Undiplomatic language? Juncker says "English is losing importance" after Brexit vote

David Harding
Speaking French – Jean-Claude Juncker (Rex)

This could make relations between 10 Downing Street and Brussels even frostier.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has just given a speech in French because “English is losing importance” in Europe, he said.

His remarks – at a conference in Italy – were met with applause.

But it may be a thinly-veiled swipe at Theresay May.

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His remarks come just a few days after an explosive row between Number 10 and the Commission, over newspaper leaks of a seemingly disastrous private dinner between UK and Brussels’ leaders.

Adding fuel to the fire, after the leaks, the British PM, Theresa May went so far as to accuse Brussels of interfering in the upcoming UK General election.

Juncker also said that he was also speaking in French because he was in front of a French audience, despite the location, reported the FT.

Diplomatic language? Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker in Downing Street (Rex)

“I would like them to understand what I am saying about Europe and nations,” said Juncker, who is from Luxembourg.

He also said that Brexit would be a tough process.

“There should be no doubt that the EU is not abandoning the UK; it is the opposite, they are abandoning the EU and this is a difference that will be felt over the next few years,” he told his audience.

It comes after British press reports claiming Juncker was drunk and acting inappropriately at a UN peace summit.

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