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Will the cost of using a mobile abroad rise post-Brexit?

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Written by: Paloma Kubiak
28/06/2016
The cost of using your mobile in the EU has come down since 2007 and from next year, roaming costs will be abolished. But post-Brexit, could it actually become more expensive to take your handset on holiday?

New mobile roaming price caps came into effect from 30 April 2016 within the EU member countries, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

The caps limited the cost of making and receiving calls, texts and surfing the internet.

From 2017, mobile roaming costs will be abolished altogether, meaning using your phone in Europe will cost the same price as in the UK.

But following the landmark Brexit vote, questions have been raised as to whether the rules still stand or whether it will become more expensive to use your phone in the EU member states.

Kyriakos Fountoukakos, a lawyer for Herbert Smith Freehills in Brussels, said that roaming charges could be reinstated later, once the UK’s exit is complete.

“If the UK leaves and is outside the EU and the EEA, the regulation will not be automatically applicable in the UK. Operators in the UK will not be bound by it and UK customers will not be able to benefit from it,” he told Bloomberg.

However, he said roaming rates depend on a range of agreements between countries and operators, and phone companies could extend the current rules into a post-Brexit world.

Until the UK invokes Article 50, the current rules capping and abolishing roaming charges will apply as the UK remains a member of the EU.

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