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After UK, is English set to exit EU?


Brussels, June 29: The European Parliament's Constitutional Affairs Committee (AFCO) said on Monday (June 27) that English wouldn't not be one of the European Union's (EU) official language once the UK exits it, said this Politico report.

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English is one of the 28-member (27 after the UK's exit) union's 24 official languages since the UK identified it as its own official language, AFCO head Danuta Hübner said, adding that as soon as the country wraps up the procedure to leave the EU, English could lose its status.

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Other English-speaking countries like Ireland and Malta have notified Gaelic and Maltese, respectively, and that leaves only the UK which notified English. If there is no UK, there will be no English, Hübner said. Ireland and Malta sought addition of Gaelic and Maltese since English was already an official language of the EU at the time of their joining.

English though is one of the working languages in the European institutions and also a dominant one used by the EU's bureaucrats, the regulation listing the official languages of the EU would have to be changed by the remaining members of the body if they want English to remain as an official language, Hübner added.

The EU has already begun using French and German more in its external talks---something many are considering a step symbolising the post-Brexit EU, as a report in the Wall Street Journal has said.

The French have already voiced their demand to remove English from the EU once the UK formally wthdraws---bringing to the fore their age-old rivalry with the Englishmen over language and other cultural matters.

Is the June 23 Brexit pushing Europe back to the days of confrontation? Or at least suggesting such a transition?

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