As roaming charges end across EU, Labour MEPs warn Hard Brexit could see return of rip-off holiday phone bills

Mobile phone roaming charges will finally end across the EU on Thursday (May 15) – but Labour MEPs have warned that a Hard Brexit, whereby the UK crashes out of the EU with a disastrous deal or no deal at all, could see British holidaymakers once again saddled with rip-off bills.

Theresa Griffin MEP, Labour’s European Parliament spokesperson on industry, said:

“Labour MEPs have long campaigned for the end of exorbitant roaming charges, and it is great news they have finally been abolished across the EU. Britons going away on holiday and business travellers this summer will now be able to phone home, text their friends, surf the internet and upload pictures at no additional cost. They will be able to ‘roam like at home’.

“However, with Britain leaving the European Union, there is no guarantee this will continue in the years after we leave.

“If Theresa May and the Tories cannot deliver a deal, or opt for a disastrous Hard Brexit, we face the very real prospect of British holidaymakers, business travellers and students once more being landed with exorbitant bills, and European visitors to the UK being similarly ripped-off.”

Catherine Stihler MEP, Labour’s European Parliament spokesperson on consumer affairs, added:

“Labour MEPs have been at the forefront of the drive to cut roaming charges. This is great news ahead of the summer holidays, with people across Europe now able to keep in touch and post their holiday pictures online for less.

“And looking ahead, consumers will soon be able to stream their online subscribed content, like Netflix, while in another EU country, on their laptops and mobile phones, paying the same rate for this service as they would do at home.

“It is vital Britain secures a Brexit deal that enables British consumers to benefit from the abolition of roaming charges after we leave the EU, and for Britons to be able to benefit from other EU legislation that enhances their consumer rights.”