The UK’s baffling decision to leave the European Union, the so-called Brexit, has so many inconceivable ramifications that for a considerable length of time UK and EU citizens will keep discovering new ones, and the outcome of the English language, including the likely rise of “EU English”, is just one of them.
The EU’s official body has no plans to minimise the utilisation of English after Brexit, in spite of occasional thistles that the language would be less significant in Europe when the UK leaves the coalition. There is a small print buried in the European commission’s proposed budget for 2021-27 that it has no plans to reduce the use of English in its meetings or documents.
A section on EU administration states this:, “The withdrawal of the United Kingdom will result in a limited reorientation of some functions within the administration, but the scope of activities will not change. Translation and interpretation services in the English language will also remain unaffected.”
The European commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said in 2017 that English was losing its importance in Europe, although he later indicated he had been joking.
Rumours that Brexit negotiations would be conducted exclusively in French also appear to have been a joke to the detriment of the British, who are among the most improbable in the EU to speak other languages.
When the UK leaves the EU in 2019, just 1% of the EU populace use English as an official language, those living in Ireland and Malta.
The EU has 24 official languages, making 552 blends of language pairings, enabling each to be translated into 23 others.
English, French and German are the three listed as working languages. English has been used more extensively than French since Sweden, Finland and Austria joined the EU in 1995, bringing in more speakers of English as a second language. The predominance of English became well established when central and eastern European countries joined in the mid-2000s.
Pro-English advocates state that, with the British voluntarily moving out of the picture, the European Union should formally embrace its very own type of English as its official working language – EU English!
This may give all Europeans an official working language that is nobody’s mother tongue (nobody in EU 27 will be “a native English speaker”, except for Ireland and Malta).
Language experts say that the future “EU English” or “European English” will be an unbiased region, a level playing field, which will be reasonable to all Europeans.