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Brexit could mean the return of ‘sky high’ mobile bills for UK holidaymakers

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Written by: Paloma Kubiak
31/10/2018
A group of MPs has warned that Brexit could see the return of mobile roaming charges for UK holidaymakers in the EU.

The European Scrutiny Committee, which looks at government proposals and has the power to recommend documents for debate, warned that Brexit could mean some mobile operators may choose to bring back roaming charges for UK holidaymakers in the EU, which were banned last year.

Under new rules introduced in June 2017, you can use your minutes, texts and data anywhere in the EU as if you’re at home. Monthly allowances remain the same, and as long as you don’t go over your limit, you won’t pay a penny more.

But as part of its scrutiny of government documents relating to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, the report stated: “As the government does not plan to maintain the EU’s ban on mobile roaming charges domestically, some mobile operators may choose to re-introduce mobile roaming charges, and, even where they do not, the increased wholesale roaming charges they incur may be passed on to consumers indirectly.”

The committee noted that a number of EU directives are already implemented into UK law so they will largely continue to function after EU-exit. But there’s no like-for like policy for the EU which is why mobile roaming may return for UK travellers.

Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home services, said: “Two thirds of people think it is important that free roaming exists when travelling in the EU, so the news that we could face the return of sky-high charges to use our phones abroad will come as a real blow.

“If the Government is to deliver a Brexit that works for consumers, it needs to not only maintain free-roaming across the EU, but also look to extend the benefit of free-roaming for people visiting countries worldwide.”

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