13/09/2018 13:41 BST

Some Of You Could Be Paying EU Data Roaming Charges Again In Event Of No-Deal Brexit

They used to cost British consumers £350m a year.


Around 15% of mobile phone users could face a return to EU data roaming charges unless phone companies come into line with a Government agreement on the terms of a no-deal Brexit.

In a fresh release of Brexit “technical papers” on Thursday it is expected to be announced that customers of Vodafone, Three and O2 will be spared the extra costs.

The fate of those on other networks is not yet confirmed – but Sky News reports the Government will stress it has the power to pass new laws to limit roaming charges.

The often hefty financial penalties for using mobile phones in EU countries were abolished in 2017, after costing British consumers an estimated £350m a year.

And it would work both ways – the pro-Europe Best for Britain campaign said the re-imposition of roaming charges could cost business people visiting the EU up to £778 a month.

In his column for the Telegraph, Raab said the technical papers would include plans for “protecting consumers from mobile phone roaming charges”.

Mobile phone roaming charges, environmental and vehicle standards will be among the topics covered by the technical notices, the government’s Brexit department said in a statement.

Recent signals from Brussels have pointed to renewed confidence that Britain and the EU can agree a deal to govern trading relations after Brexit, sending the pound up sharply against other currencies over the last couple of weeks, Reuters reports.

Still, with the March 29 exit date nearing, the divorce agreement has yet to be finalised and the possibility of a “no deal Brexit” - which most economists think would hurt the UK economy - remains.

The new technical notices would be published on Thursday afternoon, the Department for Exiting the European Union said.

“With six months to go until the UK leaves the European Union, we are stepping up our ‘no deal’ preparations so that Britain can continue to flourish, regardless of the outcome of negotiations,” Brexit minister Dominic Raab said. “These technical notices are part and parcel of our sensible, pragmatic approach to preparing for all outcomes.”

Last month the government published 25 of these papers out of a total of more than 80, which detailed how tariffs, financial services, state aid and pharmaceuticals would operate if Britain departs without a divorce deal.