English will continue to be one of the official languages of the European Union after the U.K. leaves, according to an official statement published on Tuesday by the bloc’s Commission in Ireland.
The remarks come as Danuta Hubner, member of the European Parliament, said English would be eliminated from the list of official languages of the union.
The head of the European Parliament’s Constitutional Affairs Committee said each member state identifies an official language, and the U.K. is currently the only country to nominate English.
The committee said that it is up to the Council of Ministers to vote on any changes to language use.
Article 342 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the EU states that “the rules governing the languages of the institutions of the Union shall, without prejudice to the provisions contained in the Statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union, be determined by the Council, acting unanimously by means of regulations.”
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If such changes occur, it would cost the union, since only translation makes up about 1 percent of the annual budget of the EU. Still, adding or removing languages could take years to approve and organize.
But, the U.K. is not the only country to use English, as Ireland and Malta both use the language.
The EU has 23 official languages, and most of its member states use English as their second tongue. English, along with French and German, are the working languages of the bloc.
The Brexit decision won by more than 1 million votes with 51.89 percent versus 48.11 percent for the campaign to stay in the EU. A total of 119 local areas voted "remain," while a majority of 263 areas voted "leave."
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