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English could be ditched as official language of European Union after Brexit

Heads of state and government attend a summit of EU leaders at the European Council headquarter in Brussels - Credit: AFP via Getty Images

English could be ditched as an official language of the European Union as the United Kingdom leaves the bloc following the Brexit trade agreement.

European and Scottish affairs correspondent Udo Seiwert-Fauti claims that the language is set to become downgraded to a “working language” after member states opted against using it for translations of documents.

Malta receives additional copies in Maltese, Cyprus in Greek, and the Republic of Ireland has requested Gaelic documentation.

He told Scotland’s National newspaper: “If these regulations still work and have to be followed, and I have not yet heard any different, English will be only a working language in talking to each other within the EU but it will end as the official EU language.”

But English will continue to be used at the Council of Europe (CoE) where the UK remains a paying member.

“English and French are the official languages and the UK is still a fully paying member state. At the beginning of January the UK will pay about €20 million (£18.1m) into the CoE budget. The UK flag is still flying – if you leave the CoE building it’s on the far right – and they agree to follow the sentences of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the European Court of Justice.”

There is speculation that French could replace the English, with it being the second language of member states and at the European Commission.

According to statistics issued by the Commission, at least 80% of Commission officials speak French as a first, second or third language.