The Government is to mark the first day of Britain’s departure from the European Union with the launch of an international advertising campaign telling foreign businesses the UK is “ready to trade” with them.
The new ‘Ready to Trade’ campaign will be launched with posters and billboards in 17 cities across 13 countries outside the EU on February 1, the day after Brexit day.
Downing Street says the campaign “seeks to deepen our relationships with future global partners” and features striking images of the union flag, including red, white and blue container units on a freight ship.
An advertising campaign will also be launched in the UK tomorrow, with the message ‘This Friday the UK leaves the EU’, urging businesses here to check for any changes they need to make ahead of January 2021, when the Brexit transition period comes to an end.
Brexit day itself will be marked with a number of initiatives, including a commemorative 50p coin.
Three million of the coins will go into circulation from the 31 January, with a further 7 million entering circulation later this year.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be one of the first to receive the new Brexit coin, which reads ‘Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations’.
More than 13,000 people have already registered their interest in the coin with the Royal Mint.
Mr Johnson said: “Next Friday marks an important moment in the history of our United Kingdom. No matter how you voted in 2016, it is the time to look ahead with confidence to the global, trail-blazing country we will become over the next decade and heal past divisions. That is what I will be doing on 31 January and I urge everyone across the UK to do the same.”
The Prime Minister and his Cabinet will begin Brexit day in the North of England to discuss “the PM’s levelling up agenda and how best to spread prosperity and opportunity across all corners of the UK”.
Later that evening Mr Johnson will deliver a special address to the people at 10pm, with a commemorative light display in Downing Street an hour later, marking the moment the UK officially leaves the EU.
Union Jack flags will line Parliament Square and the Mall on January 31 and the public will see government buildings in Whitehall lit up in red, white and blue colours throughout the evening.
No 10 said the Prime Minister will host a ‘People’s PMQs’ session on Wednesday, with children invited to Downing Street the next day to ask the Prime Minister questions about the future.
The Brexit Day initiatives come after it emerged that Mr Johnson is expected to formally open trade talks with the US before he begins discussions with the European Union.
US diplomats believe the Prime Minister is poised to seek Cabinet authorisation to open trade talks directly with America on a visit to Washington next month.
The Telegraph has learned that British civil servants have drawn up advice for ministers on the “pros and cons” of starting trade talks with America before beginning them with the European Union.
A UK government source who has seen the advice said the argument for going to the US first is to show: “We mean business and we’re not messing around.”
It would also aim to avoid becoming “trapped” by Brussels negotiators and “negate some of the concerns of the EU trying to play the ball in the way they want”, the source said.
“The political signal would be - 'We’ve got the capacity to do this at the same time, don’t hold this up'.”