Brussels yesterday warned that British providers will no longer be bound by rules to offer free calls, texts and data but a growing list of firms will continue to offer the service. Three, Tesco Mobile, EE and O2 have all told Express.co.uk that they have no plans to alter their service as a result of no-deal Brexit. The European Commission suggested that a hard Brexit is “increasingly likely” to take place as Theresa May struggles to convince MPs to back her draft EU withdrawal deal.
A Commission no deal preparation document read: “Companies providing mobile communications services will no longer be bound by EU roaming rules.
“This means that these companies may apply surcharges to UK customers using roaming services in the EU.”
In theory this means operators will no longer be required to offer the roaming services at the EU’s regulated rate and could instead choose to use prick hikes to cover the extra costs.
But Britain’s main providers have chosen to ignore any extra charges to ensure holidaymakers and travellers can still use their phone on the Continent.
An O2 spokesman said: “We’re committed to providing our customers with great connectivity and value when they travel overseas.
“We currently have no plans to change our roaming services across Europe. We will be working closely with the government and other European operators to try and protect the current arrangements so our customers can continue to enjoy free EU roaming once Britain officially leaves the EU.”
A Tesco Mobile spokesman said added: “There are no plans to change free roaming in Europe for our customers but we will of course inform customers if anything changes in the future.”
Three, one of the early innovators of free European roaming, insisted its current set of deals will make offering the same service straight forward.
The firm has even commit to saving £187 million for its customs by refusing to change its tariffs in the event of a hard Brexit.
Dave Dyson, Three’s CEO, said: “Three is the global leader in international roaming and now offers roaming at no extra cost for its customers in over 70 destinations including Brazil, Singapore, the US and Australia.
“We’re committed to eradicating excessive roaming charges and will retain this great customer benefit regardless of Brexit negotiations allowing our customers to continue using their usual allowances when they travel within the EU.”
An EE spokesman said: “Our customers enjoy inclusive roaming in Europe and beyond, and we don’t have any plans to change this no matter the Brexit outcome. So our customers going on holiday and travelling in the EU this summer will continue to enjoy inclusive roaming.”
EU-wide data roaming was introduced by the Commission in 2017, meaning customs across the bloc would pay domestic prices for calls, texts and data.
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