Brits holidaying in the European Union will face the immediate return of mobile phone roaming charges if no Brexit deal is reached.

The HuffPost reported that “a little-noticed government regulation laid before parliament on Tuesday (February 5) confirms that the UK will revoke the current legislation that allows holidaymakers and business people to use their smartphones in the EU at no extra cost”.

The draft statutory instrument means that from March 29 phone users will be liable for surcharges when using phones in the EU.

The HuffPost said: “The scrapping of EU data roaming charges in the summer of 2017 was seen as a huge boon to many British travellers, saving them tens and even hundreds of pounds on a holiday.”

It added: “The government made clear it had caved to pressure from British mobile phone firms to axe the current system, should the UK drop out of Europe with no deal.”

The Express said: “Consumer groups had attempted to save Britons from having to pay the extra fees but the government chose to ignore their pleas.”

Alex Neill, managing director of home services at consumer group Which?, told the newspapers: “Two thirds of people think free roaming is important when travelling in Europe, so any return to sky-high charges for using mobile phones abroad would be a bitter blow for millions of consumers.

“The government should seek to avoid these charges by securing a deal with the EU – but if that is not the outcome, companies must be absolutely clear about any extra charges their customers could be facing.”

Shadow Brexit minister Jenny Chapman told the HuffPost: “These proposals prove that it will be holidaymakers and businesses that are forced to pay the price for this government’s incompetence.”

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