Molly has rung alarm bells over future costs of mobile phone roaming and data charges for UK consumers post-Brexit. The warning comes as negotiations on roaming charges concluded in Brussels, where MEPs were able to secure a deal on the reduction of tariffs for using mobile phones across the EU.
The final deal will see caps on wholesale charges – the amount phone operators charge each other when their customers use their phones abroad – and effectively bring an end to roaming charges. However, UK consumers will only be guaranteed to benefit from the end to roaming fees while the country remains a member of the EU. After that it will depend on what agreement, if any, can be reached during Brexit negotiations. Molly Scott Cato said:
“This is a clear success for the European Parliament and MEPs have put the interests of consumers first. While some EU countries tried to block the abolition of roaming charges, and serve the interests of a few big telecom groups, the majority of the parliament held firm against this.
“However, such benefits may be short lived for British consumers as it is unclear if the UK will be able to negotiate a deal around roaming charges when we leave the EU. The UK government will have to talk nicely to its EU neighbours, something its seems reluctant to do with its hard-line approach to Brexit negotiations. This may well be a case of text today, roam tomorrow for the UK’s mobile phone users.”