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Tomorrow, after nearly four years of excruciating debate and rancour, the UK will finally depart the European Union. What happens then? Not much. Britain enters an 11-month transition period, where it effectively remains a member of the single market and customs union. Once that ends, major changes will be afoot, including the end of free roaming across the European Union.
"From 1 January 2021, the guarantee of free mobile phone roaming throughout the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will end," Gov.UK confirms.
Guidance - Public - Phone - Operators - Roaming
The guidance encourages the public to contact their phone operators to clarify any roaming charges, and notes that new legislation caps roaming fees at £45 for each billing period. Those wishing to spend more will have to manually opt in with their networks.
Since 2014, the EU has regulated roaming fees, gradually drawing down the once-extortionate costs, before completely abolishing them by June 2017. Although this came after the country voted to leave the union in the Brexit referendum, UK punters have enjoyed several years of Snapchatting across the continent without having to fear bill shock.
Brexit - Question - Mark - Hanging - Guarantee
Brexit, obviously, has left a giant question mark hanging over this. With no guarantee that Parliament would approve a deal, the erstwhile Theresa May government in 2019 put forward a statutory instrument that would permit operators to charge roaming fees, should the UK have crashed out of the EU in March...
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