You could be locked out of your Netflix account when travelling to EU countries if the UK leaves without a deal, it has emerged.
Services provided by broadcasters outside the UK may not be available to viewers in Britain, while UK providers could be locked out of the EU, according to Brexit contingency papers published by the Government.
This is down to EU portability regulations which the UK will be stripped of if there’s no deal after March 29 next year.
Portability rules ensure consumers can access their accounts for online content services while travelling within the bloc.
Under the regulation, UK citizens can enjoy programming from all over the EU through TV and on-demand providers.
Once the UK leaves the EU, it will no longer fall under that regulation, so licences for certain services may be restricted and the UK will be treated as a “third country”.
It would be up to EU countries to decide how to deal with UK media providers.
A paper looking at the implications of a no-deal on cross border copyright read: “The Portability Regulation will cease to apply to UK nationals when they leave the EU.
“This means online content service providers will not be required or able to offer cross-border access to UK consumers under the EU regulation.
“UK consumers may see restrictions to their online content services when they temporarily visit the EU”.
Another technical paper warned EU geo-blocking regulations would no longer apply to the UK in the event on a no-deal.
The rule, which comes into effect on December 3, was created to stop discrimination based on nationality so that EU citizens can access the same online services available to a citizen in the country of origin.
The regulation deals with purchases such as those of goods online and electronically supplied services such as web hosting or cloud storage.
UK traders wishing to operate within the EU would still have to abide by the regulations, however.
“The Geo-Blocking Regulation will continue to operate in the EU. UK traders who wish to continue operating in the EU will continue to be bound by the provisions of the Geo-Blocking Regulation when dealing with EU customers,” the notice said.
“This means that a UK trader will not be able to discriminate between customers in different EU member states, for instance between a French and a German customer.”
In response to today’s papers, Labour shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer said: “The Government’s no deal planning won’t reassure anyone. Ministers have barely scratched the surface of what would need to be done in the event of the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal.
“Despite the so-called deal planning, the Government has yet to admit that a no deal would require a raft of substantial legislation to be rushed through Parliament, crucial stop gap agreements with the EU on matter relating to Northern Ireland and security, and the recruitment of thousands of custom officials.
He added that none of these measures would be ready by next March, and added: “The only reason the Tories are talking about no deal is because their civil war on Europe has put any chance of a good deal for Britain at risk.