Brexit news: Will holidaymakers face new mobile phone roaming charges? | Travel News | Travel

What is Brexit? Brexit is the process of the UK separating from the EU, which will happen on March 29, 2019. Prime Minster Theresa May was in Brussels last week with European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, in an attempt to thrash out a Brexit divorce deal. With this not finalised it means a no deal Brexit – where the UK would leave the EU without a specific agreement in place of how to proceed – is still a possibility.

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What is the current situation with mobile phone roaming charges for Britons travelling abroad?

In 2017, mobile phone roaming charges for Britons with mobile phones, travelling to another EU country, were scrapped.

This meant any minutes and texts on a travellers’ existing mobile phone plan could be used abroad, at no extra cost.

The same permissions were granted to those from the EU visiting the UK.

Prior to the new regulations, making calls from the EU to the UK often proved costly, while many travellers were caught out by data roaming charges as they forgot to switch their data settings off when they landed at their holiday destination.

Brexit news: Will travellers be forced to pay mobile phone roaming charges? (Image: Getty)

How could this situation change?

The situation will change dependent on how the UK leaves the EU.

Should Mrs May secure a Brexit deal, surcharge-free roaming would continue during the Brexit implementation period.

After this, specific charges and their introduction would depend on the detail agreed within the Brexit deal.

Yet if no deal is finalised, EU mobile operators will be able to charge UK operators for providing roaming services, and this will not be regulated.

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What has the UK Government said about the change in mobile phone roaming charges?

Website has offered some helpful advice should a no deal Brexit occur.

It suggests checking roaming policies of specific mobile phone companies before travelling, as well as the surcharge free roaming provisions.

It flags that customers should be aware of their rights to change mobile phone operators as well as highlighting customers would be abiding by Ofcom rules should they cancel their contract in light of a price increase.

On more simplistic terms, they add travellers should know how to turn mobile data off on their mobile phone device.

The website adds: “Ensure you understand the alternatives to using mobile networks when abroad.

“Wi-Fi is widely available, which would allow you to make calls, send texts and use data for free or with little charge.”


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