back to article Not call, dude: UK govt says guaranteed surcharge-free EU roaming will end after Brexit transition period. Brits left at the mercy of networks

Tomorrow, after nearly four years of excruciating debate and rancour, the UK will finally depart the European Union. What happens then? Not much. Britain enters an 11-month transition period, where it effectively remains a member of the single market and customs union. Once that ends, major changes will be afoot, including the …

  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    That's a pity

    So while British immigrants are clinging to the underside of a Eurostar in the hope of sneaking into Calais to get some cheap booze and soft cheese they may have to pay higher fees to click on facebook ?

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: That's a pity

      It's one of those interesting policy effects. Some EU legislation will be translated into UK legislation, if it hasn't been already. So amendments to mobile operators licences forbidding roaming charges.

      For the operators, their billing systems are already set up for the EU scheme. So changing it to gouge UK customers would be unpopular and be a bit more work. MVNOs, at least the larger ones shouldn't be affected given they're typically white-labelling a mobile operator's wholesale service. Some might try negotiating with individual country-based mobile operators, but it's less of a hassle to just go to the likes of Vodafone/Telefonica/T-Mobile.

      There's also reciprocity, so if UK operators decide to implement roaming charges, EU users roaming inside the UK could be charged roaming fees as well. I think it's unlikely though given wrangling mediation servers, billing & rating engines and sorting through the suspense account slush pile is a major PITA, hence why operators tend to simplify billing to flat rate/bundled packages.

      I also had fun once suggesting itemised billing for data calls. It's technically possible, and would show which sites/apps are sucking up data. Downside would be presenting it in a form that non-geeks could understand.

  2. Tom Paine Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Let's....

    https://makeagif.com/i/Dho9r7

    And brace ourselves for weeks of patiently explaining that no, it's called the Transition Period to chuckleheads about "Project Fear".

    1. Paul 195

      Re: Let's....

      I'm looking forward to telling disgruntled Brexiteers who complain about higher charges, not being able to retire to Spain, etc: "You won, now get over it".

      1. ShadowDragon8685

        Re: Let's....

        Ah, I see you're still enjoying that most infinite of German exports: Schadenfreude.

        1. ecofeco Silver badge

          Re: Let's....

          Well played Shafowgragon. Well played.

  3. Glen 1 Silver badge

    If the operators don't charge (as permitted), it's as if the old rules still apply.

    Let's face it, a sure fire way to hemorrhage subscribers would be to charge when others don't.

    1. dervheid
      Meh

      Hmmm.

      Wasn't that the theory behind the flotation of all those nationalised utilities by Thatcher?

      'Competition lowers prices'.

      Remind me, how has that worked out...

      1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

        Re: Hmmm.

        'Competition lowers prices'.

        Remind me, how has that worked out...

        Just ask all the UK banks who have all set their overdraft interest rates to be 40%.

        Great to see the free market working as expected.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Just ask all the UK banks who have all set their overdraft interest rates to be 40%.

          We should blame the EU for that! Alternatively, from 1st Feb onwards, we should blame the EU for that!

        2. SundogUK Silver badge

          Re: Hmmm.

          The free market was working fine until the government stuck it's oar in and demanded that unauthorized overdrafts paid the same interest as authorized ones. Inevitably, the banks increased overdraft interest rates.

          1. Snake Silver badge

            Re: Hmmm.

            The "free market' was never, ever free. All one has to do is look at the economy of the United States from 1850 to 1910 to find this out, but nobody ever wants to read a history book and say to themselves, "Oh, is THAT how things worked!".

            Money can always leverage the 'perfect symmetry of information' to their advantage, but somehow neoconservative economists / pundits always believe that those with market power will always wield said power in a manner that benefits a popular larger than it hurts.

            History has proven that there is word for that: NAIVE.

            Moneyed interests will always maintain moneyed interests as the core of their policies. To expect money to be concerned about petty issues such as social equality and even environmental impact is stunningly naive. History proved this, which is why that 'evil' government had to step in and actually tell businesses there is more to existing in society than your interest in your profit margin. Horrors, I know, actually being told that money isn't the end-all and be-all to your existence.

            I'm not sure how business[people] can handle such outrageousness!! [/s]

          2. Martin
            Unhappy

            Re: Hmmm.

            Yes, but isn't it funny how they all, every last one of them, charged 39.9% ? You'd have thought with competition, there would have been some variation?

            Surely there couldn't have been collusion? Naah - that wouldn't happen - it's illegal.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmmm.

          More like blame the FCA who in a fit of "genius" demanded that unapproved overdrafts be charged the same as approved overdrafts, cue banks abolishing approved overdrafts and doubling or tripling the interest rates, while slashing interest paid to customers even in savings accounts, Nationwide snuck this through under their "creating a nation of savers" ad spam, while keeping schtum on the outrageous multi million pound base pay of its board of directors...so much for being run for its members...

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Hmmm.

        'Competition lowers prices'.

        Remind me, how has that worked out...

        dervheid,

        Pretty well actually. Well we've got the lowest energy prices in Western Europe - so that's not exactly been a disaster.

        Meanwhile BT were charging 70p a minute for peaktime calls and 30p for off peak ones before they were privatised and you had to buy one of their answerphones at something like £1,200! They claimed it was illegal to connect a commercially bought one to their network.

        I've lived in Belgium, and our broadband and mobile prices are cheaper than theirs, despite the general cost of living there being lower, but I've not looked up stats on that.

        Admittedly not all (or even maybe not much) of that is down to competition. It's actually the privatisation that matters - because even large companies that are good at ignoring their customers aren't as good as governments at ignoring theirs. But also investment is a serious problem in a nationalised industry. The government is under pressure to spend cash on schools and hospitals, and often starves nationalised industries of vital investment cash.

        Which is why our water industry was in a terrible state when it was privatised, with leaks and raw sewage being dumped onto bathing beaches. The great thing about privatising it, is that the government could create Ofwat, and tell all those private companies that if they didn't invest x amount into sewerage upgrades, they wouldn't be able to even raise their prices to cover inflation. And when it's the treasury that has to pay to meet those regulations, they nobble the government department in question to make them less onerous, so they can divert the cash to areas that are seen as more important. But when the government are doing it to private investors, there's no incentive to under-regulate, so hopefully you get better legislation.

        1. MiguelC Silver badge

          Re: "Well we've got the lowest energy prices in Western Europe"

          Erm... maybe for natural gas, but no, and nope.

        2. Def Silver badge

          Re: Hmmm.

          Well we've got the lowest energy prices in Western Europe

          How do you figure that? According to https://www.ukpower.co.uk/home_energy/tariffs-per-unit-kwh, the cheapest electricity in the UK is over four times more expensive than what I pay in Norway (about 3p/kWh).

          I should add that since the electricity market has opened up over here electricity is much more expensive now than it used to be too.

          1. Robert Sneddon

            Something they don't teach in Norwegian schools...

            Light switches work in BOTH directions.

            1. Def Silver badge
              WTF?

              Re: Something they don't teach in Norwegian schools...

              1. I'm not Norwegian.

              2. What does that even mean?

              3. When are Reg icons going to get alpha channels?

              1. Mandoscottie
                Joke

                Re: Something they don't teach in Norwegian schools...

                1. Are you sure?

                2. really?

                (push one way, light on, push other way light off?)

                3. wha?

              2. kwhitefoot

                Re: Something they don't teach in Norwegian schools...

                It's an old joke in Norway that you can tell where the Norwegians have been at international conferences because the lights are on in all the empty rooms.

                Electricity used to be so cheap in Norway that there was no need to turn off the lights. In addition incandescent lights contributed to the heating which is electric anyway so in Norway in the winter turning the lights off doesn't reduce your electricity bill unless it is in an unheated room.

                It used to be, probably still is, common to leave bathroom lights on permanently. We would have to instruct visitors not to turn the bathroom light off because it was way past its expected lifetime due to never being turned on and off. Just one power cycle after the lamp has been on for a couple of years kills it.

                Edit: /are/have been/

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Something they don't teach in Norwegian schools...

                  "It used to be, probably still is, common to leave bathroom lights on permanently."

                  It is. the bathroom lights have never been turned off, neither have the hallway. One good thing about that is, in the 12 years i have lived here, I haven't needed to replace any lights in those rooms :) in the living room kitchen etc, where we do turn them off, the same bulbs (LEDs) have been replaced 2 times now.

                  1. Def Silver badge

                    Re: Something they don't teach in Norwegian schools...

                    Thanks for the joke explanation. I certainly hadn't heard it before. :)

                    Most locals I know do mostly switch lights off, and the office building I work in has automatic lights everywhere (maybe to save people the effort of having to worry about these new fangled switches). That said, my neighbours renovated the entrance hall in their house a few years back and put in some new LED down lights. Without a switch - they're permanently on. Which I thought a bit odd at the time. Now it all makes sense.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Something they don't teach in Norwegian schools...

                      Its also probably cheaper (haven't checked) keeping them on than having to replace them every 5-10 years :)

                    2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

                      Re: Something they don't teach in Norwegian schools...

                      Well, an average LED downlight draws about 5W. Assuming they have 4 of them. Over a year, they're going to use 175KWh of energy. A quick search tells me that a KWh in Norway costs about 9p, so that's little under £16 a year. Putting a switch in, along with the wiring and labour would probably cost 5-10 times that amount. Nobody's going to go to that amount of effort in order to save maybe £10 a year, and perhaps recoup that cost in 10 years time.

                      1. Martin an gof Silver badge

                        Re: Something they don't teach in Norwegian schools...

                        No idea about the actual Norwegian energy market but someone upthread mentioned paying 3p/kWh, not the 9p you list. In the UK, 9p is cheap, but it's possible to get down to that level with some types of (business or domestic off-peak) tariff, so that wouldn't make Norway an awful lot cheaper than the UK. This supports your argument.

                        Against your argument is that it depends when the switch is put in. If it is done at the same time as the lights are wired then it will not cost £80 - £160, it's more likely to cost less than 30 minutes of additional work and £3 worth of parts . Perhaps £15 to £20 in the grand scheme of things?

                        So at your prices you would recoup the cost of the switch in maybe as little as two years if the light is on for 50% of the time (not counting early deaths which might be caused by all that switching).

                        M.

                        (speaking as someone currently spending a lot longer than he should, wiring up his new house and putting all sorts of odd little switches and things in :-)

                        1. werdsmith Silver badge

                          Re: Something they don't teach in Norwegian schools...

                          Don’t forget your part p.

                          I’ve never seen an LED bulb fail yet. I also have some older fluorescent lightbulbs (the older low power type) and they are donkeys old.

                          1. CountCadaver Bronze badge

                            Re: Something they don't teach in Norwegian schools...

                            I've had plenty of LED GU10s fail from all manner of vendors (but oddly not the ebay cheapies I bought years ago, they still work) usually the driver.

                            1. Martin-73 Silver badge

                              Re: Something they don't teach in Norwegian schools...

                              The LED cheapies probably dont have a driver, just a dropper capacitor and maybe if they're feeling generous to the LEDs, a rectifier. Hence them living longer. The only disadvantage is they're not isolated from the mains, and some of them have open LEDs on the front. However, I'm not given to fingering my GU10's

                              1. Martin an gof Silver badge

                                Re: Something they don't teach in Norwegian schools...

                                I would imagine that any power supply with a failure mode which could (will) put mains voltage on to an exposed part would fall foul of all sorts of regulations in most countries, but particularly in the UK and the EU.

                                Question is whether the thing has a self-certifying "CE" mark, or whether it's been independently verified...

                                M.

                                1. the future is back!

                                  Re: Something they don't teach in Norwegian schools...

                                  Has anyone mentioned Norway Rail? ‘Cause we’re sure going off them.

                          2. Martin an gof Silver badge

                            Re: Something they don't teach in Norwegian schools...

                            Don’t forget your part p.

                            Adding a light (and switch) to an existing circuit is usually something you can do yourself without notifying anyone, but an electrician would probably need to check other things and issue a certificate. When I was Part-P registered, my membership of (in my case) NICEIC meant that issuing a certificate was as simple as plugging a few details into the web portal and cost (IIRC) no more than £10, even for a complex job.

                            I’ve never seen an LED bulb fail yet

                            I have. Loads. And most of them well before their claimed "20,000 hours", or whatever is written on the packaging. We have quite a lot of lights at work and have gradually been replacing incandescents, fluorescents (both standard and compact / folded) and discharge lamps with LEDs.

                            Granted, most of the failures are not actually due to the LEDs themselves - it's nearly always due to the power supply failing - but a few have been LED failures. In this case you usually find that one "blown" LED will take out a string of others because lamps with multiple LEDs are almost invariably wired series-parallel. I even have some multicoloured LEDs - the type where there are three or four chips in one carrier - where one of the colours has failed but the others remain working.

                            Those long strips with sticky on the back have two very odd failure modes. We use quite a lot of these, often as replacements for small fluorescents in display cases. They are all "white" strips. One failure mode is when individual LEDs change colour. For example, a "cool" white LED - which was fine when new - might fail to a slightly warmer colour, or to a slightly pink colour. Other LEDs on the same strip are fine. On a more normal note, these strips are also wired series-parallel, usually in groups of three, so a single failed LED or (possibly) resistor will take out a group of three LEDs.

                            Another odd failure mode is particular to the strips which are enclosed in a kind of silicone covering. Over time this silicone yellows, sometimes quite severely reducing (and colouring) the light output from the strip. This happens even when the strips are not subject to sunlight, and is worse where we have mounted strips back-to-back. I suspect that the silicone may be UV sensitive, given that most decent "white" LEDs actually use UV LEDs with a fluorescent coating.

                            The advantage of the strips is that the power supply is separate and easily replaceable. As they all feature current-limiting resistors, the PSU needs to be the common regulated voltage type, rather than the somewhat less common (and more expensive) regulated current type. Thus when the original PSU fails, it's a few quid to buy a new bog standard 12V PSU from the likes of CPC or RS.

                            M.

                  2. Nifty Bronze badge

                    Re: Something they don't teach in Norwegian schools...

                    Not trying hard enough?

                    Now in its 117th year of illumination

                    https://www.centennialbulb.org/

                2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

                  Re: Something they don't teach in Norwegian schools...

                  Lol! No "saving the planet" in Norway, then? (I remind you that 1 kWh is the same regardless of price)

                  1. Glen 1 Silver badge

                    Re: Something they don't teach in Norwegian schools...

                    1kWh of coal fired power is very different to 1kWh of say Hydro.

                    Over 99% of the electricity production in mainland Norway is from hydropower plants. Thats why its so cheap.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Pint

            Re: Hmmm.

            >UK is over four times more expensive than what I pay in Norway (about 3p/kWh).

            However Norway is blessed with 100% electricity hydro generation along with huge hydrocarbon resources.

            How much is a pint of beer in Norway though ?

            1. Joe W Silver badge

              Re: Hmmm.

              100 NOK, often more. Unless you drink Hansa, but that's... disgusting.

              100 NOK is... about 10EUR, so... 8GBP?

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Hmmm.

              Not all hydro well soon not to be, Norway is starting with wind too for some reason. Well it isn't Norway directly, the Germans are wanting to install wind turbines as it seen to be more environmentally friendly to power battery factories???

              Yeah, 10 year life cycle and the practice of dumping the oil in the turbine in situe, very friendly.

              1. Def Silver badge

                Re: Hmmm.

                I think Norway is about 98% hydro. However, with the changing climate making winters dryer than normal (this year has been really dry and warm - we've barely had 10cm of snow since the beginning of November, we should have had 10 times that at least) the electricity prices are being pumped up as reservoirs resources slowly dwindle. Diversifying to other sources isn't a bad thing.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Hmmm.

                  Its 99%

                  Dry, warm yes, dry? in the last 30 days there has been close to 500mm of rain where I am and that wasn't too bad compared to elsewhere.

                  Suppose it depends on where you are. But not here, and reservoirs going dry, just a few weeks ago they dropped the spot price of electricity to around 4 euro per MWh due to the amount of rain.

                  There has been flooding, land slides, having to build temporary dams along road sides to redirect the water (digging up one side of the road in the process).

                  December and January have been the wettest and warmest in years.

                  But due to this the prices will likely go up in spring, as there has, as you have said, been very little snow, so no run off in the spring / summer to add to the reservoirs and what they have now will be sold to other countries.

                  In the last week, we have had the first lot of snow that has stuck around for more than a day or 2, with no rain after. Its around 30cm.

                  The price has dropped since Dec 1st from 40 euro/MWh to 19 euro/MWh today

                  1. Def Silver badge

                    Re: Hmmm.

                    I'm just south of Oslo. :)

                    We had a couple of centimetres of snow last night - the first in a month and that's busy melting as I type. I'd say on the whole it's been a non-winter so far. Hardly any snow. Not much rain. If it wasn't for the soul crushingly short days, I'd think I was back in England.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Hmmm.

                      I'm far more north than that. Rana area. The last 3 months has been wind and rain.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Hmmm.

            "How do you figure that? According to https://www.ukpower.co.uk/home_energy/tariffs-per-unit-kwh, the cheapest electricity in the UK is over four times more expensive than what I pay in Norway (about 3p/kWh)."

            What I thought, but for some reason (look at post above you) the statistics say otherwise?

            For some reason it has Norway at 0.18 euros before tax per KWh. My current tarrif is 0.017euro / kwh, 1/10th whats in that page. Plus the extra line rental etc, so double that. So like you said around 3p per KWh including everything,

            So whats my point, don't know. Just that that page https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Electricity_price_statistics appears to be bollocks, for Norway at least. They might be getting NOK and EURO mixed up, as its 0.18NOK.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Hmmm.

            "I should add that since the electricity market has opened up over here electricity is much more expensive now than it used to be too."

            Well, the price has gone up, but it hasn't gone above inflation, only a few years it has (2011).

            In 2004, the average price over the year was ~30EURO/MWh, in 2019 it was ~39EURO/MWh. Taking into inflation, that 30EURO in 2004 is now equivalent to ~41EURO. So technically 2019 was cheaper than 2004.

            Or are you thinking about going even more back?

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

      4. Cederic Silver badge

        Re: Hmmm.

        Well, instead of paying 10p/minute to make a phone call I now get them for free, for a monthly charge that's less than I used to pay in line rental (not even including inflation), on a phone that I can carry around with me and use anywhere in the country.

        Instead of paying a penny a minute for my internet access it's now included in the fee I mentioned above.

        Tell me, how do you feel competition has worked out?

    2. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

      If the operators don't charge (as permitted), it's as if the old rules still apply.

      Let's face it, a sure fire way to hemorrhage {sic} subscribers would be to charge when others don't.

      It will only take one company, probably one of the smaller ones to be forced in to raising roaming charges, for every other company to follow. Expecting companies to give away something free of charge when they are allowed to charge for it is somewhat naive in my view. It might not happen immediately, but roaming charges will return.

      1. Cuddles Silver badge

        "It will only take one company, probably one of the smaller ones to be forced in to raising roaming charges, for every other company to follow. Expecting companies to give away something free of charge when they are allowed to charge for it is somewhat naive in my view. It might not happen immediately, but roaming charges will return."

        On the other hand, 3 were offering free roaming, and not just in the EU, well before everyone else was forced to do so. We may not keep blanket roaming from all operators, but there are likely to be at least some options that keep free roaming because it's a potentially big feature to advertise to attract customers.

        1. low_resolution_foxxes Bronze badge

          The EU asked the mobile carriers to justify their costs, I think the profit was 90% on EU cross border data, way way higher than UK domestic data. So they capped it, seeing as how the general trend was data price reductions anyway..

          Amusingly it remains one of UKIPs most passionately fought policies after Brexit, keep our telcos ability to charge absurd prices on data.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Because most of their members despise anything "modern" (i.e. anything invented / introduced after they passed the age of 12), stil have the same appliances they acquired when they got married in the late 1940s early 1950s & revel in the "good old days" pieces the Beeb returns "our readers came up with a vast collection of products they want back on the shelves - box dryers, teasmaids, corby trouser presses etc etc,, think those "intertubeweb" things are only used by child molesters, drug pushers and "them euros" along with "whats wrong with reading a book / the newspaper/ putting the telly on", "bring back the moggy minor" etc etc etc etc etc etc

        2. Chromanin
          Facepalm

          3 ....

          Too bad 3 coverage is atrocious, even in London..... I stayed with them due to roaming (EU national here), but I was unable to use mobile data more frequently than not, due to poor coverage/oversubscription of cells. I just move to Vodafone, and had my fair deal of troubles talking the wife to do the same....let's see what happens.

          1. Kientha

            Re: 3 ....

            That's because they bought the least of the 4G spectrum of any of the providers (there was a lot of controversy about the process and the merger of T-Mobile and Orange giving them a ridiculous amount of the spectrum) but they've bought more of the 5G spectrum than any operator so they'll have much better coverage once the 5G roll out speeds up (and you have a 5G enabled device)

      2. SundogUK Silver badge

        "It will only take one company, probably one of the smaller ones to be forced in to raising roaming charges, for every other company to follow."

        As soon as a company does that they will lose all their customers and go bankrupt. I can't see many others thinking that's a good idea.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "As soon as a company does that they will lose all their customers and go bankrupt. I can't see many others thinking that's a good idea."

          Alternative: once one makes a break the rest will follow. Race to the bottom as usual.

        2. werdsmith Silver badge

          I don’t think international roaming is at the top of most people’s requirements when they are just looking for the cheapest handset rental. It’s always an afterthought and networks can sell temporary bundles to cover travel.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Good luck with changing your mobile operator over this one thing now you're locked into a triple/quadruple play pack for a year or two.

      Yes, I know you probably aren't, but a lot are.

      1. aks Bronze badge

        Silly them. Otherwise, get an EU SIM for use abroad, just as we used to do.

        Just more Project Fear.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Setting up a voicemail message saying call me abroad on my new number over the next two weeks is so convenient, especially when you probably have to be abroad yourself as since you won't know your new number beforehand. As it's an extra charge for the caller they probably won't call anyway. Also it's pretty unprofessional for any business use.

          Never mind, there's WhatsApp, only if you have a single SIM phone it'll complain when it can't find the original SIM so you can't be contacted on your old number.

          Then many countries require you to prove ID or even residency to get a PAYG SIM. Residency will be pretty difficult to get after Brexit.

          I believe it's called taking back control.

          1. TVU Silver badge

            "I believe it's called taking back control".

            ...and yet it will be the perennial whingebag Brexit supporters who will be the first to complain when they are faced with large roaming charges 11 months from now despite it all being 100% their own fault.

            The bigoted and prejudiced Brexit supporters are in for another shock too. They wanted the country cleansed of Poles, Lithuanians and Czechs but these shiny new UK trade deals with other countries will come at a price. India, China, Indonesia and other countries will almost certainly demand preferential and unlimited access to the UK for their citizens as a price for any trade deal.

            The UK is now going to get a lot more multicultural, I welcome our new residents from Asia and I very much hope that they move in to houses right next door to virulent Brexit supporters (cue even more Brexit supporter whining...).

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              British Indians were even targeting in Facebook ads saying to vote to leave would mean their family and friends in India would be welcome here.

              Basically telling one group vote to leave to crack down on immigration while another group the opposition.

              But who cares when the real goal is avoiding the new eu tax avoidance laws and turning the uk into a tax haven.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              1/2 of them have never left the UK and go to the same caravan park every year or a bus tour, most of the rest went once in 1960 something and now tell their grandkids the food is swful, the water undrinkable etc etc and the rest own holiday homes in various warmer parts of the EU but yet voted for Brexit (And quiettly applied for residency elsewhere) hding under "I'm doing this for my grandkids future" (Despite their grandkids being heavily pro eu generally)

        2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Silly them. Otherwise, get an EU SIM for use abroad, just as we used to do.

          Thanks for your helpful advice on "Not making brexit as bad as it would otherwise be" - a much less catchy - but more honest - catchphrase than "Project Fear", which I'm sure you just used ironically...

        3. jgard

          Eh?

          That's a very myopic view, not everyone is tech savvy. How would that work for my parents and their friends etc? They are in their 70s can hardly turn a phone on, don't know difference between 4g or wifi, took 6 months to train them to use Whatsapp, type at 1 word per minute? But yeah - they will have no problem swapping SIMs and switching providers. May as well ask a dog to explain general relativity.

          1. gnasher729 Silver badge

            Re: Eh?

            My phone is with O2. Went to an O2 store in Prague, asking for a new SIM, and it didn’t work. Phone was locked not to O2, but O2 U.K. .

            1. JetSetJim Silver badge
              Headmaster

              Re: Eh?

              Yup - lock is usually against MNC/MCC. O2 Czech is 230/02, but O2 UK is 234/(02/10/11) (three MNC's)

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Eh?

            Well, that’s a self-limiting problem then - if the poor old dog-like dodderers can barely turn their phones on, they’re hardly likely to be able to travel abroad anyway and must be happier just dribbling in their armchairs in the old folks home. I’m 68 and terrified at what must be about to happen to my faculties over the next two years, if you’re right about the age thing. Or maybe you are just being a teensy bit patronising, you witless teenager....

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Eh?

              You know his parents then?

            2. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: Eh?

              Phone locking is being phased out. See this publication a few weeks back.

        4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Otherwise, get an EU SIM for use abroad, just as we used to do.

          You may well find that you will need proof on EU residency to do this. Telcos used to share the profits on roaming charges so there's lot of incentive to reintroduce them. But that's what taking back control is all about, right?

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Also that depends on whether the handset is locked to a carrier, no good swapping sims in a locked handset

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            AH, but the EU are about to outlaw carrier lock-in, or legally require that it be easy to unlock, so it won't be a problem anymore. Well, for those who live in the EU anyway.

        6. Missing Semicolon

          EU sim?

          No chance. Pre free EU roaming, I once spent some time wandering into mobile network shops in France, trying to buy a local Sim. As a non-local it was either "impossible" or more expensive than roaming on my Orange sub.

          1. 96percentchimp

            Re: EU sim?

            Ironically I had no trouble at all buying local PAYG SIMs in China and Russia when I was tootling around four years ago. Great coverage too, but VPN required obviously.

            1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: EU sim?

              Both of those countries have little or no data privacy controls so they can easily just look at all the traffic coming from that IMEI. Of course, if it's encrypted they don't get as much but they know where you are and see a lot of metadata.

    4. Shardik

      Bankers

      Ahh yes, just like the Banks when they were told to sort out the overdraft charges and now everybody has a 40% overdraft interest rate.

      It only takes a couple of big-players to club together re-introducing roaming charges and then they can all start milking that cash cow again.

      But hey, don't look that direction, over here is a shiny 50p and Le Blue Passport!

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Bankers

        Except there is competition to the big banks. There are lots of small players out there, and if you don't like what they charge for overdrafts, then go to one of them.

        Also, overdrafts are expensive because we have free banking. And that banking isn't free to the banks - so it's all swings and roundabouts.

        Several banks have tried to re-introduce charges and given up in fear of losing all their customers to the other ones. The same thing may work with phone companies. Or not, as people may only go to Europe once ever year or two - and so not care too much about reasonable roaming costs. The ones that do, might get slightly more expenisve packages from smaller players, that cover it - in which case they're paying for the service they use, rather than being subsidised by all other users.

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: Bankers

          Also, overdrafts are expensive because we have free banking. And that banking isn't free to the banks - so it's all swings and roundabouts.

          It's not free banking, when your interest on positive balances is less than the money the banks are making on lending that out. Good luck finding a current account that pays more than 1-2% interest, whilst at the same time, good luck finding a loan with an APR of less than 5% (and probably a lot more)

          1. Tom Paine Silver badge

            Re: Bankers

            If you're not being charged for it, it - the service - IS free, whatever your opportunity cost.

            1. Justin S.

              Re: Bankers

              If you're not being charged for a service, you're not the customer-- you're the product.

          2. Mandoscottie
            Stop

            Re: Bankers

            you need to join nationwide Loyal, loan rate is 3% for us members ;)

            1. Anguilla
              FAIL

              Re: Bankers

              Oh "Nationwide" is NOT okay as far as I am concerned - having lived in Hong Kong and elsewhere abroad for more than 45 years, Nationwide dumped me into the shit some months ago !

              I can no longer view my balance "on-line" any more.

              I'm demanding that since I can't see the balance increases with my miniscule UK Gov't pension they revert to airmailing me a statement showing the balance at frequent intervals.

              So far, I've not had any confirmation that they WILL do that !

              It's not that my "Atlantic Pesos" amount to much value there, but it would be "nice" to know how much is there!

            2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

              Re: Bankers

              And credit interest is?... I'm wiling to bet it's less than 3%. That margin is the invisible fee.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Bankers

              and their current accounts pay...nil, their instant access saver now 0.25% (cut from 2.5% on the quiet) and all while paying their directors each multi million pound basic pay and ignoring the membership over it entirely....

          3. SundogUK Silver badge

            Re: Bankers

            "It's not free banking, when your interest on positive balances is less than the money the banks are making on lending that out."

            You don't actually understand how banks work, do you?

            1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

              Re: Bankers

              I don't think you understood my comment. I accept that this is how banks make their money, and pay for the staff and services they provide. I'm just not pretending that it's "free", because they are making money on the margins, which is just a fee by another name.

            2. Milton

              Re: Bankers

              Very few people understand how banks really work. One 20th-C American president, I believe, remarked that if people understood what banks were doing to them there would be bloody revolution.

              I was going to post a lengthy explanation of why this is so, but the topic has been better elucidated by others before me, so I'll leave it for anyone who's interested to do the searches. There were/are even some good high-level lectures on YouTube, ISTR.

              If you've never really explored the topic before, go sniff around and understand it: you will be horrified and—better still—angry.

          4. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: Bankers

            It's not free banking, when your interest on positive balances is less than the money the banks are making on lending that out.

            Loyal Commentard,

            When I lived in Belgium I paid for every transaction on my current account and got zero interest on it. Admittedly the service was way better, and I had a named contact in the branch who I could phone up for help and who would deal with it personally - and if he wasn't at his desk would phone me back within the hour if I left a message.

            Compared to our last business account in Blighty (Barclays) - who assigned us a business advisor when we joined. We had £100k odd in there. Turned out this person was real, just they were one of several people in a call centre - and I presume they assigned their names randomly to companies - and they never answered the phone, rang back or were allowed to do much of anything useful, even if you did get hold of them.

            So we left. Part of the reason our big banks are shit is that we as customers won't go the challenger banks like Metrobank (who have better service) - because we're nervous of change. Despite the fact that they have government guarantees to protect us, even if one does go bust.

            1. Martin an gof Silver badge
              Unhappy

              Re: Bankers

              Not sure how the guarantees work with business accounts, but for personal accounts it's somewhere around an £85k limit, counted per group - i.e. if you have money in several different accounts with a bank, it's £85k total, not £85k per account, and this also applies if the bank has several different brands.

              Not that we have anywhere near £85k in total, except for that brief period remortgaging a couple of years ago, before most of it got paid out to the builder... though I gather that nowadays there's an increased limit for joint accounts, which would have been a bit of a relief back then.

              Then again, we were slightly disappointed with the Nationwide too. We had been customers - for decades - of the Derbyshire, which was taken over by the Nationwide. Both societies had "preferential rates" for mortgages, investments etc. depending on how long you had been a customer.

              All of this was reset when the account moved to the Nationwide, meaning that when we were looking to remortgage we were not eligible for the Nationwide's best rates despite having been eligible for the very best preferential rates with the Derbyshire.

              M.

            2. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: Bankers

              I remember people using the challenger banks a few years ago. Icelandic ones I think.

        2. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Bankers

          @I ain't Spartacus

          "Also, overdrafts are expensive because we have free banking. And that banking isn't free to the banks - so it's all swings and roundabouts."

          For one of my friends the concept of a bank offering you money to switch to them and giving interest in alien. For her she gets no interest and has to pay the bank for the pleasure of holding her money.

      2. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: Bankers

        For business - it's just another business cost.

        For holidays - after spending several hundred pounds per person for the trip just enjoy the scenery / culture / booze etc., if you must stay wired up 24h a day then get a local PAYG sim.

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: Bankers

          ...get a local PAYG sim.

          Assuming that you are able to do so without proving identity and residency in the country where it's issued. There's a reason most countries are doing away with the ability to buy anonymous PAYG SIMs, and that reason's name is "Organised Crime"...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: that reason's name is "Organised Crime"

            no, that is an excuse (alongside TERRORISM!). It works though. In some countries, where they don't give a flying monkey about reasons :(

            1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

              Re: that reason's name is "Organised Crime"

              Well, yes and no. When police are investigating a crime, it's often useful to get information from a network operator about phone locations, using cell tower triangulation. This can be used to prove whether someone's phone was in a general area in a rough time-frame (about 30 mins IIRC depending on how often the phone communicates with the base station). It's not much use if they can't find out the SIM identity of the person they're looking for (be it perpetrator or victim) because they were using a throwaway PAYG SIM.

              There are, of course, other issues of privacy around this, which is why the police should have to get a court order to access such information, but just remember - if you're the BOfH and you're going to go into the woods to dump a body, best leave your phone at home...

              1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: that reason's name is "Organised Crime"

                "cell tower triangulation"

                Ah, the luxury of being able to triangulate. Daughter was puzzled about grandson's lost phone being shown as at home and several hundred yards away. Had to explain you need coverage from more than two base stations to resolve the correct location.

        2. Ben Tasker Silver badge

          Re: Bankers

          If your solution to a problem is to tell the users they need to massively change the way they're doing things, then it's not a good solution. Getting a local PAYG SIM isn't an option in a good number of countries.

          You also tend to find that "just another business cost" has knock on effects too - whether that's the cost being passed onto customers, or those increased costs meaning departments are less able to spend on other important stuff.

          It's not the biggest issue with Brexit by a very long fucking shot, but it's not quite as easy to dismiss as you seem to think it is.

          1. Teiwaz Silver badge

            Re: Bankers

            If your solution to a problem is to tell the users they need to massively change the way they're doing things, then it's not a good solution.

            It's this mindset that really hampers any hope of reducing mankinds impact on the environment.

            1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

              Re: Bankers

              As opposed to the mindset that says "everyone should do this, or they're wrong", and has absolutely no contingency in place for the fact that the majority will probably stick 2 fingers up and carry on the way they were and not give a toss if you think they're wrong?

              When you're designing a solution to something, you *have* to factor in existing behaviours and use-cases. It doesn't matter whether you think they're valid or not, if they exist you need to work out how you're going to either accommodate them or smooth the transition for users.

              To take your example, we know a simple way to reduce our impact on the environment - use less stuff, throw less stuff away. It's a simple message, but simply using that as a message isn't really working is it? Whereas designing solutions that fit into common use-cases - replacing tungsten bulbs with increasingly energy efficient bulbs - is working. The overall benefit is less than if everyone stopped being shits overnight, sure, but the latter simply isn't going to happen.

              There's even a common saying in relation to this - "Don't let perfect be the enemy of good"

              1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: Bankers

                "Whereas designing solutions that fit into common use-cases - replacing tungsten bulbs with increasingly energy efficient bulbs - is working."

                There's even a further lesson in that - replacing tungsten by compact fluorescents wasn't the greatest idea - they were crap: they didn't last long, the claimed equivalences to incandescent wattages were against the most inefficient incandescents they could find and unless properly disposed of were apt to leak mercury into the environment. Your replacement not only has to fit the use-case, it has to do it at least as well as the original for all the parameters, not just those you're trying to improve on.

        3. Claverhouse Silver badge

          Re: Bankers

          For business - it's just another business cost.

          Everything's got to be paid by someone. In the case of businesses the cost is passed on to their customers.

          It's about time businessmen and right-wingers learnt there is no such thing as a free lunch.

        4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Bankers

          "For business - it's just another business cost."

          I hate to find myself on the beancounters' side, even occasionally, but for a business profit is money in minus money out. The greater the costs, the greater the money out and the smaller the profit.

    5. John Sturdy
      Childcatcher

      Or alternatively, they will raise their general prices to cover roaming, and then introduce cheaper non-roaming SIMs for those for who continental travel isn't a priority (also usable for those for whom it is so high a priority that they have a separate phone or SIM for it).

      In the US it might be called a "Patriots' SIM" but I hope we won't go that far.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        They could call it a Brexit SIM.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Sovereignty SIM :-)

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Since the EU banned roaming charges, did the mobile phone operators lose money? No they did not.

      They just put domestic their prices up. I remember because I'm on PAYG. I had to switch providers to avoid the hike.

      I hope roaming charges come back, because that will mean domestic chargers are more competitive.

      1. Paul Stimpson

        "I hope roaming charges come back, because that will mean domestic chargers are more competitive."

        Like that is ever going to happen. Those prices are now viewed as the "going rate." When's the last time any of us saw a company, whose primary duty is to make profit for its shareholders, say "Gosh! We've increased our profits by 4%. We should cut our prices and go back to the amount of money we used to make." ?

        I think this will be doubly true now networks are having to pay for the rollout of new 5G networks and will want to fill the holes in their balance sheets from that as much as possible.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          One network cuts their rates to attract more customers. Others are forced to follow. Prices do go down as there is always one company trying to increase their market share

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            It's not quite that simple though, is it. If you've "bought" your new handset on a 24 month contract, you can't just go skipping off after 3 months without paying some pretty hefty termination fees. Most people seem to be on 18 or 24 month contracts these days, so the opportunity to get someone to switch networks happens for probably 1 month every 2 years, if that customer can be bothered. Which most can't.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Contracts are for noobs. PAYG with 1p mobile, baby

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            "One network cuts their rates to attract more customers. Others are forced to follow. "

            Alternative view: one network raises their rates. Others leap on the opportunity of increased profits and follow.

          3. Carpet Deal 'em Bronze badge

            And in other cases one company proves what rubes customers are willing to put up with and the others follow.

    7. Paul Stimpson

      "Let's face it, a sure fire way to hemorrhage subscribers would be to charge when others don't."

      The thing is, it won't happen like that. The Operators won't suddenly say roaming costs money for everyone and cause a massive public backlash and stampede of customers away from them. They will remove free roaming in a "soft" manner, making it no longer available on new contracts.

      We won't notice immediately as nothing about our existing deals will have changed. At the end of our lock in period we will be invited to move to a different, SIM-only deal so we're not paying for already paid-off devices. These new deals won't have free roaming. Handset dead after your lock-in expired? Want a new contract to get a replacement? No more free roaming for you! Anyone who doesn't travel frequently will probably take the new deal. Any hold-out refuseniks will continue paying their handset charge which will go straight into the networks' pockets. Others will just look for a new deal as routine when their existing one expires and may just look at the headline price, not noticing the roaming costs money.

      This will continue until there are hardly any subscribers left who have free roaming. The networks will either suck this up as it's a small number of people or one day they will all get a letter saying their plan is no longer available and they will be moved to one of the new, no-free-roaming plans automatically but are free to leave if they want a PAC. These customers will look around and find there aren't any free-roaming plans available from any operator any more to jump ship to. This happened to me a few years ago when a plan I'd kept for years because of a particularly advantageous characteristic that was no longer a thing got "retired." These "last few" will moan but there won't be enough of them to kick up a massive public relations stink.

    8. LucreLout Silver badge

      If the operators don't charge (as permitted), it's as if the old rules still apply.

      I can't believe the fuss the kids are kicking up over roaming charges. Firstly, your phone bill simply isn't that important, but secondly, there's no reason why it'd have to increase - I use my phone freely and without charge in 71 countries and there's only 26 in the rEU.

      http://www.three.co.uk/Support/Roaming_and_international/Roaming_Abroad/Destinations

      Unless someone is seriously going to suggest that all 71 are as a result of trade deals that many of them don't have with the EU, which won't be the daftest thing a remainer has posted here all week, then it's hard to see what all the fuss is about.

    9. streaky

      If the operators don't charge (as permitted), it's as if the old rules still apply.

      There it is.

      Ignoring the fact the rules still apply, it was something many operators were already starting to do when they first started to apply. There's no rule requiring free roaming in the US, but all networks give it, there's no rule requiring free roaming in Israel but most networks give it, there's no rule requiring free roaming in Australia but all networks give it.

      Turns out in a fair competitive market you don't need masses of bureaucracy to give people the things they want - and that's what we should be watching out for, not the other thing.

      Just ask all the UK banks who have all set their overdraft interest rates to be 40%.

      This is the exception that proves the rule, it doesn't undermine it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        US, Australia - probably similar numbers of people use roaming in both directions, so a reciprocal agreement between carriers from there and the UK makes sense. That probably applies to carriers in some EU countries (I'd expect it with, say, Germany or the Netherlands) but others not so much. I wouldn't be surprised to see places like Spain, Italy, Portugal ending up with roaming arrangements more like the ones we have now with Turkey and Morocco.

    10. htd

      It’s not as simple as that

      Underneath the hood the EU stopping roaming charges works by stopping operators providing the service you roam into charging extra for that connection back to your service provider

      For operators with entities in the country you roam into in the brave new (very expensive) Brexit world they can manage this by not charging extra for your network access back to their subsidiary in the UK

      For operators like EE who don’t have a presence there is nothing to stop the local operator charging EE more which they will then have to pass on to their subscribers

      It’s highly likely that EE will be squeezed out of handset contracts where the subscriber expects to travel to the EU, but trying to explain this to a Brexiteer is a total waste of time

      1. LucreLout Silver badge

        Underneath the hood the EU stopping roaming charges works by stopping operators providing the service you roam into charging extra for that connection back to your service provider

        But I never get these charges in the rest of the world either....

      2. streaky

        Termination fees work both ways and in many cases this stuff is the companies cross-charging themselves. German telcos won't charge for roaming in the UK because they'll be able to swap with UK telcos for the same in reverse. Telcos aren't eating costs for nowt just because the EU ordered them to.

        Again, this is how it works with other non-EU countries.

        Also again, to be clear, this was already a thing - the EU didn't make telcos do something they a) weren't already doing or b) do something they didn't want to do - if they'd not wanted to do it, it simply wouldn't have happened; the EU is the wild west for lobbying and is extraordinarily corrupt as a result. They know how to make this cheap, they already did and leaving the EU doesn't make them forget how to do it cheap. Telcos aren't eating costs in roaming countries just because the EU ordered them to - it's because they can trade it and because it's extremely inexpensive. Don't forget, we're dealing with digital phone networks - it costs the infrastructure as much to call somebody as it does for me to write a comment here.

        but trying to explain this to a Brexiteer is a total waste of time

        Yes, because we're not as stupid as remainers think we are and have knowledge of how this stuff works and can see through it a mile away.

    11. Jon Blund

      It's rather naive to assume the mobile operators haven't already made an agreement, they are among the most rapacious of legal enterprises.

    12. MrXavia

      True but one charges, then another then another... eventually they all charge...

      Although Vodafone already has roam free in 77 countries, there are 28 in the EU so I can't see them adding more charges.

    13. ShadowDragon8685

      "I say old chap," says Operator 1 to Operator 2, 3, and 4, "could we have a word?"

      "We're listening," says Operator 2, "but it would be dishonorable not to remind you that we remain competitors."

      "Quite right, and I wouldn't have it any other way," Operator 1 says, adding, "quite frankly I look forward to the day you stumble and fail and I get to buy the sorry carcasses of your operations and enjoy an unequaled monopoly not enjoyed since the days of Her Majesty Queen Victoria. Long Live the Queen!"

      "The Queen!" Thunder Operators 2, 3 and 4; which was one irrelevant.

      "Now would you kindly get to the point," acidly adds Operator 4.

      "Of course, good sir, of course. You know... Roaming charges. That whole pesky EU made us put a stop to them, but now with Brexit, we're not beholden to their laws."

      "Indeed," notes Operator 3, eyebrow arched. "What of it? Simple market theory says that if any of us reintroduce roaming charges, the rest of us, who do not, shall get all of our customers, of course."

      "Of course," concedes Operator 1. "But at the same time, roaming charges... They WERE rather profitable for us, were they not?"

      "They were," agrees Operator 3.

      "So, what you're proposing is that if any ONE of us bring back roaming charges, the other three eat his lunch... But if ALL of us bring back roaming charges, we ALL stand to make a mint," notes Operator 2.

      "Quite so old man," Operator 1 says, with a snap of his fingers, "quite so!"

      "By Jove, you're on to something there," says Operator 4, dusting off the old roaming charges. "If all of us reintroduce roaming charges, well, the hoi polloi - they're jolly well stuck with it. We all stand to make another bloody fortune. I say, if we all agree... I'm in."

      "Exactly! Nobody loses out," thunders Operator 1.

      "Well, except the poor," notes Operator 3.

      A beat passes. All four Operators rise, thrust their right fists into the air, and, quoting Mel Brooks' History of the World Pt. 1, thunder "FUCK THE POOR!"

      "Very good," Operator 1 ends the collusion meeting, imitating the Roman Speaker of the Senate from aforesaid work.

  4. macjules Silver badge

    Transition Period?

    Thought that the last 3+ years has been that. So end of 2020 we are actually out of it completely?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Transition Period?

      No, the last 3 years has been the British government negotiating a fraction of what needs to be negotiated.

      The transition period starts next week and lasts till the end of the year and then all hell breaks loose.

      I am still at a loss to understand how a trade agreement negotiated up to the 11th hour can then be magically implemented as a new customs system in few minutes ready for the first of January.

      1. Graham 32

        Re: Transition Period?

        Yup. In calm times when Article 50 was written it was thought a country would need 2 years to plan leaving, presumably with no deal. In calm(-ish) times we said we'd use those 2 years to negotiate a deal instead, but as the deal won't be known until the end we'll take another 2 years to plan a transition to that deal.

        So as we head towards any deadline on a negotiation we should expect, whatever the outcome, that we will get more time for government and businesses to plan for implementing it.

        1. Tom Paine Silver badge

          Re: Transition Period?

          "should" is a load-beraing member there. You're saying the PM "should" do something he's sworn up and down he won't do, and which he's ruthlessly reshaped the parliamentary party in order to guarantee delivery. All the grown-up backbenchers were expelled or driven out last year, if you remember. That massive majority is packed with a blend of bulgy-eyed true believers and spineless opportunists who don't believe ibut are going along for the sake of their careers. And every one of them signed a pre-election pledge that they'd deliver the WA on 31st Jan and end transition on 31st December with no further extensions. You'd either need 40 of them to destroy their careers overnight on a point of principle*, or for Johnson to see the light, break his promise, *and* be able to carry all but 38 of his MPs with him.

          * Not all MPs have lucrative careers in business or the law to fall back on when they're unceremoniously defenestrated, not even the Tories. That's especially true for those who've been there a long time, or those who've spent 10-15y as wonks and bag-carriers whilst working towards selection as a candidate, then got elected, and are now working towards a first junior ministerial position. IDK about you but I'd have been pretty fucked if I'd been kicked out of IT in my early 40s and had to develop a new career from scratch.

          1. phuzz Silver badge
            Childcatcher

            Re: Transition Period?

            I'm not sure about the rest, but I would never bet against Boris breaking a promise.

            1. Mike 137 Silver badge

              Re: Transition Period?

              It's not just Boris. The only common factor of promises and politicians is that they both start with the lettter P, and that's not a new phenomenon.

            2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Transition Period?

              "I would never bet against Boris breaking a promise."

              He promised to be dead in a ditch if he didn't make the October 19 deadline. That's one promise gone already.

          2. aks Bronze badge

            Re: Transition Period?

            Politics shouldn't be a career. That's a major part of the problem.

            We need MP's who have actually worked in the real world before pretending to represent us.

            1. Nunyabiznes Silver badge

              Re: Transition Period?

              @AKS

              And those politicians should return to the real world after a brief time in office.

          3. Graham 32

            Re: Transition Period?

            Well, Boris is supposed to be dead in a ditch, but that didn't happen either. Being a bit late on another self-imposed deadline will be forgotten by the next election. A "unmanaged no deal" comes with all sorts of risks that won't be forgotten, even if it's just a national shortage of avocados... and if it's toilet paper it'll be remembered a loooong time.

            Boris has, rather annoyingly, proven that he is very good at (his personal) long-term strategy. Getting a second term is probably in that strategy.

            1. Warm Braw Silver badge

              Re: Transition Period?

              Boris is supposed to be dead in a ditch

              Just goes to show neither Dom lives up to their self-publicity.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Boris is supposed to be dead in a ditch

                pining for the fjords, more like.

            2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Transition Period?

              "Getting a second term is probably in that strategy."

              Maybe. He could simply say he's delivered what he promised and it's up to the rest to make the best of it.

              Brexit keeps reminding me of the Bilko episode "The Empty Store". You got what you wanted, what are you going to do with it?

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Transition Period?

          we will get need more time for government and businesses to plan for implementing it.

          However Boris is adamant that 11 months is all there is. However, come December he could decide to say "I've done what I came here to do. I'm off.".

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Transition Period?

        "I am still at a loss to understand how a trade agreement negotiated up to the 11th hour can then be magically implemented as a new customs system in few minutes ready for the first of January."

        That's no problem, HMG has cornered the market in unicorns and pixie-dust. But just think of all the businesses who'll have to cope with magicked-up customers system with no warning. Think especially of those in NI when Boris's reality distortion field finally breaks down.

      3. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Transition Period?

        Johnson probably thinks he can make a better deal hurrying up things, like vacuum cleaner sellers hurry up people to not let them understand they are being cheated....

      4. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: Transition Period?

        Quoting the Guardian !

        Possibly there's a slightly less partisan viewpoint out there.. just saying :)

        No, I don't think it will be any of the other UK papers either.

        and Yes, Bojo needs to get his finger out.

      5. John Lilburne
        Pirate

        Re: Transition Period?

        Apparently Boris has been on afternoon IT courses so he'll have a solution deployed in time just wait ans see.

      6. Mandoscottie
        Joke

        Re: Transition Period?

        ach ye o little faith with our own magic little johnson.

        :oP

        what could possibly go wrong.............

        1. AndyMulhearn

          Re: Transition Period?

          what could possibly go wrong...........

          My first thought would be everything...

    2. John Lilburne

      Re: Transition Period?

      Nope.

    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Transition Period?

      macjules,

      Article 50 of the Treaties states that a member state choosing to leave has 2 years to make an agreement about the technical aspects of leaving that takes into account the future relationship.

      That two year period started in March 2017 - after a bit of post-referendum thinking about it. It was then extended in March last year until October (with a small detour for a mini-extension first) and then that extended again to tomorrow - after Johnson agreed the revised withdrawal agreement but Parliament didn't.

      So there's a transition period in that agreement up to the end of 2020 - with an option to extend it for another year after that. Although to be honest they can extend it to any amount they want, within reason - but Johnson is currently signalling that he wants to get it done very quickly.

      Sadly the EU decided that they wouldn't even discuss the future relationship until July 2018 - and it was then discussed for about 2 months and a 26 page document on the "future relationship" agreed - but that basically talks about "making best endeavours" to agree only vaguely specified stuff. The Commission claimed that it would be illegal to even discuss the possibilities of a trade agreement until we were no longer a member - and we wasted the first 9 months of the 2 year Article 50 period pissing about discussing whether we should pay an extra few billion quid to settle various bits of left-over spending with the Commission refusing to even discuss the withdrawal agreement until that was done.

      So sadly we haven't really got much of anywhere on the future relationship. If you take Johnson at his word, which I'm not sure about, it's going to be a pretty basic free trade agreement - because he's decided that whatever deadline is set the EU will push it up to the wire in order to try to gain maximum advantage from playing hardball. So he's going to cut that game off from the start (I admit I'm guessing here about his plans) - and see if he can't get some movement on the negotiations by forcing them to be too quick.

      He says he won't sign up for the extension to the transition period - which he's now got the majority to do, if he wants to. But nobody likes to look like they've backed down - so I suspect (but have no way of knowing) that his plan is to negotiate some of the easier stuff quickly, then ask for an extension on negotiations on the longer stuff that amounts to a different transition period - but only in certain sectors. But hopefully one long enough to actually get the negotiations completed with nobody able to fuck about with the deadlines.

      However he may just have decided that a quick and very shallow trade deal is what he's going to go for - on the betting that the British government can move faster on counteracting the disruption than the EU can - with the hope of maybe bringing them back to the negotiating table in a more accommodating mood.

      That's assuming he actually has a plan of course.

      However May has taken a lot of the blame for how badly the negiations turned out. And yet it was the Commission which exclusively designed the timetable - and rejected every suggestion May made - sometime without even officially studying them. Including proposals on the Irish border that they've since agreed with Johnson, having said they were literally impossible to May. So personally I blame the Commission for a lot of this, and May's biggest fault may have been accepting their timetabling. So although I have little faith in Johnson, I don't believe that the Commission have even been honestly negotiating until the final deal done with Johnson - and have little trust that they weren't going to start playing similar games in the transition period.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Transition Period?

        I believe David Davis agreed to the EU's proposed timetable on the first day of negotiations (that famous photo with the EU side of the table having a load of paperwork and the UK side of the table having none), after saying something about the "row of the summer" beforehand in press interviews.

      2. aks Bronze badge

        Re: Transition Period?

        Article 50 also forbid is from signing deals with anyone else. After tomorrow, we can sign what we like with anyone.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Transition Period?

          But it still can't come into force until the transition period ends.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Transition Period?

          "After tomorrow, we can sign what we like with anyone."

          We can only sign what we agree with others. Reaching agreement depends on things like what the other side wants and doesn't want and the relative strengths of the two sides' negotiating position. And the capabilities of the negotiators. And the speed at which you want to sign it.

          If you think we can automatically get what we like from anyone you've been seriously mislead. And it sounds as if you have.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: After tomorrow, we can sign what we like with anyone

          I heard the queue of those begging to sign a trade deal with the UK is so long, we decided to quarantine them all, to show them their place. Apparently, them pesky ex-colonies can't wait to sign a deal with us. Canada, Australia, India, US... all falling over themselves, begging us to sign with them...

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Transition Period?

        "Including proposals on the Irish border that they've since agreed with Johnson, having said they were literally impossible to May."

        The Irish border "solution" involves effectively moving the difficult bits of it to the middle of the Irish Sea. At the end of the transition period we'll have an interal customs border in the UK!

        He can do that because, unlike May, he doesn't have to rely on the DUP for his majority. How well that works out remains to be seen. But it'll be OK because he's reassured us his a Unionist; we have his word on that.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Superdrug and Three are both owned by CK Hutchison

  6. Tom Paine Silver badge

    Seven years, not four

    after nearly four years of excruciating debate and rancour

    I was reminded this morning that Cameron first announced his intention to give the fruitcakes their referendum in January 2013, over seven years ago. I wonder how things will look after ten.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seven years, not four

      They disagree with me, they must be insane!

      If you ever want to know why the common people ignore people like you, this is it: you insult, belittle, and dehumanise anyone who diverges from your sainted opinion on how the world should be.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Seven years, not four

        you insult, belittle, and dehumanise anyone who diverges from your sainted opinion on how the world should be

        Funny, that sounds pretty much exactly like what the more vocal quitters have been accusing the EU of (and let's not forget which side of the "debate" decided to start the name-calling with the frankly pathetic "remoaner" nonsense), whilst strangely being totally unable to come up with any actual facts to back up their ill-formed opinions.

        Fruit cake anyone?

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Seven years, not four

          @Loyal Commenter

          "(and let's not forget which side of the "debate" decided to start the name-calling with the frankly pathetic "remoaner" nonsense)"

          That would be EU supporters calling the anti-euro 'Eurosceptics'. Just because we were right doesnt make it go away.

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: Seven years, not four

            I think you'll have to try a bit harder, and find something that (a) actually gets bandied about, (b) is clearly derogatory and (c) isn't used mostly by the people it refers to.

            Last time I checked, stating that someone is sceptical about something isn't exactly critical and belittling, unlike the obvious intent behind terms like "remoaner" and "snowflake". Add to this, the fact that I have literally never heard the word "Euros[k|c]eptic" used in the way you allude to. Where it has been used (and the earliest reference I can find is in the Spectator in the 1970s), it's always, as far as I am aware, in a dry and dispassionate journalistic sense. Not that you'll find much dispassionate journalism around these days, but that's another matter. Anyway, your complaint that people you disagree with say "eurosceptic" and that makes it okay to go round name-calling really is quite an obvious straw-man.

            1/10 - must try harder.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Seven years, not four

              @Loyal Commenter

              "I think you'll have to try a bit harder, and find something that (a) actually gets bandied about, (b) is clearly derogatory and (c) isn't used mostly by the people it refers to."

              a) Yikes maybe you missed it. Back when we were having the same debate but about the Euro and Eurosceptic fell out of favour over a decade ago when we were proven right. So before you started crying over the word remoaner.

              b) At the time it absolutely was. The connotation being racist, xenophobic and stupid which is the same set of insults we get now.

              c) We didnt create it nor was it deemed a positive. Now it isnt used by EU supporters because they were wrong.

              "Add to this, the fact that I have literally never heard the word "Euros[k|c]eptic" used in the way you allude to."

              Just look back to the debate over the Euro being used in the UK. Its ok if you missed it, well done if you did.

              "Anyway, your complaint that people you disagree with say "eurosceptic" and that makes it okay to go round name-calling really is quite an obvious straw-man."

              Actually I was just picking out the euro-name calling before the word you complain about 'remoaner'. Typically we get racist, xenophobe, knuckle draggers, brexshiters and so on. Doesnt make any of the name calling right but if your complaint is 'who started it' then its probably an unknown from further back than the word 'remoaner'

          2. Dave K Silver badge

            Re: Seven years, not four

            You need to learn the difference between a descriptive name and an insult. "Eurosceptic" isn't an insult, it means you're a sceptic of the EU. Similarly, Remainer isn't an insult - we support remaining in the EU. It's once you start moving to terms like "Remoaner" that we move into insult territory.

            Still, as a Brexiteer - never let obvious facts and common sense get in the way of a complete lack of understanding of a trivial concept (now that *was* an insult).

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Seven years, not four

              @Dave K

              "You need to learn the difference between a descriptive name and an insult."

              Intention. It is possible to apply different meaning to words and to use a word with different intent.

              ""Eurosceptic" isn't an insult, it means you're a sceptic of the EU"

              In the proper sense yes and it was also used as such. But it was also used as an insult along with racist, xenophobe, stupid and so on. I know I was directed a fair amount of this abuse which is why I like to keep the label eurosceptic for all those shy buggers who used it in those terms and was proven wrong.

              It doesnt make the name calling right but hearing someone moan about being called remoaner as the first insult thrown around is amusing. Both sides have thrown plenty insults and god knows how long ago it started.

              1. Dave K Silver badge

                Re: Seven years, not four

                In which case it is only an insult because you deemed it to be one. Should we be able to take any simple, factual word to be an insult in this case?

                Personally, I consider Brexit to be an insult. So on your logic, this means I order the immediate ceasing of the word and the renaming of the Brexit party. And all those "Get ready for Brexit" posters? How dreadfully offensive...

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: Seven years, not four

                  @Dave K

                  "In which case it is only an insult because you deemed it to be one. Should we be able to take any simple, factual word to be an insult in this case?"

                  Your confused. Its the other way around. I didnt deem it an insult therefore it was, it was used as an insult. The intended use being as an insult.

                  1. Dave K Silver badge

                    Re: Seven years, not four

                    How a term has been utilised in the past does not mean it becomes an insult for all of time. Plenty of descriptive terms have been used in insulting connotations before. Go back a fair bit and usage of terms such as "Black", "Gypsy", "Jew" etc. have often been in derogatory manners. That doesn't mean that these terms are considered insults now, they're just factual terms (albeit ones that can still be used in derogatory ways still).

                    Besides, researching the origin of the term "Eurosceptic" does not seem to show any derogatory origins. It was mentioned in the Spectator back in 1971 in a very simple and none-derogatory fashion. It also became commonly used in the likes of the Times during the 80s - again as a simple, descriptive term for those opposed to greater European integration.

                    I certainly cannot find any evidence that it originated as an insult, regardless of how it may have been used at times subsequent to this. "Remoaner" on the other hand is very clearly a word that originated purely as an insult.

                    1. codejunky Silver badge

                      Re: Seven years, not four

                      @Dave K

                      "How a term has been utilised in the past does not mean it becomes an insult for all of time."

                      Not an argument I was making.

                      "Plenty of descriptive terms have been used in insulting connotations before."

                      I am glad we agree that.

                      "That doesn't mean that these terms are considered insults now, they're just factual terms (albeit ones that can still be used in derogatory ways still)."

                      Mutal understanding here, I am glad.

                      "Besides, researching the origin of the term "Eurosceptic" does not seem to show any derogatory origins."

                      Not sure how origins change everything you have said before this line in this comment which agrees with me over the use of language and intention.

                      "I certainly cannot find any evidence that it originated as an insult"

                      It was used as an insult during the debate over if we should join the Euro or not when Blair was considering it. It was a heated time similar to now where there was an absolute certainty that not joining the Euro would cause various doom as with leaving the EU.

                      ""Remoaner" on the other hand is very clearly a word that originated purely as an insult."

                      Its origin seeming to come from the remainers (as opposed to leavers) moaning about losing the referendum and increasingly trying to overturn the democratic result. Leavers being called racist, xenophobe, knuckle dragger's and so on.

                      * Can we pause a moment. Why are we getting into origins of words, uses and meanings etc when this is in response to Loyal Commenter's claim that leavers threw the first insult which he thinks is remoaner? If this is a discussion you want I am willing for a little bit longer but we really are leaving the topic in the rear view horizon.

                    2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

                      Re: Seven years, not four

                      Thanks for taking this one and running with it @Dave K. Sometimes I like to argue with CJ for sport, I can just imagine the veins on his temples throbbing at the idea that someone might not agree with him. Today, I just can't be bothered with baiting the trolls.

                      1. codejunky Silver badge

                        Re: Seven years, not four

                        @Loyal Commenter

                        "Thanks for taking this one and running with it @Dave K. Sometimes I like to argue with CJ for sport"

                        Is that why you do it? I just honestly thought you were a little thick. So your fantasy of me is throbbing temples because I dont agree with the stupid thing you came out with (last time was you struggling to admit lying wasnt it?)? Whatever floats your boat I guess.

          3. MJB7 Silver badge

            Re: Eurosceptics

            No, "Eurosceptics" was the Eurosceptics name for themselves. The EU supporters (well, the media) had labelled them "Europhobes" initially.

            1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

              Re: Eurosceptics

              ...which it is also worth pointing out, is purely descriptive (as one who fears or hates the EU). They probably hate the term as well, since it's from the Greek Εὐρώπη (Europe) and Φόβος (Phobos).

      2. Dr_N Silver badge

        Re: Seven years, not four

        >>If you ever want to know why the common people ignore people like you

        We ARE the common people.

        It's just we've now been divided and conquored by the elite with their lies and hatemongery.

        And we are all going to be kept down in our place for the coming decades whilst said brexit-elite cream it in and laugh at how satifyingly easy it all was. Banks, Odey, Tice, codejunky. They're all absolutely pissing themselves laughing at you right now.

  7. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Trollface

    Wellcome to Britain

    Before Brexit: Ripoff Britain 1.0

    After Brexit: Ripoff Britain 2.0

    Kerching!

    A licence to print money

    1. DontFeedTheTrolls Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: Wellcome to Britain

      Merchant Bankers like Farage: "Those pesky EU rules prevent us from gouging money out of everybody for everything, we need to leave the EU"

      I'm still waiting for anyone to show me a single good reason for leaving the EU. As far as benefit to the people of the UK, everything proposed is turning out to be a worse position

      Reap what you sow Brexiteers!

  8. Ol'Peculier

    I simply don't see it happening. It's a sure way of loosing customers to a network that continues to allow it.

    And EE, who I'm with, also include roaming in Canada, the US, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand so would be a bit bizarre if they decided to shutter it in the EU.

    1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Bronze badge

      Yup. Most mobile phone providers now offer it globally (with exceptions for NK, etc) without extra charge.

    2. John Lilburne

      Roaming fees are the least of your worries. No fast queues through the arrivals, extra bullshit for driving, extra insurance policies with the scrapping of the E111, etc etc.

      Last September we came back from France on the ferry to Portsmouth. We were one of the first off and it still took us 45 minutes to get through passport control, as they rifled through every van, caravan, and roof box in front of us.

      Enjoy

      1. Tom Paine Silver badge

        Updated uk.gov guidance on travel to EU27 from Jan 1st 2021:

        https://www.gov.uk/visit-europe-1-january-2021

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Hidden Benefits of BREXIT

    Not!

    Some people have been saying that this would happen but were poo-pooed and told to shut the hell up.

    The same will probably happen with the EHIC.

    BREXIT is going to cost us all a load of money. Where is the upside? Oh yes taking back control....

    Which means giving even more control of everything to Big Business.

    Laws of unindended consequences and all that.

    1. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

      Re: The Hidden Benefits of BREXIT

      I’m looking forward to see foaming tabloid headlines about ‘Rip off Britain’ and Treasure Island’ once again, especially when UK car prices go shooting up.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: The Hidden Benefits of BREXIT

      "Laws of unindended consequences and all that."

      Only unintended by the voters.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Brexshit plane is crash-landing!

    Brace, brace, brace!

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Brexshit plane is crash-landing!

      Brexshit

      Oh do grow up...

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Brexshit plane is crash-landing!

        Ahahahahahaha! Brexiter complaining about "remoaners" name-calling. Pot, meet kettle.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Brexshit plane is crash-landing!

          @Loyal Commenter

          "Ahahahahahaha! Brexiter complaining about "remoaners" name-calling. Pot, meet kettle."

          Only a page ago you were complaining about being called names. Is there any chance your trying to provoke such responses?

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: Brexshit plane is crash-landing!

            Only a page ago, I was pointing out that quitters like to name-call. Now I'm pointing out that they don't like being name-called. Perhaps the irony is lost on you.

        2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Brexshit plane is crash-landing!

          Loyal Commentard,

          I believe this is the first time I've ever typed the neologism "remoaner". And it's as stupid as "brexshit". You're welcome to trawl through my back catalogue of comments and prove me wrong - but I try to be all fluffy and polite online. In general preferring to stoop no lower than sarcasm. Oh and bad puns...

          I've used "remainer" and "leaver" as shorthand to describe groups of people. But I try not to indulge in this childish culture war stuff. It's incredibly depressing.

          You're right about the pot meet kettle thing though. There's a small group of arseholes on both sides of the argument - who like to ramp up the rhetoric and the childish name calling. And then use the other side doing it back as an excuse for their own. And it's toxic to democracy (and polite discussion) where it takes hold outside tiny cliques. The internet has made it worse, I suspect because the noisy shouty idiots are the ones who post the most comments.

          Hence you get the fools on the left of Labour calling members of their own party "red Tory scum" - and making their own side of the internal party debate look awful. And of course, a whole bunch of their voters did just fuck off and vote Tory - partly because they thought those people genuinely represent the whole left of Labour. And of course their justification was people calling them loony lefties. And so it goes on - but somehow it's never people's fault they're being rude - it's always because somebody else did it first.

          Also, if you really do think that Brexit will be a total disaster and should have been stopped, calling the people who voted for it stupid, racist and gammons probably wasn't the best way to persuade them to change their minds and vote your way.

          Oh and as a final point, I'm a soft leaver, who would have been perfectly happy to stay in the Single Market. Something that was still well possible until the middle of last year. But that required the more committed remain supporters to be willing to consider compromise - rather than risking everything on reversing the referendum result.

          It now looks like the minority of people who wanted us to leave with a minimal trade deal will be the ones getting their way - because the "soft leavers" and the "soft remainers" (the people who don't particularly like the EU but thought it was too risky to leave) were so put off by the posturing of the more hardcore remain types that they ended up going that way because it looked like the only way out of the logjam. So how's that polarisation and shouting worked out for you?

          Finally to quote a remain columnist in the Grauniad yesterday, Rafael Behr:

          On we went, rubbishing the idea that Brexit was a bounty of freedom, sovereignty and control, irritating more than we converted, until Boris Johnson came along to lift the siege. By December, the liberation he could realistically offer voters wasn’t from Europe any more, it was from the argument encircling them. It was from us, the remainers.

          Johnson’s winning formula was to downgrade the promise of Brexit from reward to relief, which was easier to deliver and still sounded marvellous. His opponents complain that the “Boris” brand of optimism is fraudulent, but that doesn’t matter when it is unrivalled in the market.

  11. EastFinchleyite

    Payback

    I am not sure why anyone is worrying.

    There will be plenty left from the £350m per week that they promised we would get back from the EU. I know they said we would spend it on the NHS but there should be enough to cover the cost of these roaming charges.

    It was on the side of the bus and Boris, Gove, Rees-Mogg are all honorable men aren't they.?

    <sarcasm filter off>

    <wistfulness filter on>

    <breaks into refrain of "there'll be blue skies over the white cliffs of Dover". >

    It is a bit early to go down the pub but I am sorely tempted.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is a rip off but do you know how much space us leaving the EU will free up? 1 GB

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    wording

    ""Our customers enjoy inclusive roaming in Europe and we have no plans to change this based on the Brexit outcome,""

    This reminds me of all the SMS spams I once received by one mobile phone operator:

    "Enjoy your roaming charges: X EUR per minute, blah, blah"

    Seriously, no, who would "enjoy" charges ?

    1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Re: wording

      Three? Sounds like Three.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: wording

        "Three? Sounds like Three."

        No, was Qtel in Qatar ...

  14. LazLong

    Enjoy your self-inflicted wound Brits!

    I hope you guys enjoy Brexit and realize all the wonderful benefits Farage and Johnson conned you into thinking you'll real being free of the EU.

    To quote Otto from A Fish Called Wanda:

    "Oh you English are SO superior aren't you? Well, would you like to know where you'd be without US the good old U.S. of A. to protect you? I'll tell you. The smallest fucking province in the Russian Empire, that's where! So DON'T call me stupid, lady. Just THANK me! ...If it wasn't for us, you'd all be speaking German, singing, "Deutschland, Deutschland über alles!"

    1. Oh Matron! Silver badge

      Re: Enjoy your self-inflicted wound Brits!

      Such a shame I can't upvote more than once. A great film, and fantastic quote

    2. The First Dave Silver badge

      Re: Enjoy your self-inflicted wound Brits!

      If we were a province of Russia, why would we be singing in German??

      1. PerlyKing Silver badge

        Re: Enjoy your self-inflicted wound Brits!

        If we were a province of Russia, why would we be singing in German??

        Otto wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer.

        Otto: Apes don't read Nietzsche!

        Wanda: Yes they do, they just don't understand it.

      2. fandom

        Re: Enjoy your self-inflicted wound Brits!

        Because they USA didn't give up when the germans bombed Pearl Habor

        1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

          Re: Enjoy your self-inflicted wound Brits!

          The germans bombed pearl harbour?

          And theres me thinking it was an inside job in order to attack Italy

        2. NoizeBoy

          Re: Enjoy your self-inflicted wound Brits!

          Upvote for the reference!! Great movie... “Toga...Toga...”

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Enjoy your self-inflicted wound Brits!

      "I hope you guys enjoy Brexit and realize all the wonderful benefits Farage and Johnson conned you into thinking you'll real being free of the EU."

      You forgot Cameron. He was the fuckwit who started it all ! The UK people really have to remember him for this ...

  15. MJI Silver badge

    The people I know to be most affected are

    a couple of leave voters.

    I will need to ask them why don't they start paying more now.

    1. NXM

      Re: The people I know to be most affected are

      I agree on the grounds of making the polluter pay.

  16. Tom Paine Silver badge

    Not only but also

    Government's latest best guesses as to changes to travel from Jan 1st 2021 has also been updated:

    https://www.gov.uk/visit-europe-1-january-2021

    Includes a business travel section but a tons of "may", "might\" and "could" still of course

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Not only but also

      [includes] tons of "may", "might\" and "could"...

      You expect maybe something other than weasel-words from a building full of mustelids?

  17. taxman

    Has it started?

    Try looking around for SIM only monthly deals. There used to a lot around at one point but now you have to be spending over £20 pm for data you don't want for the most part. GiffGaff still provide lower data levels for reasonable amounts, if you want to rely on the O2 coverage - not so good if you are in the Western part of the Isles. There are a couple of other smaller players too offering monthly deals. However, the big players have pulled out of these deals (latest being Three)and now require you to sign up for 12 or 24 month contracts if you want SIM deals at a similar price to their "old" monthly price.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Has it started?

      Smarty (MVNO wholly owned by 3) still offer decent monthly SIM-only deals.

      1. g7rpo

        Re: Has it started?

        was just going to suggest that

  18. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    TL; DR

    We're fucked.

    1. aks Bronze badge

      Re: TL; DR

      Learn to enjoy it! :D

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: TL; DR

      TL; DR

      I'll summarize.

      Headline says "UK government confirms surcharge-free EU roaming will end"

      Article admits that ""From 1 January 2021, the guarantee of free mobile phone roaming throughout the EU .. will end"

      and

      "Three, EE, O2 and Vodafone – have tried to reassure customers that they do not intend to resume charging for texts, data and calls made within the EU<"

      and

      "a Vodafone representative said: "We have no plans to reintroduce roaming charges for Vodafone UK customers visiting the EU."

      But hey, journalists never let the facts stand in the way of good headline FUD!

      1. JohnG Silver badge

        Re: TL; DR

        It might also be worth remembering that Three and Vodafone started offering free roaming in various countries (some EU countries, some non-EU countries) some years before the related EU directive was conceived. I think Three currently has free roaming in 70 countries, so most of these are not in the EU and therefore, are not free because of the EU directive.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We're fucked.

      I thought Brits always enjoyed that, no? Wink wink, say no more and all that?

  19. hhhhhmmmm

    So let's see, roaming charges are generally free just now due to reciprocal agreements between countries, so there isn't as large fees to pass on to consumers as before ...

    No, let's say the EU decides that as the UK is no longer part of the EU, it will increase the roaming charges to UK mobile users by €€€€, hands up who thinks the mobile operators will just take that on the chin and soak it all up and lose vital revenue for their customer ..

    Even if the UK matches those rates, good luck to any operator who thinks it'll even out or they'll make a profit

    1. aks Bronze badge

      With or without roaming, UK rates are lower than many other countries. That's what competition and market forces deliver.

    2. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

      "let's say the EU decides that [...]"

      The EU will decide nothing, it will keep intra-EU roaming free of charge and let EU operators decide if they want to re-introduce roaming charges for travel to UK from Jan 2021.

      1. Paul Stimpson

        "The EU will decide nothing, it will keep intra-EU roaming free of charge and let EU operators decide if they want to re-introduce roaming charges for travel to UK from Jan 2021."

        Our networks probably won't decide it either. It will be the mobile networks in the countries we visit. I currently pay about £20 a month for my mobile contract and get unlimited roaming in Europe for a flat rate of £3 a day for each day I'm there.

        If I go to Germany on business for a week and Deutsche Telekom start billing my provider a significant sum of money per minute/SMS/MB then those charges will probably be more than the £20 I pay a month, possibly more than the £240 a year I pay. There is no way my provider are going to suck it up if I am costing them more than I'm paying or if the £21 a week roaming fee doesn't cover it.

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        >The EU will decide nothing...

        Well the EU may decide that the operators in the EU27 shouldn't charge their customers (ie. EU27 residents) roaming charges if they visit the UK. This however, is of zero relevance to customers of UK operators wishing to travel to the EU27.

        I expect much will depend on just how much and quickly the GBP-Euro exchange rate changes.

        1. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

          Preventing EU operators for charging their clients when roaming in the UK would only penalize these operators, since UK operators could charge them for the use of their network, but they wouldn't be allowed to pass it to their clients. That won't happen unless there are reciprocical arrangements, which could be part of the future trade negociations. Or we will let the market decide.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No need

    No need if we'll be confined to the island post-brexit...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Peace

    Of course people could just leave their phones at home and have a holiday from them too? You remember, in the dim distant past.... on holiday, away, out of the country, I'll ring you when we get home...bol**ks to the lot of you?

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Peace

      Except when I'm off in a foreign city, I like to go and do stuff other than slowly giving myself skin cancer on a pile of ground-up stones (AKA subathing), which usually involves buying tickets for things, which again, usually involves either printing a booking off, or having an e-ticket on your phone. You might like to take a printer with you on holiday (or hope that your hotel / AirBnB / self-catering accommodation provides that facility), or queue up and pay full-price for entry to things, but I don't.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Peace

        There are no roaming fees on free WiFi.

        1. Mandoscottie
          Facepalm

          Re: Peace

          or data privacy

          1. Venerable and Fragrant Wind of Change

            Re: Peace

            Any data whose privacy matters travel encrypted. Because no network has any strong expectation of privacy.

        2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: Peace

          It might be a bit difficult to use the free wi-fi, if you're leaving your phone at home...

          Unless of course, you're lugging a tablet or laptop around with you everywhere you go. In the case of the tablet, you've pretty much just announced to every cafe / restaurant / shop that you want to pay the tourist price.

          1. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

            Re: Peace

            Why leave your phone at home? Just disable data roaming, you won't pay a penny as long as you don't answer calls and you can use WiFi wherever it's available.

    2. Venerable and Fragrant Wind of Change

      Re: Peace

      Yes, I remember the annoying, often frustrating hunt for a map when I arrive somewhere. Then finding the tourist map stops short of where I'm going, doesn't show the places I'm interested in, is unreadable in the dark and pretty poor at the best of times, disintegrates if it meets a bit of Weather.

      A backlit map with the added bonus of GPS is probably the biggest advance in travel convenience in my lifetime. Don't want to leave it at home, thankyou.

      1. gnasher729 Silver badge

        Re: Peace

        On iOS, Pocket Earth lets you download maps for anywhere you want to go while you’re at home. Doesn’t give you directions, but shows you where you are on the map. Without having to download anything while abroad.

        1. Venerable and Fragrant Wind of Change

          Re: Peace

          As did Nokia Maps, back when I had my best ever phone.

          Sadly Google maps makes you jump through hoops, and sulks if you try it offline.

          1. Ogi

            Re: Peace

            AFAIK, after MS bought Nokia, they sold Nokia Maps, which was then rebranded as "Here Maps" ( https://wego.here.com ).

            They have an app, it works great (even gives live traffic updates if you have internet), it can route trips >1000km (which most other app fails at) which is useful when I do a Euro tour, it works offline (and you can download the maps to sd card beforehand over wifi).

            If you forgo the live traffic etc... it is also pretty private. History is stored locally on the app, and once you got the maps downloaded you don't need the internet/cloud at all. In fact I re-purposed my old phone as a plain GPS unit, with the app, a SD card full of maps and no SIM. Occasional update over wifi and its good to go.

            To be honest, I am not quite sure how they make money. All the above is free, although I have been told they licence their maps/technology to car manufacturers for their in-car GPS units

            It is the only app I use when I go on European tours, and I highly recommend it. I do still miss my old n900 though, although I did find my collection of n810's when doing some spring cleaning, so wondering what to do with them (alas, the old online deb repos for it no longer exist).

  22. CM

    .. and universities' fees all ramped to the max £9k

  23. Krassi

    no such thing as a free roam

    Someone pays for "free" roaming, and if you are a mobile subscriber I suggest that person may be you, albeit that it is not itemised on your bill. The EU rule creates a cross-subsidy from those people who don't do much roaming for the benefit of those who do. Personally, that suits me, but that doesn't necessarily make it right.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: no such thing as a free roam

      I don't believe that there are any significant costs involved with supporting roaming. The networks did it simply because they could. They were basically acting like a kind of de facto cartel, all charging each other inflated tariffs for customers roaming onto each other's networks. After all, it wasn't them who ended up footing the bill, but the customer.

      1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Re: no such thing as a free roam

        Indeed, I used to work for an ISP / Phone / Cable company, and back then, reciprocal agreements had to be made to divvy up income from a call originating on one network and terminating on ours. But of course all of these small players got bought up, they are even an MVNO for mobile now, so there are far fewer arrangements to be made, and they are multinationals, so there's far less overhead involved facilitating roaming.

        Having said that, I'm pretty sure the providers will, in time, take the opportunity to monetise this, it's just who dares go first. I suspect it will probably start as a cheap add on bundle to test the water.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not call, dude

    brexit means brexit, innit.

  25. Dandelion123

    And nobody is going to sign a trade deal with the UK until they know what the arrangement is with the EU - Japan has said as much for starters, and despite what Trump says, the US won't even countenance an agreement that places the GFA in jeopardy. Also the countries and trading blocs that the EU currently have an arrangement with, and from which the UK is withdrawing, will have clauses written into them (most likely drawn up by British lawyers) forbidden third countries from having a more favourable agreement. So yes, in theory 'we can sign what we like with anyone', but in practise that means the Faeroe Islands and the Palestinian Authority at the moment.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      and Iran...

      1. Ogi

        > and Iran...

        Turns out that in addition to Hope, Irony also springs eternal...

  26. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    There is absolutely no reason whatsoever for roaming charges to be anything other than minimal. This ridiculous £7 a MB for going to Turkey or the USA in this day and age is inexplicable to the point of absurdity. At 200Mbps, a rate I can achieve now on 4G, that would be £140 a second, or £8400 a minute. If operators start charging for roaming, it'll affect tourism badly. Having said that, some of the operators include roaming in the US and Australia.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge
      Pirate

      Because they can

      There's the reason.

      Roaming charges are high because company A charges company B a huge fee for the use of their network, while B charges A a huge fee too.

      They then both pass those charges onto the customers with a nice healthy markup.

      In the absence of legislation banning the practice, it is clearly in both A and Bs interest to keep charges high. If A drops their rates, then they suffer but B makes a killing. If A raises their rates, A makes more money, until it is so high that B decides to peer with someone else.

      You might have noticed that all the "big six" energy firms raise their prices within a few weeks of each other. That is for the same reason.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Project Fear"

    Just remember to keep saying that as you assume the ankle grabbing position....

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Technology and comms capacity has moved on. The cost of providing roaming is barely any different to domestic provision and in any case surely many of the network providers are not solely UK domestic. As long as one provider keeps free roaming the others have no choice if they want to remain competitive.

    In any case savvy users would maximise usage of apps like WhatsApp over free wifi, sure there are edge cases like "but my granny can't work out how to use whatsapp" yes but they are edge cases, not the majority.

    The mobile networks were ripping us off, they got found out, the genie is out of the bottle and it's not going back in. They'll find another way to rip us off.

    Remember how some years ago they got wealthy on charging for each SMS message which IIRC only cost them 50 milliseconds of air time. Remember what we used to pay for bundles of call minutes and SMS. I now pay £5/month, even my daughter would struggle to consume all the bundled call-minutes and SMS. Data is the only consideration and for me 2GB is plenty.

    Yes there are people locked into contracts they may be unable to get out of if there were to be a big price hike. Well that was their decision, it's long been far more economical to buy a phone and get a PAYG or SIM only contract with no lock-in.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "but my granny can't work out how to use whatsapp"

      This grandad hasn't worked out why he'd possibly want to use it. Or any of Facebook's other offerings.

  29. lesession
    Facepalm

    Thanks Brexiteers

    Another fine mess you've got us all into

  30. Spanners Silver badge
    Flame

    But...

    This can never happen. All these assertions were part of "project fear".

    And the good news is that the NHS will be getting £35 million more per week as of tomorrow.

    Be careful, making assertions like that will have people believing that were comprehensively lied to by brexit politicians for their personal profits/

    .

  31. JakeMS
    Thumb Up

    Pocket Wifi

    Seriously. Get a pocket WiFi in your destination country.

    I get one of these in Japan every year, hook your laptop's, phone's etc too it.

    Use something like signal, and no extra text charges. Generally quite cheap, and saves me a ton of money!

    I stay in Japan for 3-4 weeks at a time, so it's definitely financially viable!

  32. batfink Silver badge

    Pages of speculation and re-hashed arguments

    Come on Commentards - please get a grip. I've just spent a bit of my pre-pub time reading a lot of comments on what might happen with roaming charges, mixed with re-hashes of old arguments over Brexit.

    Without all these, we would have just had a small number of useful posts suggesting alternative ways to avoid roaming charges in general, and we would have all saved ourselves a bit of time. Not that I could have used that to get to the pub earlier unfortunately.

    Can we have some new arguments please?

    And yes, I've already paid for one...

    1. Harman Mogul

      Re: Pages of speculation and re-hashed arguments

      There was quite a lot of new info about electricity usage in Norway to be fair

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