Brits will once again face huge roaming fees when travelling within the European Union in the event of a damaging no-deal Brexit, the government has warned.
In a note published alongside draft legislation entitled the Mobile Roaming (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, the government admits current arrangements will not be sustainable, should Britain crash out without a withdrawal agreement in place.
It says lobbyists for the mobile industry worked hard to ensure Brits would still be able to make calls, send texts and consume data without incurring extra costs, but no agreement could be reached with EU operators.
The note (via Metro) explains “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 operators.”
The note continues: “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.”
Of all the problems that may emerge from a no-deal Brexit, a extra few pounds on the post-holiday mobile bill might be at the bottom of the list of potential disasters. However, few British holidaymakers and those travelling for the bloc for work commitments will welcome the return of roaming charges that had often seen massive bills land on the doorstep following trips abroad.
So far, only Three and the lesser-known network Smarty have committed to keeping the current roaming arrangements in place following Brexit, unless an agreement with European counterparts is reached.
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