Government’s plan for retail roaming charges sensible & pragmatic



IEA releases report on fisheries policy post-Brexit

Academic and Research Department

IEA releases next two fear-checkers

IEA reacts to Government's plan on mobile phone roaming charges in a no-deal scenario

Responding to the Government’s plan for mobile phone roaming charges if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, Julian Jessop, Chief Economist at the Institute of Economic Affairs said:

“The Government’s plan for dealing with retail roaming charges after Brexit is pragmatic and sensible. As a recent IEA briefing argues, the UK can simply replicate existing arrangements by retaining restrictions on retail roaming charges in UK law unilaterally and could be overseen by Ofcom.

“Indeed, this is a good example of how the UK’s national regulators would still be able to protect consumers after Brexit, even in a no-deal scenario. The idea that we would be lost without the EU is absurd.

“However, intervention in price setting should only be a last resort when market forces can’t do the job. Government action in this particular sector might have been necessary ten years ago when pricing was less transparent. But thanks to new technologies and more competition, roaming charges have since tumbled worldwide.

“Any benefits of intervention also need to be set against the costs. Caps on roaming charges may simply encourage operators to raise revenue in other ways, so that domestic customers end up subsidising frequent travellers. Intervention may therefore be unnecessary and could even backfire.”

Notes to editors:

For media enquiries please contact Nerissa Chesterfield, Head of Communications: [email protected] 020 7799 8920 or 07791 390 268

To read the IEA’s no-deal ‘Fear-Checker’ on mobile phone roaming charges please click here.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems and seeks to provide analysis in order to improve the public understanding of economics.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.