Will additional EU roaming charges return after Brexit?

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Back in June 2017, we rejoiced as additional charges for roaming on our smartphones in the European Union were scrapped. However, we could see the good fortune reversed.

On March 2, 2018 British Prime Minister, Theresa May announced that "the UK will not be part of the EU's Digital Single Market, which will continue to develop after our withdrawal from the EU."

While the announcement doesn't guarantee any negative impact on the UK mobile market, Bit-tech reports that it could result in the removal of the legislation banning additional roaming charges in the EU, for Brits.

TechRadar has spoken to the UK's four main mobile networks to find out what their roaming charge plans are post-Brexit and whether we'll incur new additional charges for using our phones abroad.

EE

  • Current status: no plans to change roaming services, but hopes government will put consumers at the top of Brexit agenda

A spokesperson for EE, the UK's biggest network, told TechRadar that "while we currently do not have any plans to change our roaming services, we hope the government will put consumers at the top of their agenda in the Brexit negotiations to help ensure that UK operators can continue to offer low prices to our customers."

It doesn't exactly fill us with confidence, leaving the ball firmly in the government's court, but we hope it continues to not make plans to increase roaming charges.

Three

  • Current status: will maintain availability of roaming in the EU at no additional cost following Brexit

There's better news from Three, with the carrier standing by the words of its CEO, Dave Dyson from December 2017.

"We're passionate about improving our customers' experience when travelling abroad, so they can stay connected and use their phones just as they do at home. 

"To reassure our customers, we have also committed to maintain the availability of roaming in the EU at no additional cost following Brexit."

Vodafone

  • Current status: too soon to say, but currently no plans to change roaming charges 

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

"We currently have no plans to change our roaming charges." Fingers crossed then, but as the network admits it's too soon to know for sure.

O2

  • Current status:  currently no plans to change roaming services, and is engaged with the government with regards to what may happen

O2 has offered up more information on the subject, with a spokesperson adding "we currently have no plans to change our roaming services across Europe" further to the initial comment of "we're engaged with the government with regards to what may happen once the UK officially leaves the EU."