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Holidaymakers braced for return of EU mobile charges

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

A ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario could mean holidaymakers within the EU face mobile roaming charges once more.

Changes to European mobile roaming introduced just last year mean holidaymakers can use their minutes, texts and data across the EU as if they’re at home. Monthly allowances remain the same so as long as you don’t go over, you won’t pay a penny more.

But a ‘no deal’ Brexit could result in mobile phone users facing big bills for using handsets in the EU.

Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that currently, only two network providers (Three and Vodafone) have promised not to hike bills, but added that the government would consider legislating to introduce a cap on fees if no deal was negotiated.

He said: “Vodafone and Three have publicly said they wouldn’t introduce any roaming fees for UK consumers travelling on the continent.

“We would like to see other companies following suit, but, in any event, we would legislate for a limit on roaming charges to make sure in a no-deal scenario that we protect British consumers.”

Peter Vicary-Smith, chief executive of campaign group Which?, 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.”