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UK Netflix ‘portability’ is the latest Brexit casualty

UPDATE: A previous version of this report claimed the BBC iPlayer would be affected by this legislation. The BBC has been in touch with TrustedReviews to say this will not be the case, as it only affects commercial broadcasters.


The EU recently passed rules to allow citizens to access their native streaming libraries when roaming around the bloc. It’s a fantastic idea, isn’t it? 

When the portability rules come into effect on Sunday, it will enable Brits to access UK Netflix and Amazon libraries during their European travels.

At least it will for the sum total of one year.

Unfortunately, with the United Kingdom’s forthcoming exit from the European Union will come the loss of those ‘portability’ privileges.

That means the Netflix will once again become region locked and Brits will need to be content with the French Netflix library if taking a spring sojourn to Paris following the withdrawal date. Le sigh.

Related: Best streaming service 2018

“As of the withdrawal date [March 29, 2019], persons residing in the United Kingdom will no longer benefit from their digital content subscriptions when travelling to the EU,” said an EU document spotted by Politico.

It’s currently unclear whether Brits will be able to watch Bottom while sunning themselves abroad during the transition period.

Regardless of whether Brits will be spared the expulsion during the transition, they’ll soon be bound World Intellectual Property Organisation rules once again.

The EU document adds: “It should be noted that the multilateral international agreements mentioned above do not provide for the same type or level of protection … as that set out today in the EU copyright acquis.”

The ruling is the latest blow to UK citizens, who are likely to lose the ‘feel at home’ mobile roaming rules that enable them to use contracted data, minutes and text allowances without penalty.

Recent estimates suggest the roaming charges could cost British business travellers an extra £778 a month.

Unless UK networks can reach individual agreements with their European counterparts post-Brexit, it’ll be back to dreading the mobile bill upon return from European vacations. Great.

Are you a Brexiteer happy to sacrifice all of these awesome, tech-themed EU benefits for… wait what’s this all for again? Please, please enlighten us @TrustedReviews on Twitter.