Daily Mail: John says, “It looks as though someone in Brussels has been missing the British sense of humour”

Brussels will force European Union train drivers to speak English under rules designed to unite transport networks between member states.

Despite misgivings among some EU member states, English has officially been selected as the standardised language used by train drivers.

The move will likely upset MEPs who insisted English be banished as a language in the wake of the UK’s Brexit referendum.

The EU has been pushing for a number of years to have a ‘single European railway area’ to facilitate easier movement between countries.

But rules to be announced this autumn under the EU’s ‘Train Driver’s Directive’ stipulate drivers must possess a minimum language proficiency in every country they operate.

Officials have instead sought to standardise the language used by train drivers across all member states.

Conservative MP for Weston-super-Mare, John Penrose, said: ‘Who’d have thought our influence in the EU would be bigger now we’ve left? It looks as though someone in Brussels has been missing the British sense of humour.’

Despite the update to the Train Driver’s Directive confirmed for autumn this year, Brussels sources have warned the decision could be delayed.

Resistance from members such as the Polish MEP and chairman of the European Parliament of Constitutional Affairs Committee, Danuta Hubner, said in 2016 that English should not be recognised.

English is further being considered the common language for drivers when crossing to neighbouring countries, sources from Brussels have confirmed.

Former rail minister Paul Maynard, the Conservative MP for Blackpool North, told The Sunday Telegraph: ‘I welcome the recognition from the EU and hope that this means train drivers in the UK will be able to play their part in improving rail links from the UK to the Continent.’