How Brexit Might Affect Your Phone Bill (And It's Not Good News)

Photo: Kate Anglestein
Brexit already has a lot to answer for – and now there's another negative consequence to add to the list: higher mobile phone data charges when we travel in the EU.

Roaming charges will be scrapped in the EU from June this year, but tourists and business travellers from the UK will receive big bills if they use their phone within the union from 2019, unless the British government is able to secure a deal with the EU, reported the Guardian.

From June, mobile phone users travelling in the EU will be able to call, send texts or use the internet on their phones for the same price they pay at home, the European commission said.

However, this perk won't apply to British travellers post-Brexit, according to a leaked analysis by the European parliament’s committee on industry, research and energy, which has been endorsed by MEPs.

Mobile phone roaming charges have long been a contentious issue for the EU and in recent years it has forced phone operators to slash them. Other companies have also dropped them voluntarily before the ban comes into effect.

Networks such as Three and Tesco Mobile no longer charge customers for travelling to a selection of European countries.

But the latest revelations mean our city breaks and beach holidays within the EU will become more expensive from 2019, when the UK is expected to leave the EU.

In 2014, before roaming charges had been reduced, a fifth of UK mobile users received higher than usual bills when travelling to the EU, according to Uswitch. The average charge, on top of users' normal bills, was £61, with one in six (17%) users facing bills of over £100.

It might be worth holding on to that old Nokia and foreign sim card lurking in your junk drawer...

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