back to article Brexit: More cash for mobile operators or consumers? Pick one

One thing the Brexit debate hasn't been short on is hyperbole, with much talk about a potential economic Armageddon triggered by a leave scenario. Certainly there has been no shortage of tech companies loudly nailing their colours to the remain mast. Microsoft and Hewlett Packard Enterprise even went so far as to email staff …

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Re: UK legislation

They could. I have no insight into how such legislation might work in practice: whether there might be unintended consequences.

Maybe if the EU rules prove successful you could start to lobby the UK government to legislate along those lines for roaming outside the EU? Or maybe someone is already lobbying?

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Re: UK legislation

It often seems like the UK government is on the side of the corporation, NOT the consumer. I don't think that is going to change if/when we leave Europe.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: UK legislation

It will change if we leave Europe -but not in a good way. Europe currently puts a few limits on how much the govt can aid it's mates in big companies (Con, Lab, SNP - all had lots of dubiously close relationships with big corporates in teh past) to the detriment of joe public, with brexit those limits are removed.

Personally, I'm no huge fan of the EU, (mainly due to CAP AKA French Farners welfare package) but at least it provides a bit of a limit on some of the more extreme behaviours the UK govt might try if left to it's own devices, so I'm unenthusiastically pro remain just so the EU can hopefully keep some of the worst UK govt excesses at bay.

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Re: UK legislation

"limit on some of the more extreme behaviours the UK govt might try"

Yet another "I would rather be governed by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels because I don't like what a democratically elected UK government does/might do" argument.

I watched Cameron on QT and I don't remember hearing the word democracy once - FFS do people really think this referendum is only about roaming charges and the like?

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Re: UK legislation

Unlikely as Ofcom always supports Sky, Mobile Companies, BT etc against the consumers. They opposed the EU proposals.

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Re: UK legislation

Theresa May?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: UK legislation

It was a pretty shitty country before the French finally stopped blocking our entry. Letting self serving UK politicians have totally free reign with seesaw politics again frightens the hell out of me.

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Re: UK legislation

Thank goodness you have the wise, benevolent, all-knowing EU politicians to protect you from the self-serving, arrogant, out-of-touch British politicians who might otherwise sully this fine country with their policies.

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Re: unelected bureaucrats in Brussels

Please don't play the BS democracy card.

Despite voting in every General Election since I was old enough, my vote has NEVER counted to elect anyone who votes on my laws.

However my Euro MP votes do.

So how would I get more democracy by losing the latter?

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Re: UK legislation

Please stop with the unlected lies.

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Re: UK legislation

all-knowing EU politicians some we vote for directly, some unelected but sent by the crooks we elect to Westminster to do their undemocratic bidding!

More interesting is the constant flip-flop between wicked not-British polticians & faceless eurocrats, depending on the needs of the story being concocted. Personally I don't see much difference between our MP's and civil service in Westminster doing whatever they fscking well want as soon as their despicable election promises are done with and the EU equivalents. At least our wannabe tyrants have to reach some sort of consensus when they go to the EU, instead of taking turns to ruin the country in opposing ways.

A pox on them all, they're working for themselves, not us.

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Re: UK legislation

"Yet another "I would rather be governed by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels because I don't like what a democratically elected UK government does/might do" argument."

You vote for an MEP love.

The House of Lords is unelected, the Euro parliament is elected

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Re: UK legislation

"The House of Lords is unelected, the Euro parliament is elected"

Not that old chestnut. The House of Lords is an unelected revising chamber. They scrutinise legislation. The European Parliament is an elected rubber stamping organisation designed only so that people can still convince themselves they live under a democratically accountable system. They are the only parliament anywhere in the world which cannot propose legislation. They simply nod through the wishes of the unelected Commission, whose sole purpose is to further the European vision.

Vote "in", for an end to democracy and the rule of law. And cheaper mobile phone calls abroad.

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FAIL

Re: UK legislation

“Letting self serving UK politicians have totally free reign”

Free rein. Why do so many people get this wrong…

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Re: UK legislation

>I don't like what a democratically elected UK government does

I don't remember voting for the Queen, or for any of the civil servants who run Whitehall, or for that bloke from the City[1] who gets a special seat in parliament as a private in-house lobbyist.

I don't remember voting for any of the lobbyist-funded decisions that have driven policy over the last fifty years or so.

So no - I don't like what the so-called democratically elected UK gov does, because it's certainly not any more democratic than the EU is.

[1] "The remembrancer."

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Re: UK legislation

May what? Put bag over head and gaffer tape over mouth? That'd be nice!

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"No one has any idea how this is going to play out. No one knows what trade deals will be cut and the impact of a restriction on freedom of movement. It might be hunky-dory, it might not."

Indeed so, which makes articles like this entirely pointless.

Phone operators have a target of money they want to make from their customers. They'll find a way, if one door is closed another will be nudged open.

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JC_

Phone operators have a target of money they want to make from their customers. They'll find a way, if one door is closed another will be nudged open.

Yeah, but it would be nice if that way is making something so awesome we all say "take my money, please!" rather than just extortion.

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Coat

something so awesome we all say "take my money, please!" rather than just extortion

I thought that's what iPhones were for?

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Anonymous Coward

The fact that cheap/zero roaming charges are a headline benefit of the Remain camp says it all

Throw a few shekels at the dumb peons; that'll keep them happy!

It's time to give the megacorps and all the Goldman Sachs controlled central banks a bloody nose by leaping from the sinking EU ship.

BREXIT now!

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Re: The fact that cheap/zero roaming charges are a headline benefit of the Remain camp says it all

I'll admit it did strike me as buying the natives with beads, but then that could be said of most of the economic arguments to remain or leave.

I find it interesting that a number of my friends, that lean towards the left/socialist and are at least mildy anti-capitalist, are pro remain given the number of megacorps that are also for remain. I am for leave because I am pro Europe and hope that by making the hard choice we can push the EU into a new and better path that will better serve the great individuality of the member countries while improving social and standards of life for all. I think the choice is very complex and have full respect for everyone that makes the effort to learn enough to make a reasoned decision. The only people voting wrongly are the ones doing so based on beads and soundbites.

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Re: I am for leave because I am pro Europe

Basically you think our government are wrecking the EU, and it would be better off without us?

Then they wouldn't have to settle for watered down laws that help Cameron's mates, at the expense of ordinary citizens.

However that ignores the risk of a chain reaction and the whole thing fragmenting.

That would put us back in the old situation of Euro-squabbles escalating, which the EU has managed to do a fine job of preventing.

And a few years down the line someone will probably try to unify Europe again, by the old methods.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The fact that cheap/zero roaming charges are a headline benefit of the Remain camp says it all

"I find it interesting that a number of my friends, that lean towards the left/socialist and are at least mildy anti-capitalist, are pro remain given the number of megacorps that are also for remain."

That's the big tragedy in this referendum. The people are just not well-informed enough to make the decision. The fact that the EU is portrayed as some nice cuddly organisation looking out for the rights of the little man is the biggest lie out there. Let's take the example of Greece, a country which in no way should've been allowed to join the EU, had it been properly audited beforehand. However, good old Goldman Sachs were employed to cook the books, covering up their endemic tax evasion and the size of their debt. Why? Because it was a great market, for a while, in which to sell German luxury cars. Of course, when it all went tits up, the Greek people (the little men) were subjected to horrendous austerity measures, that will impact generations of Greeks, imposed by the same organisation that wrongly allowed them to join in the first place!

Here's a nice figure showing the extent of the Vampire Squid's hold on the EU:

http://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2011/11/17/23/Pg-12-eurozone-graphic.jpg

Since it was produced, we need to add the Head of the Bank of England, ex-GS Mark Carney, to the list. A Canadian bankster that just happens to be very much pro-Remain. What a strange coincidence!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I am for leave because I am pro Europe @Jess

"Then they wouldn't have to settle for watered down laws that help Cameron's mates, at the expense of ordinary citizens."

Don't like Cameron? Then why do you share his position on Remain? Do you think that empty-suited, shill of a politician would choose to follow a campaign detrimental to *his* personal future?

By the way, the beauty of our democratic system is that when such people are revealed, they can be booted out at the next election. That's quite a lot harder (read: impossible) to do with the Eurocrats. For all we know, Cameron might end up becoming one of them after his tenure as PM is over, and Remainers such as yourself will be to blame.

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Re: I am for leave because I am pro Europe

That would put us back in the old situation of Euro-squabbles escalating, which the EU has managed to do a fine job of preventing.

The EEC did a fine job of preventing it, the EU has done nothing but make it worse. The big rise in extremist, populist parties (left and right) has largely happened since the eurocrats started to build their United Europe, post-Maastricht.

And a few years down the line someone will probably try to unify Europe again, by the old methods.

Old or new, its clear that the majority of European people don't want a unified Europe, they want a co-operative one, so any attempts to unify Europe will fail. The problem is how to make it fail without escalating into WW3. Someone has to get that message across to the politicians, if asking nicely doesn't work then maybe a kick in the balls will.

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Re: I am for leave because I am pro Europe

> Basically you think our government are wrecking the EU, and it would be better off without us?

If he's thinking like me, then it's not like that at all.

If we vote to leave, IMO that may be the trigger that starts others looking at things - and possibly looking to leave themselves (lets face it, joining the Euro did Greece a lot of good didn't it !). IMO, the Euro is a big part of what's wrong with the EU as it's become - it cannot work without the centralised control that the integrationists desire, and is effectively being used as an excuse to push the EU more and more towards a "United States of Europe".

It's that latter bit that I don't like, and if us voting to leave means that others start the same process and we get to break the fail caused by the Euro - well that means there's scope for reform into something we could then decide to stay in. If we vote to stay then we have no clout at all and the process towards the USoE will march on unabated.

Just my 2d.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I am for leave because I am pro Europe @Jess

Unlike the empty shill of a politician that is Boris "I'm a self confessed Racist Bigot" Johnson

BJ is in this for the opportunity to be Prime Minister, nothing else. He has been on record of supporting the EU for many years, he is only taking this stance to grab power from DC.

I have no respect for either of them, but given Gove, IDS and others are backing BJ, tells me all I need to know. They do not care one iota whether they are in the EU or not, they just want the "POWER!!"

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Re: The people are just not well-informed enough to make the decision

The people are actively *misinformed* by certain newspapers that happen to have the largest circulations. Most of the supposed reasons we're offered for leaving are imaginary, illusory, hypothetical or outright lies, but are presented as fact. Or even FACT. Remain may not have the best tunes, but at least their arguments have some basis in reality.

-A.

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Re: I am for leave because I am pro Europe @Jess

AC : "Don't like Cameron? Then why do you share his position on Remain?"

No I don't like Cameron but I dislike Farage and Gove and most of the others in the Leave camp even more.

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Re: I am for leave because I am pro Europe

@ Phil O'Sophical & SImon Hobson

Glad to see I am not on my own then. I'd like to see an EU that exists to promote co-operation between individual states not a bureaucracy that finds reasons to exist for its own sake.

That though is equally true of our own government, a good arse kicking is required.

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Meh

Re: The fact that cheap/zero roaming charges are a headline benefit of the Remain camp says it all

" I am for leave because I am pro Europe and hope that by making the hard choice we can push the EU into a new and better path that will better serve the great individuality of the member countries while improving social and standards of life for all. "

I've been trying to get this point across to lots of people but I get shouted down.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I am for leave because I am pro Europe

Super Fast Jellyfish: "No I don't like Cameron but I dislike Farage and Gove and most of the others in the Leave camp even more."

So a vote to Leave is a vote to install Farage, Gove et al. into power in perpetuity is it?

That's where the Remain's argument breaks down. A vote to Leave is a vote for *choice*. If you're pro democratic choice, then you should vote Leave. Remain and you're stuck on an out of control juggernaut governed by unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats with a frankly awful track record of doing right for the people (see what's happened to Average Joe in any of the PIIGS countries as concrete proof on that score).

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Re: I am for leave because I am pro Europe

AC - replying to my comment about Cameron.

I was not implying that Farage and Gove would be elected forever. I was responding to (another) AC which is why I quoted what they had said first before posting my response.

AC : "Don't like Cameron? Then why do you share his position on Remain?"

To be more explicit, I don't like Cameron but I like people like Gove and Farage even less. This isn't the only reason I've chosen to vote to Remain but it is a factor.

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Re: I am for leave because I am pro Europe

> A vote to Leave is a vote for *choice*. If you're pro democratic choice, then you should vote Leave.

Utter rubbish.

To the extent that the Westminster model of democracy (i.e. elected dictatorship) offers much choice beyond voting for a lizard to ensure that the wrong lizard doesn't get in, leave or remain doesn't change a thing. However, being a small-ish country outside of any larger political structure does expose you to the full force of transnational capital with no safeguards. If you want policy decided by the highest bidder, vote leave. You want choice, try actually turning out to vote in the European elections.

Between them UKIP and the Greens took 5 million votes (out of ~30M) in the last GE, but got just one MP each. Some choice that was.

-A.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I am for leave because I am pro Europe

"To be more explicit, I don't like Cameron but I like people like Gove and Farage even less. This isn't the only reason I've chosen to vote to Remain but it is a factor."

Well, I only hope that the majority of people base their judgement on facts rather than reducing things to a popularity contest between individuals on either side.

Your position is as logical as someone choosing to remain because the Remainers use blue on their posters and that's your favourite colour.

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Re: I am for leave because I am pro Europe

I take that not so much as a choice based on personalities, but as a response to 'you'[re backing that moron cameron'. Either way, you back morons. So ignore that argument and consider the others.

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Re: I am for leave because I am pro Europe @Adrian 4

Adrian 4 - yes, I really didn't think it was that difficult.

And as to the AC's point about facts; I would hope the video I posted a link to would demonstrate I have been checking the facts independently.

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Re: I am for leave because I am pro Europe

My thoughts exactly, nice one.

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WTF?

Predatory pricing

In the absence of relevant regulation would [insert cartel here] indulge in predatory pricing? Surely not. Phone companies, banks, utilities are amongst the most philanthropic institutions out there.

Not only is this article entirely speculative but it is also badly so. Roaming charges are paid to the host network and the UK is not a net recipient. If they were to be reintroduced for UK citizens visiting the EU in 2019 then it would be the host networks that would stand to profit. UK operators could only really expect to profit by charging more for calls to the EU. Though, as companies like Three and T-Mobile have already shown: lower international prices can be a good way to gain market share at minimal cost.

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Re: Predatory pricing

Roaming charges are indeed paid to the host network. But how much of the charge paid by the customer is the actual roaming charge, and how much is the customer's network's margin ?

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Re: Predatory pricing

But how much of the charge paid by the customer is the actual roaming charge, and how much is the customer's network's margin

It used to be over 50% went to the host network. The EU found evidence of collusion between networks to continue fleecing customers which is what led to the caps on roaming charges. I remember being in a room in 2000 when Fritz Joussen, then recently appointed head of Mannesmann D2, boasted about cutting roaming off to various Spanish networks in order to renegotiate terms so that it could get a bigger slice of the action, not for lower roaming charges.

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“There is a lot of money that the regulators are essentially transferring from mobile operators to consumers. Good thing for consumers, of course."

Not quite. If the mobile market is competitive (and it's not bad) then what's actually happening is the regulators are transferring money from people who don't travel much to those who do.

Those who don't travel are likely to be poorer than those who do so while these low roaming charges sound good they might end up being regressive.

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Anonymous Coward

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAgKHSNqxa8

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Roaming is a very minor point

However it is one example of laws the EU has put in place to help the consumer.

Like flight compensation, and opening up the flight markets so we can fly to Europe (and the US because of the side effects) more cheaply than we would have been able to otherwise.

There are bad laws and crazy rules (though most ones reported by the Daily Mail aren't actually true, e.g. curve on bananas) but on the whole I think the EU is a good thing to have. As an example I'm not sure how the snoopers charter would work out if we leave.

Also, its easier to change a club if you are in the room rather than shouting at it from outside.

And for those saying it will help fix the EU experiment if we leave; so would you want to join back again afterwards? Do you think the other countries would let us on our current terms (Veto, rebate, no Euro etc)?

Finally, if we do vote to leave, this will split up the UK. Scotland will want another referendum, possibly Wales as well

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Re: Roaming is a very minor point

"Finally, if we do vote to leave, this will split up the UK. Scotland will want another referendum, possibly Wales as well"

I think you mean the SNP not Scotland, that aside I don't think whichever way this goes we are going to have a good time. Somehow I doubt the result is going to be clearcut, this probably means we will stay, which begs the question how exactly are the people that want exit going to vote in the next set of elections? If I were a politician I would be quite nervous at the moment.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Roaming is a very minor point

"Do you think the other countries would let us on our current terms (Veto, rebate, no Euro etc)?"

Are you seriously naive enough to think our current terms will remain in place forever?

The EU is in deep crisis mode with no resolution to its major structural and economic problems on the horizon. Every cent is going to count from here on out, so just how many other struggling countries in the group do you think will stand up for the British rebate when it comes up for renegotiation in a few years' time? Good old Tony Blair already agreed to give up 20% of the rebate (it cost us almost £10 bn) in 2005 and that was during a time of relative prosperity!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Roaming is a very minor point

"Finally, if we do vote to leave, this will split up the UK. Scotland will want another referendum, possibly Wales as well"

Yes, because it's a well-known fact that as long as the UK remains in the EU, Nicola Sturgeon will never campaign for Scotland to leave the UK. Come on, that issue is the woman's raison d'etre!

Of course, Sturgeon isn't a big fan of democracy after the Scottish people inconveniently voted against her wishes, so perhaps that explains her love for the EU. Quite why we should listen to someone who detests the very existence of the UK when we're attempting to decide what's in the UK's best interests was never clear to me.

Anyway, at this point it's all a bluff. Scotland can't afford to leave the UK with sub-$50/barrel oil and other EU countries such as Spain have already stated they will veto Scotland's accession to the EU as an independent nation.

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JC_

Re: Roaming is a very minor point

Finally, if we do vote to leave, this will split up the UK. Scotland will want another referendum, possibly Wales as well

Not to mention Northern Ireland - it'd be a case of ripping out the stiches of an unhealed wound.

Border controls would have to be reintroduced (or else the whole line about protecting the UK's borders would be meaningless); I can't imagine the local constabulary or the British Army being too keen on handling that horrible mess again.

My local shopping centre was bombed by the Real IRA only 15 years ago. It'd be nice if the peace process wasn't destabilised.

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University of Liverpool Law School’s Professor Michael Dougan video

Right, I'm off to watch the footie but before I go, here's a video from "one of the UK’s leading EU law experts criticizes the referendum debate’s “dishonesty on an industrial scale”, as he considers the claims and counter claims from each side."

https://youtu.be/USTypBKEd8Y

same video on facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/UniversityofLiverpool/videos/1293361974024537/

I appreciate its a bit long but if you want an expert's view then its worth a watch and there are some updates in the comments.

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One thing's for certain ...

... and that is that the removal of regulations that set a maximum price will result in those prices being raised, whilst removal of regulations that set a minimum price will make no difference. In short, all changes to the status quo will be used where possible to benefit the government & big business and very few changes will be used to benefit the ordinary person & consumer.

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