Post Brexit Roaming Charges

Post Brexit Roaming Charges

After Thursday’s Brexit vote, which the Leave campaigners won by a narrow margin, an uncertain future for the UK in Europe lies ahead.

With mobile phones and smartphones being the preferred choice for voice, text and email conversing from abroad, the question the British public are asking now is ‘What will happen to European roaming charges after the Brexit?’

European roaming charges now

On April 30th 2016 roaming charges were reduced, capping the cost of calls, texts and internet data. The additional roaming charges that can applied for calls is £0.05 pence per minute, including VAT, for both making and receiving calls. 

The additional roaming charges for sending a text message are capped at £0.02, while internet data is capped at £0.05 per MB.

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Europeans in the EU will enjoy the complete removal of roaming charges across EU countries, from June 2017. Ed Vaizey, the minister for the digital economy, informed us prior to the Brexit vote, that approximately one million Britons stay a night in Europe, every day.

This equates to a total spend of £350m per year on roaming charges.

Roaming charges and the law

The changes introduced in April are enforced through an EU regulation, and as such, have not been written into UK law. When the UK exits the EU, the protection that these regulations have offered will cease.

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When questioned about post Brexit roaming charges, a government spokesperson simply stated that “Nothing will change overnight as a result of this decision”. The spokesperson also stated that the government will seek to get the best possible outcome for British travellers.

What the networks said

Various spokespersons for the networks have made comments, to a variety of press correspondents:

  • Jane Frapwell, speaking on behalf of Vodafone, stated that it was far too early to comment on specifics, but Vodafone remains committed to supporting UK customers, regardless of the outcome.
  • An O2 spokesperson has said that O2 will continue to offer competitive prices.
  • EE has stated that it has no plans to change pricing as a result of the EU referendum

The future of European roaming charges

So far, and as expected, it is unclear at this early stage exactly what will happen to European roaming charges in the future. 

Without binding regulations, future pricing decisions may lie in the hands of UK networks and their European counterparts. 

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For now, everything will remain the same. You can bookmark this page, which will be updated as more information is released.

Written by: Michael Brown