal politics might be descending into turmoil. This will be a larger risk for the Conservatives.
Considering all these, I can understand why the Prime Minister chose now as the best timing.
Lately we have seen many “unexpected” occurrences in the world. Let’s see on the 8th June if the Conservative Party can gain a landslide victory as Mrs May wishes and if the UK can achieve stability at least with its internal politics.