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On the Role of English in the post-Brexit European Union


This paper examines the role of English in the post-Brexit EU through three lenses. From a legal perspective, the role of English has not been changed by Brexit. English remains one of the 24 Treaty languages, official languages and working languages in the EU. The removal of English, which could only be decided unanimously by the Council of the EU, has never been seriously considered. From an empirical perspective, there is evidence that English is the dominant working language in the EU institutions. In this respect, there are no indications of any change after Brexit, even if some call for a reduction in its primacy. From a moral perspective, Brexit should strengthen the role of English at the levels of working languages and transnational communication for two reasons: first, because English is an almost neutral language after Brexit, which significantly reduces injustices associated with its use during the UK’s EU membership, and second, because it can be expected that “Euro-English” will become even more autonomous and can be regarded as the Europeans’ own language.

Cite as: Herbert, JLL 12 (2023), 31–47, DOI: 10.14762/jll.2023.031

صندلی اداری سرور مجازی ایران Decentralized Exchange


Brexit, European Union, lingua franca, language policy, EU language regime



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