EU countries are members of the digital single market. This means you can use your mobile devices to make calls, send texts and use mobile data services for no more than you would be charged when in the UK.
There is also a financial limit set of €50. Operators are also required to send an alert once your device reaches 80% and then 100% of the agreed data roaming limit. This applies wherever you are in the world.
If the UK leaves the EU with no deal all of the above will end as the UK will not be in the digital single market.
“This might affect the amount of calls that you can make, texts you can send and data you can consume, including applying limits that are less than the amount available in your bundle when you’re in the UK.”
The advice from the UK Government is to contact your mobile operator to see what deals they are offering.
This situation is further complicated with the case of the island of Ireland where at the moment there is no border between the province of Northern Ireland and Ireland.
On March 29th 2019 Northern Ireland will no longer be in the EU – that includes the digital single market. The border is about 310 miles long and has 275 crossing points. Anyone using a mobile device in Northern Ireland might inadvertently use a signal coming from Ireland (a member of the digital single market). The mobile signal in Ireland is stronger than it is in Northern Ireland so that this is a distinct possibility. If this occurs people in Northern Ireland will find that they are being charged the EU rate for Third Countries for using their mobile devices.
Countries which are members of the European Economic Area (EEA) but who are not in the EU are members of the European Single Market and as such are also members of the Digital Single Market :Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.
Estimates put the value of the UK’s digital exports in the creative industries alone at £21 billion.
It is possible that mobile operators will choose not to charge UK citizens more for using devices in the EU but as of writing this that has not been decided.
Reporter Fiona Grahame