For the past seven years the EU has been forcing prices down by placing a cap on the charges operators can impose and reducing that limit each year. Leaving the EU might mean that all agreements are scrapped and have to be renegotiated.
Current charge caps are €0.19 per minute for calls, €0.06 per text message and €0.20 per megabyte of data. On 30 April 2016, these will go down to €0.05, €0.02 and €0.05 respectively.
Under the new agreement, mobile phone users travelling within the EU will pay the same price for calls, text messages and data as they do in their home country from 15 June 2017.
Given how hard it has been to force some of the biggest operators to reduce their rates in the first place, if we are no longer in the EU, it looks a certainty that prices will rise again. However Ed Vaizey (Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy) said “If we were to withdraw from the European Union, I still think that British consumers would benefit,” speaking to members of the EU Internal Market, Infrastructure and Employment Sub-Committee. “Norway, for example, is not a member of the European Union but it will benefit from this package as it’s part of the European Economic Area,” he explained.
On the other hand ABTA has said in its report with Deloittes, which looked at how the existing relationship between the UK and the EU would affect UK travellers. That “The EU has recently introduced caps for mobile phone roaming charges, harmonising the maximum charges applicable to consumers for using their phones in other EU countries, and will extend this to a complete ban on additional roaming fees in April 2017. As a Regulation (531/2012), the law applying these rules would be removed by Brexit, unless the UK Government acted to ensure it remained on statute.”
Once again it is a matter of who do you believe and not knowing what might happen after 23rd June if we vote to leave.
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