Brexiteer shuts down Remainer Jacqui Smith in fiery row over roaming charges in the EU
Jeremy Vine panel clash over roaming charges and Brexit
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Free-roaming came about in June 2017 when the UK was still in the EU, meaning people could use a reasonable amount of their existing package in other European countries without being stung by any extra charges. Brexit meant operators could reimpose charges, though the main four – EE, O2, Three and Vodafone – said they had no plans to. Ms Utley explained it is the companies’ choice to charge Brits abroad.
Speaking on the Jeremy Vine show, Ms Smith said: “I think it’s a sign that if you’re in the EU as a consumer you get protections from being part of the single market provisions which you don’t get if you’re outside the EU.
“No one told me on the side of a bus that if four of us go on holiday to Europe for a fortnight its’s now going to cost us £56 more than it would have done. That’s Brexit.”
Ms Utley noted: “I think we really need to get this into proportion. We’re talking about £2 a day if you’re on these particular phones networks or £1 if bought in a bundle.
“We were able because of Brexit to not be pulled into the EU vaccine scheme which didn’t work very well, ours worked much, much better.
“I think it’s important put these things into proportion.”
She later added: “These companies are choosing to introduce roaming charges, it’s not like the government is mandating.
“I genuinely think that they’ll realise people just generally don’t like Vodafone and EE because they’re charging roaming charges and they’ll get rid of them again.”
Vodafone is the second major UK mobile network to bring back charges for customers who travel to Europe.
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New Vodafone customers who join on or after August 11.
Though it does not include existing customers, anyone who upgrades and renews their contract from the same date will also have to pay (so if your contract ends and you leave it rolling and unchanged, you will not fall under the new rules).
But the charges do not come into effect until January 6, 2022.
And anyone on the company’s Xtra plans will be not be affected by the move.
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A daily fee of £2 will apply to use your full EE data, minutes, and text allowance when travelling to affected countries in the EU.
However, there are multi-day passes that can be purchased in advance that work out £1 per day – these are available for eight-day or 15-day bundles.
The charges will apply to European destinations, though the Republic of Ireland is exempt.
The full list within Vodafone’s ‘Europe Zone’ include the Aland Islands, Austria, Azores, Balearic Islands, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Croatia, Cyprus except for Northern Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France (including Corsica), French Guiana, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadeloupe, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madeira, Malta, Martinique, Mayotte, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Reunion, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, St Barthelemy, St Martin, Sweden, Switzerland, and Vatican City.
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