Boris Johnson sparks government split over call for Brexit stamps

Posted On: 
5th January 2018

Boris Johnson has sparked a government rift by backing calls for special Brexit stamps after the Postal Services Minister branded them “divisive”. 

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has backed a campaign for the release of commemorative Brexit stamps
Credit: 
PA

The Foreign Secretary last night threw his weight behind a campaign for the release of stamps commemorating the UK’s exit from the EU.

He told The Sun: “Leaving the European Union will be a monumental moment in British history, so let’s deliver a commemorative stamp that shows the world we’ve got Brexit licked.”

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But the intervention came as Postal Services Minister Margot James dismissed the idea as “divisive”.

The Conservative MP insisted she would not put pressure on Royal Mail bosses, who have said there will be no commemorative release when Britain leaves the bloc on 29 March 2019, as there was to mark entry into the European Economic Community in 1973.

She said: “I don’t think it was such a divisive issue then. They have no plans to produce them and I am not going to interfere one way or another.”

Mr Johnson’s stance has the support of Brexiteer colleagues, who have criticised Royal Mail’s decision.  

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said: “We definitely need Brexit stamps to celebrate this joyous and momentous occasion - we will have one’s for Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding won’t we?

“We have commemorative stamps for national events and this is the biggest national event for decades. I know 17million people who will buy them.”

Elsewhere former Brexit Minister David Jones said:  "It is outrageous. This is a new and important chapter in the history of this country - and they have got a positive duty to mark it.

“If they can mark our accession to it then they should mark the country's liberation."

However, Ms James was adamant she cannot influence the postal service’s decision, saying she was “not going to interfere one way or another”.

A Government spokesman said: “All commercial and operational matters, including stamp themes, of the Royal Mail are independent of the government.

“The Royal Mail has a well-established independent process for choosing stamp themes, including considering proposals from the public and organisations.

“Stamp themes are selected up to three years ahead to allow for the design process and production schedules.”