Getting a bit desperate here isn’t it?

Leaving the European Union could see families stung by large mobile phone bills, Culture minister Ed Vaizey has said, as holiday mobile phone charges for Britons fall to just a few pence per minute.

Mobile roaming charges within the EU will be significantly cheaper from today when an interim cap comes into effect ahead of a full ban next year.

That the EU has done something is not actually proof that the only arrangement capable of doing that thing is the EU.

28 thoughts on “Getting a bit desperate here isn’t it?”

  1. I’ve had roaming free changes in many countries for years.

    The market will deliver if there’s a demand.

  2. Oh noes–mobile charges might go up!!!. Might. On the say so of lying, treasonous BluLab shite who have already proven false and deceitful on every topic under the Sun but have a special liking for sell-outs to EU tyranny.

    Obviously that is worth kissing the arse of Euro-tyranny and evil to avoid.

    The arrogance of the scum of BluLab is mind-boggling.

  3. Amazingly, the phone network ‘3’ offer flat (same) rates across several EU countries, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Israel, Hong Kong, and others. Same costs in these places, as at home (UK).

    How can this be??

  4. On a slightly related topic, inasmuch as it’s the EU and costs……… whatever happened to the European VAT review? As recently as January and February it was being reported on because in part the review focuses on doing away with the UK’s zero-rating of VAT on food and children’s clothing and 5% on energy and energy-efficiency goods and services.

    Not a peep from politicians or MSM about that one. Or did I miss something?

    I suspect that Cameron, if the referendum result is to stay in, is expecting to be hailed as a conquering hero in Brussels. In reality I suspect he’d be seen instead as the unlikeable figurehead of an historically-irritating EU member which now has nothing left to negotiate with, and nowhere to go. The UK will get stuffed with every ruling, every piece of legislation, and every last migrant they can shove across the borders – it’ll be simple political revenge for the last 30 years of the UK being “awkward”.

    Or can anyone imagine Martin Schulz, or perhaps Barroso, wiping tears of fraternity, gladness and welcome from his fat face?

  5. Meanwhile network operators add a few percent to their domestic rates in order to maintain their profitability, increasing costs for those (generally poorer types) who don’t spend their time jaunting between countries.

  6. Meanwhile, Skypeout is around half the price.

    And that’s what’s really going on. The politicians are taking a load of credit for beating up the telcos, when really, the telcos are just fighting over customers. If you charge 10p a minute when Skypeout is 1.8p, lots of people are going to use Skypeout.

    The funny thing is, I really tried to keep an open mind about the EU over this debate. OK, we get fucked off at some stories, but you know, I don’t care if we’re in or out, it’s what makes my family better off that matters. Maybe we’d hear a strong case for staying in. And they keep on piling on this lame shit to the point where I’m now a Brexiter.

  7. Bloke in North Dorset

    I’ve met Ed Vaizey a few times and he’s one of the better ones.

    Anyway, there’s a couple of reasons why they won’t reimpose roaming charges:

    Institutional memory will recall that when Orange and 121 launched 121’s strategy was that they would only launch in London and Birmingham on the basis that most people don’t travel outside their cities. They found out the hard way that even those that don’t leave still wanted the option and they had to go in to a massive build programme when they weren’t ready.

    Loss aversion bias. Even those who never travel overseas and weren’t bothered by the removal of roaming charges (except as Chis says, they now pay more anyway) will be pissed off. The first operator to impose roaming charges will haemorrhage customers and if they all do it together the competition authorities will have something to say.

  8. Bloke in North Dorset

    What the Stig says.

    Some intellectual honesty by both sides would be most welcome. This is about trade off’s and both sides need to demonstrate the benefits of their position outweigh the costs and that means admitting their own costs and risks.

  9. This shows how desperate or stupid they are.

    Announcing this on the day before the referendum would have guaranteed a remain win.

    In much the same way that “Leaving the EU would make it illegal to broadcast EastEnders or Corrie” would have done…

  10. BIND

    ” … both sides need to demonstrate the benefits of their position outweigh the costs and that means admitting their own costs and risks”

    Yep, if we were having a sensible debate.

    Since we are actually having a political debate, and ambiguity and nuance is generally a no-no in messaging, I don’t expect any of it.

  11. The roaming charge thing is EEA-wide. If we take the sensible intermediate step of leaving the EU and join the EEA then we can still benefit. The Ins fail to contemplate any alternatives to full EU membership.

  12. Downward pressure on roaming charges has been an international, global programme not specifically EU related.

    See Eu referendum: roaming charges revisited

    formertory said:

    On a slightly related topic, inasmuch as it’s the EU and costs……… whatever happened to the European VAT review? As recently as January and February it was being reported on because in part the review focuses on doing away with the UK’s zero-rating of VAT on food and children’s clothing and 5% on energy and energy-efficiency goods and services.

    March 17th European Council mentioned VAT on sanitary products. UK media talks about tampons.

    April 7th European Commission releases its Action Plan on VAT which aims to overhaul the way VAT works and the media takes hardly any notice. The Guardian and FT reported on it though.

  13. Welsh Nutter: Wonderful, I must tell my nephew in Hong Kong that he actually lives in the EU and so is free to come and visit me in the UK without worrying about visas and such nonsense. 🙂 🙂

  14. is an interesting (if you like this sort of thing) ITU report from 2014 on how international roaming charges have been dealt with inside and outside the EU. Surprisingly, a great many countries have achieved all those bilateral agreements that we’re now frequently told are impossible or unworkable.

    Of course, it’s easier having one agreement covering all the EU members, but it’s a good question whether even non-trivial savings on mobile roaming is worth handing over substantial political control of many other things, most unrelated to trade, to an unelected and practically unaccountable executive.

  15. This is the EU taking credit for a global initiative. This sort of stuff is being driven by global bodies like the ITU and OCED.

    The role of global bodies and globalisation making the EU redundant should be central to the Leave campaign. Unfortunately, the main Leave groups are bloody awful.

  16. Mr Tydfil,

    ‘Unfortunately, the main Leave groups are bloody awful.’

    Perhaps that is because ‘leave’ was never on the table.

    The choice is ‘more integration’ or ‘more integration sooner’.

    Answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’

  17. If Brits are thinking at the level of “how will this affect my phone bill?”, you deserve to lose your country and your culture.

  18. I say they are bloody awful because they won’t outline a plan. Instead we get some Fantasy option off them which seems to change by the day. We will appearently negotiate a FTA (which will take many years, far more than the two years outlined by Art 50) or we get insane stuff like repealing the 72 European Communities Act and relying on WTO rules.

    And then we get tired old Eurosceptic sacred cows like red tape. The saving £350m a week meme is particularly weak. And we have truly hit the ceiling with ranting on immigration.

    We need to win the undecided. To appeal to the undecided requires presenting a risk-averse, economically neutral plan, and that is, at least in the interim period, adopting the ‘Norway Option’, continuing with participation in the single market.

    It is immensely frustrating listening to Leavers tripping over themselves and looking incompetent. It’s so simple. When asked what Leave looks like, tell them we will remain in the Single Market free of political union. It instantly busts any economic FUD. Then we can fight for Leave on democracy, independence and self-determination. Far more difficult for a Remainer to counter.

  19. My Manhattan based cellphone has not garnered any roaming charges in any of the European countries I’ve visited. And while some say that Manhattan is a small island off the coast of America, I’m pretty sure its not yet signed up to be part of the EU

  20. If you sell out your freedom for money you are not worth shit anyway and won’t survive in or out.

    If it comes down to middle class cunts counting their peanuts then the game is over and the sooner this country sinks into the sea the better. At least all the scum would get what is coming to them that way.

  21. I like what Mr Tydfil is saying about the Norway option. If the price for EEA single market access is in proportion to Norway, then the UK is about 1 day’s GDP a year better off.
    Immigration will come down naturally anyway, due to the 2 child rule from April 2017 ( or July ’16 for shagging purposes ) and because subsidies to foreign are a driver of immigration from foreign to here.

  22. Regarding immigration, Leave are going to have to concede Freedom of Movement, at least in the short term, in order to retain single market access. It’s not ideal, but it will free us of the EU.

    But let us not forget the ’emergency brake’ set out in Articles 112-3 of the EEA Agreement. Under this we can invoke unilateral ‘safeguard measures’.

    Going back to the topic, roaming charges and global initiatives, we really should make globalisation central to the Leave campaign. There is a global single market emerging. What is good for 28 countries is good for 162 of the WTO. Common standards and laws, formulated at the global levels at a plethora of bodies, to facilitate trade.

    Booker had a recent good article on this:

    The EU is becoming irrelevant as single market laws become increasingly global in origin. Free of the EU, where we no longer have to adopt the common EU position, we can engage in the creation of the global market, tackling technical barriers to trade

  23. I don’t see how it’s relevant in any case – hasn’t the remain side already demonstrated that a Brexit would mean that no UK citizen could ever holiday in Europe, ever again?

  24. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Why are calls even metered anymore? There’s no marginal cost to a minute of talktime once the infrastructure’s in place. That’s where the real anti-competitive behaviour lies.

  25. The talktime minutes might have no marginal cost, but there’s a finite capacity for call connections between the handset and the base station.

    If calls became unmetered, then mobiles would be used as free long-distance baby monitors. As One2one found out when their original contracts allowed free calls in the evenings.

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