EU Data Roaming Charges Could Return In The Event Of A No-Deal Brexit

Brits could see a return of data roaming charges when travelling to Europe if faced with a no-deal Brexit.

Documents put forward to Parliament confirm that there may be an end to the EU laws that permit Brits to use their phones abroad without any extra nasty charges.

EU roaming data charges could return. Credit: PA
EU roaming data charges could return. Credit: PA

The draft states that people who want use their mobile in the EU may be subjected to surcharges after March 29 unless a deal is made before the final deadline.

A note attached to the draft Mobile Roaming (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 bill, states: "After careful consideration, the government decided not to adopt this proposal."

New draft regulations say: "It will not be possible to impose a limit on the wholesale charges faced by UK operators when their customers use networks owned by EU operator."

It's been explained further in the note saying: "Mobile operators noted that absent a cap on the charges EU operators can apply to UK operators (as currently regulated by the EU), any increases in costs would likely be passed on to customers.

"Additionally, operators also raised concerns that a limit on the costs that could be passed on to customers would affect the sustainability of certain roaming services. This means that roaming services could be removed altogether from some customers."

EU roaming data charges could return. Credit: PA
EU roaming data charges could return. Credit: PA

A Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport spokesman said: "In the event we leave the EU without a deal, the continuation of surcharge-free mobile roaming for UK citizens travelling in the EU would be a commercial decision for the operators."

Along with this, MoneySavingExpert said it found that only two of the 12 major phone companies, Three and Smarty (which is subsequently owned by Three), said they were dedicated to making sure customers would be able to use their data abroad without any extra charges.

It the UK can reach a deal with the EU Brits will be able to continue using their phone on the continent for the same charges or for 'free' until 2021.

Alex Neill, managing director of home services at consumer group Which?, said: "Two-thirds of people think free roaming is important when travelling in Europe, so any return to sky-high charges for using mobile phones abroad would be a bitter blow for millions of consumers.

"The Government should seek to avoid these charges by securing a deal with the EU - but if that is not the outcome, companies must be absolutely clear about any extra charges their customers could be facing."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Rachael Grealish

Rachael is a NCTJ qualified journalist from West Cumbria, with a passion for news, features and journalism. Outside of work Rachael loves plenty of coffee, running and reading.

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