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Oscar Williams

News editor

Roaming charges dropped: you no longer have to pay extra to use your phone in Europe

A law to ban roaming charges in Europe comes into force today, bringing an end to extra fees for calls, texts and data for EU citizens travelling across the continent.

The European Commission heralded the legislation as one of the greatest achievements of the EU, but the benefits could be short-lived for British citizens, with the UK set to begin negotiations to leave the union next week.

Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home products and services, has called for the UK government to guarantee that free roaming is retained as part of Brexit negotiations.

“It would be a bitter pill to swallow for mobile users if the freedom of using their phone abroad at no extra cost was lost once the UK leaves the European Union,” said Mr Neill.

“It is vital that the government puts consumers at the heart of the negotiations and ensures that benefits such as this are retained.”

The European Commission has worked for ten years to secure a deal to end roaming charges, which have left travellers facing hefty bills when they return home.

In a statement the commission said: “Each time a European citizen crossed an EU border, be it for holidays, work, studies or just for a day, they had to worry about using their mobile phones and a high phone bill from the roaming charges when they came home.

“Eliminating roaming charges is one of the greatest and most tangible successes of the EU.”

The legislation was opposed by mobile phone providers, who warned that it could lead to higher prices for contracts.