Government confirms mobile roaming charges could return after Brexit

  • Government confirms mobile roaming charges could return after Brexit

Government confirms mobile roaming charges could return after Brexit

Brits could face a hike in roaming charges if the United Kingdom leaves the European Union without a deal, Government papers suggest.

Per HuffPost, a set of regulations - entitled the Mobile Roaming (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 - presented to parliament on Tuesday, state that the United Kingdom will be revoking the legislation that protects you from extra costs when using your phone while travelling in another EU country.

A note accompanying the second legislation sees United Kingdom officials acknowledge lobbyists attempting to maintain the current arrangements, but "after careful consideration, the government decided not to adopt this proposal".

However a no-deal Brexit would see the United Kingdom revert to pre-legislation terms, meaning operators could force roaming charges upon customers from March 29.

British travellers face the prospect of unlimited mobile phone roaming charges in Europe in the event of a no-deal Brexit, ministers confirmed today.

In it, the government admitted consumer groups lobbied hard for a new scheme to maintain current arrangements, however following "careful consideration", this was not adopted.

Mobile operators in the United Kingdom say that any increased costs of offering data roaming services overseas after Brexit will have to be passed onto consumers.

"In the event we leave the European Union without a deal, the continuation of surcharge-free mobile roaming for United Kingdom citizens travelling in the European Union would be a commercial decision for operators".

Government confirms mobile roaming charges could return after Brexit

"Now that money has to be paid by somebody and if we are saying to the mobile network operators in this country that they may not pass it on to customers who are roaming, they will undoubtedly pass it on to all their other customers instead". This means that roaming services could be removed altogether from some customers'.

Last week, the consumer website MoneySavingExpert.com revealed that just two out of 12 major mobile phone firms had committed to keeping roaming "free" after Brexit.

The remaining 10 companies, estimated to have at least 85% of United Kingdom mobile users, say they have "no plans" to change their roaming policies but have not ruled out the return of charges.

He asked Mr Wright to secure binding commitments from the telecoms companies to protect consumers in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The prime minister said a year ago: "The UK will not be part of the EU's Digital Single Market, which will continue to develop after our withdrawal from the European Union".

An O2 spokesperson said: "We now have no plans to change our roaming services across Europe".

The government will legislate to retain limits for using data overseas, now set at 45 pounds ($58) for each monthly billing period, he said.

So if they choose to charge at a wholesale level, for British mobile phone companies one of two things happens: either that cost is passed on to those who are using their mobile phone overseas, or that cost is spread across all mobile phone users on that network.