Juncker speaks English only to refer to Brexit in EU State of the Union address

Wednesday, 12 September 2018 19:42
Juncker speaks English only to refer to Brexit in EU State of the Union address © Belga
European Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker used English only when speaking about the British withdrawal from the European Union (EU) during his EU State of the Union address on Wednesday.
The address was crafted in the minutest detail in the days preceding the ceremony. The head of the EU executive wrote it himself, making modifications up to the last minute, according to a European source. And despite his detailed knowledge of many of the Union’s national languages, Juncker, who hails from Luxembourg, surrounded himself with native speakers for the translation of the address to avoid any translation mishaps.

On the British withdrawal from the EU (Brexit), Juncker reiterated his respect for Britain’s choice, which he said the EU regretted deeply, but asked the government of Theresa May to understand that “if you leave the Union, you are of course no longer part of our single market, and certainly not only in the parts of it you choose.”

Regarding the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, he warned that should the British Government “walk away from its responsibilities under the Good Friday agreement, it is not the European Union, it is Brexit that risks making the border more visible in Northern Ireland.”

However, Juncker stressed that the United Kingdom would always be a very close neighbour and partner in political, economic and security terms.

Jason Bennett
The Brussels Times

More Stories

Nearly a third of Brussels litter is cigarette butts

Nearly a third of Brussels litter is cigarette butts

A study conducted by Brussels’ public cleaning agency found that cigarette butts made up just under a third of the litter scattered throughout of the capital.

Two new Legionella victims reported in the canal area of Ghent

Two new Legionella victims reported in the canal area of Ghent

Two new victims of Legionella bacteria have been reported in the canal area in Ghent, bringing the number to 23, the Flemish health agency Zorg en Gezondheid said on Monday.

State-of-the-art training centre for special police units

State-of-the-art training centre for special police units

The Belgian federal police’s special units on Monday inaugurated their new, state-of-the-art training centre, an EU-backed project aimed at better fighting terrorism and organised crime.