What Could Happen to EU Roaming Charges if UK Votes to Leave

While the majority of Europe is currently enjoying the UEFA Euro 2016 soccer tournament, one of the European Union's Member States is mulling over their biggest decision yet; whether to stay or to leave. The United Kingdom will vote on June 23rd on whether or not they wish to remain part of the European Union any longer and while there are many issues to consider such as the economy, trade and immigration, us Android users are probably wondering what will happen to our phone bills. Or at least, those that like to travel a lot within Europe will be wondering, anyway. So, just what would happen to roaming prices if the UK decided to leave the EU?

Well, not much, at least not right away. As is so often the case with these sort of things, it would take UK networks as long as two years to be able to wriggle out of the current pricing structure that all EU states have to abide by. That's because, thanks to Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, member states need to go through a two-year negotiation to leave the Union, which means that even if voters do vote to leave the EU on June 23rd, it could take as long as two-years for Brexit to happen fully, which would of course affect the UK networks' ability to change pricing and such. Since the end of April 2016, prices for users roaming within the EU have been fixed at €0.05 per megabyte of data, €0.02 per SMS message and €0.05 per minute of talk time. These are low, low prices to begin with but as Brits have been holidaying on the continent for decades now, they'll know how very different it used to be. Shock bills and crazy prices for data use abroad were the standard, and these new rules have undeniably made things a lot better. This won't stop carriers such as Three UK from doing their own thing such as their Feel at Home offering.

Should the UK vote to leave the EU, tourists and business travellers might not ever see the day when roaming charges in the EU become a thing of the past, which is slated for June 17th, 2017. Regardless of how much these roaming fees end up being, it's unlikely this is going to be a major consideration for most Brits, especially as the Leave campaign has a firm lead just a week before UK citizens go to vote.

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Tom Dawson

Former Editor-in-Chief
For years now I've had a heavy interest in technology, growing up with 8-bit computers and gaming consoles has fed into an addiction to everything that beeps. Android saved me from the boredom of iOS years ago and I love watching the platform grow. As an avid reader and writer nothing pleases me more than to write about the exciting world of Android, Google and mobile technology as a whole.
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