English will remain an official language of the European Union in 2021 after Brexit, the European Commission has confirmed.
Rumors had spread online, suggesting the EU was set to ditch the language after Brexit takes sound effect on Friday (January 1, 2021).
An article in Scottish newspaper The National had quoted a European affairs correspondent who claimed that English was “set to become downgraded to a ‘working language’ after member states opted against using it for translations of documents.” The New European also shared these reports.
In 2016, a prominent MEP was quoted as saying that “if we don’t have the UK, we don’t have English.”
But in a statement to Euronews, the EU firmly denied the rumours.
“This is not at all true,” said a European Commission spokesperson for the EU-UK negotiations. “English will remain an official language.”
English has been the official language of the bloc since 1973. While the UK was the only EU country that gave English as its official language, other member states commonly use English. They have nominated a different official EU language.
On the European Union’s official website, the bloc also reiterates that “even after the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU, English remains one of Ireland and Malta.”
After the UK’s referendum in June 2016, the European Commission also reiterated in a statement that any change to the EU institutions’ language regime is subject to a unanimous vote of the European Council. Here