UK tourists will have to pay mobile phone operators’ roaming charges when they travel in the EU after Brexit, according to a European parliament committee.
The conclusion reached by the parliament’s committee on industry, research and energy means travellers will face large bills from 2019, unless the British government strikes a favourable Brexit deal.
Last week, the European commission announced that, from June this year, consumers would “be able to call, send SMS or surf on their mobile at the same price they pay at home” when travelling in the EU.
However, a leaked analysis on Britain’s withdrawal from the bloc has confirmed this will not apply to UK holidaymakers and business travellers after Brexit.
The document was drawn up earlier this month and endorsed by MEPs.
It says that “regulation (EU) No 531/2012 on roaming will no longer apply with respect to the UK, impacting business and other travellers to and from the UK” and that “transitional arrangements will be necessary”.
Opposition leaders have expressed concern.
The Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: “From the cost of food and petrol to mobile phone bills, Brexit is hitting consumers in the pocket. Families shouldn’t pay the price for this government’s reckless hard Brexit plans.
“Theresa May must fight to keep hard-won benefits for British consumers like reduced roaming charges in the negotiations.”