Brexit could mean no roaming charge abolition in North – Stanley
Sinn Féin spokesperson on communications, Brian Stanley TD, has outlined the consequences that Brexit could have on the planned abolition of roaming charges in the EU on the 15th of June.
Speaking to the EU Commission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, Mr, Andrus Ansip, at a Dáil Committee meeting today, Deputy Stanley highlighted the ludicrousness of a situation whereby roaming charges may remain in the north, but are abolished elsewhere throughout Europe.
Deputy Stanley said:
“I raised the problem of roaming charges in the North. While they’re due to be abolished within the EU in June 2017, with Brexit they could be reintroduced as the six counties will be dragged out of the EU.
“I outlined the ridiculous situation where people from this State will be travelling as far as the Eastern European states, where they won’t have roaming charges, but if they travel up the road to the North, they will.
“I also pointed out to Vice-President Ansip the many problems that this would cause, not least the debilitating effect on business and cross-border activity.
“Mr. Ansip responded by saying that the Commission won’t negotiate on this until Britain triggers Brexit. However he stated that good relations between the EU and Britain are vital.”
It was acknowledged that there are a number of practical issues that would have to be resolved owing to Brexit, roaming charges being a example of such, which would be unsupportive to sustainable business models.
Deputy Stanley concluded:
“I believe that issues such as this need to be kept to the fore and solutions found during the Brexit negotiations. Much progress has been made on all-Ireland integration and irrespective of the outcome of Brexit negotiations, this progress should not be allowed to be undone.”