By pushing through with this political project, we’d voluntarily disconnect ourselves. A little noticed development on Tuesday, spotted by the HuffPost UK, saw a government regulation laid before parliament confirming that the UK will revoke the current legislation that allows holidaymakers and business people to use their smartphones in the EU at no extra cost.
My organisation, Best for Britain, have analysed the cost of this loss. It turns out that if roaming charges return to the last price registered in July 2015, just before the EU’s “Roam like at home” rules entered into force, the UK’s 54.2million 4G subscribers consumers could be charged up to £173 for using 1GB (three hour-long Netflix episodes) when travelling to any of the countries of the European Economic Area. Indeed, the financial hit for heavy-use business travellers could be as much as £778 per month.
It’s not just roaming charges, of course. We are leaving the Digital Single Market. You may never have heard of it, but you are likely to miss it.
As its name suggests, it is the tech equivalent of the single market, allowing free movement of e-commerce and international data within the EU. EU laws preventing retailers from ‘geo-blocking’ practices – where companies use tech to prevent online consumers from one European state accessing and purchasing products or services from another website based in another territory. Not being a part of it means higher prices for UK consumers.
All of this highlights the betrayal of Leave promises from 2016, and why we desperately need to stop the ideological daydream that’s making us worse off. Crucially, we need to get no deal off the table as soon as possible.
If we don’t, these truly will be the last days of roam.
Eloise Todd is CEO of Best for Britain, a campaign for a second referendum on a Brexit deal