UKIP’s attempt to block the scrapping of roaming charges will play badly in the EURef campaign

UKIP’s attempt to block the scrapping of roaming charges will play badly in the EURef campaign


Appearing to put the interests of big business first might not be smart

One of the things which the REMAIN campaign finds hard is giving specific examples of what the EU does for individual voters. One such area now is the decision taken at the end of October, to end all mobile phone roaming charges for use in the EU in 18 months time.

This means that the millions of UK smartphone users who travel to Europe each year won’t be lumbered with what can often be massive charges particularly for internet access.

Given how much we use our smartphones to access the internet this increasingly has become an issue with it being easy to chalk up bills of several hundred pounds whilst abroad. So the EU decision appears on the face of it to be one that will be popular and comes at a critical time in the UK.

Perhaps it was for this reason that UKIP MPs fought hard against the move in the European Parliament arguing that the networks will try to offset the costs by increasing charges for other users and seeking to portray the change as something that will just help business men.

The problem with this is that one network in a smart marketing move, Three, has already abolished the charges for most of the major EU tourist destinations without any knock on effect on its pricing. This is such a competitive price sensitive business environmnt that increasing tariffs is a huge risk. The direction is all by the networks to try to offer more for less. Just look at what 4G costs now with when it was first introduced.

You can see the REMAIN campaign suggesting, justifiably or not, that a consequence of LEAVE winning will mean roaming charges won’t be scrapped for British users.

It would have perhaps been wiser for UKIP to have kept quiet. Their words and actions could be played back at them just as people vote on Britain’s continued membership of the EU.

Mike Smithson

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