Brexit could harm Brits’ access to Netflix, Amazon Video and more

Brexit could hamper Brits’ access to Netflix and Amazon Video as the EU plans to upgrade the continent’s access such services.

The European Union is currently drawing up plans to allow European citizens to access their online video subscriptions in other EU countries. If as a UK resident, for instance, you travelled to another European country today, you would lose access to BBC iPlayer. But under the EU’s new plans, iPlayer would work as it does back home – you pay to watch BBC shows, after all.

But the scheme won’t just affect video services; it’s expected to apply to music streaming and online gaming – any online service you pay a subscription for, basically.

Excitingly, the scheme, which is part of the EU’s Digital Single Market plan, has already technically begun. This week, the EU agreed with Malta to let European citizens access their content through the EU member states.

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However, the rules will need to be confirmed by the EU council and democratically elected MEPs before going ahead. Speaking about the news, Andrus Ansip, Brussels’ digital VP, said:

Today’s agreement will bring concrete benefits to Europeans. People who have subscribed to their favourite series, music and sports events at home will be able to enjoy them when they travel in Europe. This is a new important step in breaking down barriers in the Digital Single Market.”

He continued: “Agreements are now needed on our other proposals to modernise EU copyright rules and ensure a wider access to creative content across borders.”

“I count on the European Parliament and Member States to make it happen,” Ansip added.

The hope is that the new rules will be enacted in 2018, which would be a year before the UK is expected to leave the European Union – assuming UK Prime Minister Theresa May presses ahead with her aim to activate Article 50 next month.

However, once the UK leaves the European Union, it’s likely that the British government would have to negotiate it’s own deal, since Britain would no longer count as an EU member state. This means Brits’ unfettered access to streaming services abroad may only be on offer for a year.

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