British business travellers working in Europe after Brexit could face extra costs of £778 a month with the return of data roaming charges.
Theresa May has announced the UK will leave the ‘digital single market’ when it leaves the bloc, meaning fees for using international data within the EU, which were axed last year, could be set to return for British travellers.
Without a deal in place to avoid roaming charges, the House of Commons library has calculated the financial hit for business traveller could soar to £778 if foreign mobile companies ramp up the price for local firms to use their network and if those carriers then push up the cost for their customers to the maximum allowed before the cap.
These fees are far higher than the £61 top-up run-up by holidaymakers because business people consume an average of 4.5GB for a typical six days abroad each month.
The government is hoping to strike a special deal with the EU to avoid a return of roaming charges after Brexit, but “it is widely assumed that will be difficult outside the digital single market, whose purpose is to eliminate digital regulatory barriers between EU member states” according to The Independent.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has admitted arrangements on mobile roaming “would be subject to any negotiations” but stressed Vodafone and Three had already committed not to reimpose charges after the UK leaves the bloc.
Unsurprisingly, anti-Brexit groups have seized on the latest figures. The Best for Britain group, who helped compile the study, said it showed “the reality of the decision to leave the European Union is dawning”.