It will come as no surprise to critics of the EU that wise men are now officially banned from the EU.
They were told “to reduce as much as possible the use of gender-specific terms” and avoid references to “women or men”.
Examples include replacing “chairman” with “chair or chairperson”, “policeman or policewoman” with “police officer” and “spokesman” by “spokesperson”.
The word “stewardess” must be replaced by “flight attendant” and school headmasters and headmistresses should be referred to as “director” or “principal”.
The book says: “The use in many languages of the word ‘man’ in a wide range of idiomatic expressions which refer to both men and women, such as manpower, layman, man-made, statesmen, committee of wise men, should be discouraged.
“With increased awareness, such expressions can usually be made gender-neutral.”
Separate guidelines are set out for languages such as French or German in which nouns have a grammatical gender.
Explaining the reason for the new rules, the handbook says: “Gender-neutral or gender-inclusive language is more than a matter of political correctness.”
Last night Rupert Matthews, Tory MEP for the East Midlands, tabled a written parliamentary question which led to the updated guidelines being revealed.
He said: “The Eurocrats have imposed their own version of politically correct language on to the approved English.
“The end result can be hilarious – it can also hinder proper understanding during debates. More than once I have listened to a translation and thought: ‘What on earth does that mean?’
“This secretive guidance that I have managed to unearth shows the nonsense that the EU translators have to deal with when trying to make different languages intelligible.
“Undoubtedly English will remain a key common language in the European Parliament and EU Commission after Brexit.
“It is the only language that they all have in common. Given this guidance I can only say, ‘Good luck with that.’
“In the European Parliament we have to put up with what we call ‘Euro-English’.
“It is not a real language but a hideous hybrid put together to enable translators for whom English is a second language talk to each other.
“The Bulgarian version of English is different to that taught in schools in Portugal and neither is close to colloquial English that we all speak in Blighty.
“The Eurocrats have created their own version of English that … adds to the Tower of Babel that is the European Parliament.”
Lee Rotherham, author of several books about the EU, said: “Politically correct Euro-English means we will need interpreters for the interpreters.”
The handbook adds: “The aim of these guidelines is to ensure that, as far as possible, non-sexist and gender-inclusive language is used also in the Parliament’s documents and communications.
“Language powerfully reflects and influences attitudes.
“In order to treat all genders equally, efforts have been employed since the 1980s to propose a gender-neutral/gender-fair/ non-sexist use of language, so that no gender is privileged, and prejudices against any gender are not perpetuated.”