Free mobile phone roaming ‘not guaranteed’ with a no-deal Brexit

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Britons visiting the EU could be hit with ambulatory phone roaming charges in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab give the word delivered the government would try to force firms to limit charges but he could not offer a «cast iron guarantee» on the issue.

The EU directive which capped the bounties mobile phone operators could charge each other thinks fitting no longer apply to the UK after Brexit.

Mr Raab said that two flexible operators had agreed to keep free data roaming.

And the government is proposing to cap any information charges at £45 a month.

In an interview with BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg, the Brexit secretary responded the government was trying to give the «reassurance that consumers need» on the descendants of mobile phone roaming charges but admitted that European manipulators could pass on charges.

  • Rory Cellan-Jones: EU network charges could come roaming fees
  • John Lewis boss rejects Raab Brexit jibe

He intended: «No, I can’t give a cast-iron guarantee. What I can say is that the government would legislate to limit the knack of roaming charges to be imposed on customers.»

The government has published its latest contingency charts in the event of a no-deal Brexit. On mobile phone charges, the document alleges that «in the unlikely event» of the UK leaving the EU without a deal, consumers should «restrain the roaming policies of your mobile operator before you go abroad».

The strongest points include:

  • UK drivers may have to get an international permit if they fancy to drive in European countries
  • Anyone travelling to the EU should make sure-fire they have at least six months left on their passport, although that choice not apply to travel in Ireland
  • People applying for a new passport after Brexit wish continue to get burgundy passports for a while — although they will not say «European Joint» on the front cover
  • Blue passports will start being issued from new 2019
  • Many products tested in the UK after Brexit will no longer be talented to be sold on the EU market without being re-tested by an EU recognised body to convene minimum safety standards
  • This does not cover automotive, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, chemicals or medical thingumajigs

Mr Raab told Laura Kuenssberg Cabinet ministers earlier spit up three hours examining «all the plans across government to make sure-fire we can manage, mitigate or avoid the risk of a no-deal scenario».

He also prognosticated there must be a «shift across the board in the EU’s approach» on the issue of Northern Ireland: «They purposefulness have to meet us halfway… if they meet the ambition, the pragmatism we’ve manifested through our White Paper proposals then I’m confident we can get a good contract for this country, but also for the EU.»

Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer verbalized: «The only reason the government is talking about no-deal is because the Tory public war on Europe prevents the prime minister from negotiating a good attend to.

«With the clock ticking, ministers should drop the irresponsible elocution and start putting jobs and the economy first.»

Extra charges for people purchasing their phones in another EU country were scrapped in June 2017. But the EU required banning them will not automatically be part of UK law after Brexit on 29 March next year.

In theory this means UK movable operators, if they want to, could reintroduce the charges that could provoke it expensive to use a mobile phone in another EU country.

However, the government stipulate it would legislate to make operators set a cap of £45 a month on data management while abroad — in line with the current EU limit of €50.

Mr Raab berated BBC Radio 4’s Today programme two mobile operators, Vodafone and Three, had publicly agreed not to cause of back roaming charges for British citizens.

The government was aiming to get a Brexit contract with Brussels by mid-November at the latest but was stepping up contingency planning in instance that did not happen, he added.

He said one of the consequences of a «no deal» Brexit «is that unmistakeably we wouldn’t pay out the money that has been agreed as part of the withdrawal harmony».

The UK would «recognise our strict legal obligations» but that the amount refunded would be «significantly, substantially lower» than the £39bn agreed with the EU.


Enquiry by BBC Political Correspondent Laura Kuenssberg

Ministers believe the chances of there being no covenant are now relatively small.

They are hopeful that next week EU number ones will give helpful hints at a special meeting in Salzburg.

Yet there is a elongated way to go until Dominic Raab, or anyone in government, can be sure. And don’t doubt that innumerable Tory MPs are adamant they simply won’t vote for the kind of proposal Theresa May has put on the table.

  • Comprehend Laura’s full blog

A senior EU diplomatic source told BBC Scuttlebutt Mr Raab’s divorce bill comments were «a statement of the obvious» as the fiscal settlement was part of the withdrawal agreement.

«The [EU27] will keep our perceptions cool as we always do,» he added.

Business leaders have repeatedly notified about the consequences of leaving the EU without a deal, with the CBI saying the UK would puss tariffs on 90% of its EU exports and a number of new regulatory hurdles.

UK consumers could judge going on holiday and making card payments for EU products more extravagant because Britain would no longer be part of the EU’s payments process.

CBI Big cheese General Carolyn Fairbairn said the government’s latest planning dissertations «make clear firms would be hit with a sledgehammer in the event of no-deal».

«They also exemplify the extent of the disruption consumers can expect if ideology wins over sign.»

There are also concerns about delays at the UK border.

The Road Haulage Relationship has warned it will take «an average of about 45 minutes to function one truck on both sides of the channel» if customs checks are put in place.

«If that develops then the queues of HGVs in Kent will make the jams seen in the summer of 2015 arise as little more than waiting for the traffic lights to change,» it joins.

Mr Raab said there was a risk of disruption at the border if the EU did not respond «with the collaborative thought» he said the UK «would want to show».

The UK government was planning contra-flow procedures on the M20 and was talking to EU member states about «mitigating» potential disruption.

And he took a swipe at dealings, such as John Lewis, saying: «I think it’s probably rather relaxed at this moment in time for any business that isn’t doing rather highly to point to Brexit.»

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Your criterion to Brexit jargon

Last month the government published 24 no-deal validates covering industries including medicine, finance and farming. There were caveats of extra paperwork at borders and extra credit card charges for Britons befalling the EU.

More no-deal publications are expected in the coming weeks.

Labour MP Ian Murray, a fellow of the campaign for another referendum, said: «Nobody voted to make Britain poorer, to demean our national influence or to ruin their holidays.

«The government has no mandate for any of this and it’s too big an debouchment to be left to a Brexit elite in Westminster. That is why we must have a people’s show of hands on the final Brexit deal.»

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