You’ll still be able to use your data abroad — even if getting there will cost more
Many were worried that Brexit would mean the end of free EU roaming when using your mobile abroad, thankfully one UK Minister has promised it won’t.
Thanks to EU regulation that came into effect in 2017, you can use your mobile phone in any EU country without incurring additional charges. However, with the deadline for a Brexit deal only six months away there was still no clarification on what that would mean to roaming charges. Some even feared prices would return to their exorbitant pre-June 2017 rates.
According to Conservative MP and secretary of state for exiting the European Union Dominic Raab, this fear is unnecessary. Raab is known for quarreling with lobbyists and pitting the EU against Google, so his backing of EU law shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4, Raab confirmed that, in the period between exiting the EU and the data roaming regulation automatically being added to UK law in March 2019, no charges will be brought back for those using mobile data in other countries. Two providers are said to have agreed to this —Three and Vodafone — but Raab suggested that others would be obliged by law if they didn’t agree willingly.
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This promise of no charges seems surprising given that service providers still have to pay when customers use data overseas, and providers would therefore likely be keen to recoup some of these losses. While Raab may attest to their compliance now, it remains to be seen if this continues to be the case come Brexit’s deadline.
During his radio interview, Raab also claimed the UK won’t pay the entirety of the £39 billion ‘divorce bill’ should it leave the EU without a deal. Given that the UK’s scientific sectors will be desperately short of funding should no deal be agreed upon, despite extra funding promised for the tech industry, hopefully the saved money will be put to use compensating for all this lost funding.
Or, as is most likely, it’s just wishful thinking on Raab’s part.
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