Jean-Claude Juncker makes a joke at our expense (and who can blame him).

The European Union’s fear of admitting the truth about its own weaknesses and mistakes contributed to the Brexit vote, Jean-Claude Juncker confessed during a speech this morning.

The European Commission president began a “state of the Union” speech in Florence with a joke about how Britain’s exit from the EU would diminish the English language as Europe’s lingua franca.

“I will express myself in French because slowly but surely English is losing importance in Europe,” he said as the assembled politicians laughed.

In a rare admission that the EU and the European continent faced a future of global economic decline, Mr Juncker admitted that the world of officialdom in Brussels had been reluctant to face inconvenient truths