Brexit May Lift Ban On EU Mobile Roaming Charges


British expats with UK mobile phones are facing a shock as they look set to be excluded from a ban on roaming charges.

The EU is introducing new rules in June to stop mobile carriers from charging huge prices for accessing calls and data from Europe.

But British expats with UK SIM cards must pay roaming charges from March 2019 unless a deal is sorted out as part of Brexit negotiations.

The move that costs expats and tourists millions of pounds every year is just one of the unforeseen financial consequences of Brexit.

Expats and travellers hit by charges

The EU has already announced travellers from member states should not expect to pay more for using their smartphones when moving around than they do at home.

The move is part of a leaked EU document listing points for negotiators to consider when dealing with Brexit.

“Regulations on roaming will no longer apply with respect to the UK, impacting business and other travellers to and from the country and transitional arrangements will be necessary,” says the report.

The initiative to cut roaming charges is widely seen as an achievement for the EU.

In 2014, before the measure was introduced, roaming charges affected 1 in 5 travellers and expats using their mobiles in the EU. The average charge was £61 and most users had mobile bills of £100 or more after their trip.

Losing track in space

Britain’s part in The Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) Support Framework, which manages sensors for tracking spacecraft and space junk is also in doubt, according to the report.

“SST provides for the establishment of a consortium of member states that own and operate the necessary sensors for tracking spacecraft and space debris and process the relevant data,” said the report.

“The UK is part of this consortium, but there is no provision for third countries to take part.

“Should the UK continue to participate in some capacity and make a financial contribution and how should that be arranged as this would likely require an international agreement?”

Jerzy Buzek, a Polish MEP, who wrote the analysis points out that his views are an initial take on Brexit and subject to negotiation.

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