Return Of Roaming Fees? Theresa May Specifically Rules Out Staying In The EU's Digital Single Market

By James O Malley on at

Remember how brilliant it felt the first time you went to Europe after the EU got rid of roaming fees? Yeah, don't get used to it, as in her latest big Brexit speech today, Theresa May made comments which point towards keeping roaming free increasingly unlikely.

As part of the "Our Future Partnership", May said that Britain won't remain in the "Digital Single Market" - this is the EU's strategy to make it easier for digital businesses to work across borders. The DSM is actually rather wide-ranging, and sets common EU-wide rules on things like geoblocking, and letting consumers in any EU country buy digital goods from any other EU country (so if an app is cheaper in another country, you should be able to buy it from there). It also creates common rules on privacy, copyright and telecoms, amongst others.

Unfortunately then, it is also under the auspices of the DSM that the EU was able to get rid of roaming fees. So if, post-Brexit, we're no longer going to participate in this process, it means it is more likely that roaming fees will once again become an annoying reality.

Of course, as with everything Brexit, nothing is certain at this point. Even if we do manage to finish shooting ourselves in the foot by leaving the EU, then phones networks could still conceivably unilaterally agree to waive roaming fees for competitive reasons. Though as we previously reported, Three is the only network to rule out reintroducing roaming fees.

In the meantime, if you do really want to do a live Periscope from Santorini, it might be best to get your holiday booked for before the end of March next year.