Brexit may see the EU say 'au revoir' to the English language

Ireland uses Gaelic as its first official EU language

Brexit, English, EU, official language, Danuta Maria Hubner, Ireland, Malta

The British flag flutters in the wind, in front of a model of the Brussels Atomium construction in Brussels | Image: Virginia Mayo / AP/Press Association Images

A Polish MEP has suggested English may no longer be one of the official languages of the European Union if and when Britain leaves the bloc.

The EU currently has 24 official and working languages - including Irish and English.

In 1958, the first official language policy of what was then the European Community (EC) identified Dutch, French, German, and Italian as the official working languages.

Since then, as more countries became part of the EU, the number of official and working languages has increased.

But MEP and chair of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, Danuta Maria Hubner, has said English could be stricken off the list.

She said EU rules allow member states to use one official language each.

"English is our official language because it has been notified by the UK. If we don't have the UK, we don't have English," Ms Hubner told a news conference.

While English is spoken in three EU member states - Ireland, Britain and Malta - only Britain legally chose it in Brussels.

The first official language of Ireland is Irish, while Malta officially speaks Maltese.

While French MEP Jean-Luc Mélenchon tweeted: "English can no longer be the third working language of the European Parliament."