How a no-deal Brexit could affect mobile phone roaming charges for UK users .

mashable.com

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In case of a no-deal Brexit, Brits who like using their phones when out of the country might have to start factoring in roaming charges before they start browsing in an EU member country.

Roaming charges — the fee you pay to use another phone network — were scrapped entirely in the EU in 2017. But, if the UK ends up leaving the European Union without a deal, roaming charges may come back on March 29, HuffPost first reported.

Per HuffPost, a set of regulations — entitled the Mobile Roaming (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 — presented to parliament on Tuesday, state that the UK will be revoking the legislation that protects you from extra costs when using your phone while travelling in another EU country.

A Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) spokesperson confirmed to Mashable that in case of a no-deal Brexit, it will be up to phone companies to decide the charges for their customers.

“In the event we leave the EU without a deal, the continuation of surcharge-free mobile roaming for UK citizens travelling in the EU would be a commercial decision for the operators,” a DCMS spokesperson said.

Mashable reached out to five of the largest UK telecom companies; Vodafone, O2, Three, EE, and BT, most of whom said that they do not intend to bring back roaming charges for UK users.

“In the event we leave the EU without a deal, the continuation of surcharge-free mobile roaming for UK citizens travelling in the EU would be a commercial decision for operators.”

A spokesperson for Three UK said that the company has no plans to reintroduce roaming charges regardless of how Brexit negotiations turn out. "We’re committed to eradicating excessive roaming charges and will retain this great customer benefit regardless of Brexit negotiations allowing our customers to continue using their usual allowances when they travel within the EU," the spokesperson said.

A Vodafone UK spokesperson told Mashable that "it's too soon to assess the implications of Brexit on roaming regulation," adding: "However, we expect competition will continue to drive good value for customers.”

An O2 spokesperson said: "We currently have no plans to change our roaming services across Europe. We will be working closely with the government and other European operators to try and protect the current arrangements so our customers can continue to enjoy free EU roaming once Britain officially leaves the EU."

BT and EE Mobile said in a joint statement that "Our customers enjoy great value products and controls offering inclusive roaming in Europe and beyond, and we don’t have any plans to change these offers. We are working closely with government on this and hope Brexit negotiations will help ensure that UK operators can continue to offer low prices to our customers."

As with all things Brexit, a lot of questions remain unanswered, such as whether or not there will be a deal and what that deal will entail exactly. But if you happen to be in another EU country after March 29, maybe go easy on the browsing.

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