back to article Cameron co-opts UK mobile industry for EU Remain campaign

The date of the UK referendum on EU membership is set, and the campaigning has begun. Prime Minister David Cameron sees European mobile co-operation as a key part of the case for voting Remain. Today he chose Telefonica’s O2 HQ in Slough for a speech and public Q&A. Cameron argued that Britain would lose influence outside an …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How do you load ipads with digital content abroad? What?

    Presumably the same way we do it here. Download from TPB / Kickass, and transfer using USB.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "How do you load ipads with digital content abroad? What?"

      A couple of extracts from the iTunes EULA (UK version):

      GIFTS

      Gifts purchased from the Stores may be purchased only for, and redeemed only by, persons in the United Kingdom.

      and

      B. ITUNES STORE TERMS AND CONDITIONS

      The Service is available to you only in the United Kingdom. You agree not to use or attempt to use the Service from outside this location. iTunes may use technologies to verify your compliance.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "A couple of extracts from the iTunes EULA (UK version):"

        Surely that;s illegal in a single EU market? That's like selling a mobile phone "only available or usable in Yorkshire"

    2. JoshOvki
      Pirate

      Abroad I use TPB, here stuck with a TPB Proxy :(

  2. RobO

    Roaming charges will increase

    I was on holiday in Switzerland 2012. A beautiful Non-EU member. The few times I dared to enable data on my smartphone O2 instantly texted me a message saying that data would be charged at £6 per Mbyte. Not so when I travel within the EU.

    I'm happy that the EU has exercised power to curb what is nothing less than blatant highway robbery.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "but in spite of it"

    I hope that wasn't intended to suggest the EU is somehow worse than the UK would be. All of them wait to steal some glory from commercial efforts and non of them can resist lying about it. Cameron is BSing but he's not alone.

    Meanwhile, roaming rates may well be capped hard in the EU, what makes you think our local carriers will be bound by that after brexit? That or brexit will be all show but with so many 'deals' to retain some benefits, we'll still effectively be in but with bugger all influence and less negotiating power.

  4. James 51

    wondered why her Polish neighbours got better benefits than her

    ? Without context this could be so misleading. Perhaps the neighbor has been paying tax in the UK for a long time and is now on maternity leave or long term sick due to illness or injury (my wife is self employed and the amount of support she gets in those scenarios depends on the level of NI she has chosen to pay). Maybe they just got off a Rynair flight and were brought straight from the airport to Buckingham Palace in a gold carriage. If they earned a lot more than their neighbor and didn't qualify for various in work benefits that could be another reason.

    There are times when I and my kids have gone past the people queuing in A&E to be seen but no one was exactly envious of us.

  5. AndyS

    >The O2 staff’s questions were very good

    Better than the screaming inbred train-wreck that is the BBC's "Have Your Say" then?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Better than the screaming inbred train-wreck that is the BBC's "Have Your Say" then?"

      Sorry, must have blinked or something!!!

      When did it manage to improve to a 'Screaming inbred Train-wreck' ?

  6. No Quarter

    David Cameron...

    ... is starting to piss me off now.

    1. PNGuinn
      Coat

      Re: David Cameron... ... is starting to piss me off now.

      Only starting?

      You're obviously not a Tory like me ....

      1. Commswonk Silver badge

        Re: David Cameron... ... is starting to piss me off now.

        You're obviously not a Tory like me ....

        A feeling that I share. Like the Dear Leader I am firmly of the view that the UK's best interests lie in remaining in a reformed EU. Unlike the Dear Leader I am unable to identify anything that he has placed before us representing anything like a "reformed EU".

        The UK's Ts & Cs may have been tinkered with (and may equally be untinkered with by the Commission & EU Parliament) but tinkering on the margins is not the same as reforming the whole rotten organisation. That has clearly not been achieved, nor (as far as I can see) was it ever attempted.

        I have the definite feeling that yet another attempt to fool the British public is under way, and I sincerely hope that, on this occasion if on no other, the British public doesn't fall for it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: David Cameron... ... is starting to piss me off now.

          The problem is that the UK government is also an unreformed wholly rotten organisation, whoever is nominally in power.

          1. John Sager

            Re: David Cameron... ... is starting to piss me off now.

            The problem is that the UK government is also an unreformed wholly rotten organisation

            At least it's our unreformed wholly rotten organisation, so we've got slightly more chance of reforming it than we have of reforming that thing in Brussels.

            1. x3mxs

              Re: David Cameron... ... is starting to piss me off now.

              I have just 3 words: "House of Lords"...

              How long until a medieval institution is brought to the 19th century (one step at the time, better not rush).

              Why is everybody happy than a non elected elite rules over all of us?

              1. nijam

                Re: David Cameron... ... is starting to piss me off now.

                > How long until a medieval institution is brought to the 19th century.

                The function of the House of Lords (relatively few Lords in there now, of course) is to counteract the hysterical, attention-seeking, vote-grubbing, knee-jerking idiocy of the elected House. Obviously.

                1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

                  Re: David Cameron... ... is starting to piss me off now. @nijam

                  So few people realise that the HoL is something that should be kept - a bunch of people who do not have to worry about elections, and so can take a long-term view. Its historical excesses are long gone, and it is one of the main things keeping the venal arsewipes in the Commons in check. The worst case scenario is that the UK will leave the EU, and then "reform" the HoL into another elected chamber filled with the same arsewipes as the HoC - just like the USA!

            2. nijam

              Re: David Cameron... ... is starting to piss me off now.

              > ...we've got slightly more chance of reforming it than we have of reforming that thing in Brussels.

              What an optimist you are.

        2. Ilmarinen
          Unhappy

          Re: David Cameron... ... is starting to piss me off now.

          Yes, the man who established his "Green" credentials by hugging a husky, and "vetoed" that "treaty" (when no treaty existed) now brings you a "deal" that isn't a deal and isn't worth the pdf it's written on.

          See text here: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/european-council/2016/02/EUCO-Conclusions_pdf/ and note the promises (weak though they are) are not even being made by "The EU" but by a bunch of politico "Heads of State" (*not* an EU body) with no power to bind the EU. And even if they could, it's dependent on treaty change and ratification by all 28 states. Fat chance of that.

          And the same David Cameron is using his civil servants, paid for by the "demos" (us), to campaign for a remain vote. Hardly a fair or neutral party I would say - and why any UK politician would campaign for giving their powers and our country's sovereignty to a foreign supranational state is frankly beyond me.

          See leavehq.com for more info...

          1. John Crisp

            Re: David Cameron... ... is starting to piss me off now.

            "...are not even being made by "The EU" but by a bunch of politico "Heads of State" (*not* an EU body) with no power to bind the EU. And even if they could, it's dependent on treaty change and ratification by all 28 states. Fat chance of that."

            I really think you need to have a proper read up about where power really lies in Europe.

            Stop reading the biased nonsense on the Leave/Stay sites and read some more independent stuff. European Constitutional law is just lush :-)

            Council of Ministers is where it's really at. That is made up by the 28 democratically elected representatives of the member nations.

            He negotiated with them because they hold the keys and power in Europe. Nothing happens without their say so. (Leave aside the cynical views on 'democracy' we all hold dear) He didn't discuss it with the Commission or Parliament but with the people who make the decisions.

            (IMHO) the EU institutions are there for goverments to blame. "It wasn't our choice guv. The 'EU' made us do it"

            Living in Europe I now have no issues about a federated Europe, but only if the European Parliament has teeth. One politician is much like another. But maybe Europe might be better off with a Parliament charged with and empowered to do the best for all its citizens rather than 28 governments each fighting for their own self interest. Seems to work in other federated states. Fence sitting does nothing but harm.

            But no national leader will cede that power having spent so long climbing the greasy pole.

            And each nation still has their sovereignty and the ultimate power to withdraw if they so wish. The UK government has always had that. So forget the sovereignty tosh.

            So quite frankly I don't care what size of glass my beer comes in as long as it tastes the same. Pounds & Euros ? Just chunks of metal you exchange for more beer.

            Proudly British forever by birth, and European by choice. And seriously not looking forward to the inevitable consequences of 'Brexit'

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: David Cameron... ... is starting to piss me off now.

              thank you Mr Crisp

              Also British by birth, and becoming European by choice, I'm becoming routinely annoyed and ashamed of UK colleagues who know nothing about how things work - one, for example, does't know that the European Court of Human Rights is not an EU institution, refuses to even consider there can be benefits to membership because the "hordes" of immigrants coming to the UK from EU parts East are "stealing" jobs.

              Well, i can name half a dozen people who are in the UK, perfectly capable of work and contributing financially to society, but choose not to. A couple only work cash-in-hand because anything else might affect housing benefit that pays their (London) rent; one refuses to have a bank account because "they" can track it, one prefers to drink all day, and two are so high that they don't even know it's daytime. All British citizens, not an EU immigrant among them - but they all want to leave the EU. Nothing to do with the reasoned and rational arguments that it is possible to make, nothing to do with logic - because of scare stories and some outright lies.

            2. Ilmarinen

              Re: David Cameron... ... is starting to piss me off now.

              @ John Crisp "Council of Ministers is where it's really at... He negotiated with them"

              Factually wrong, I'm afraid.

              He was at a meeting of the European Council (Heads of State + Tusk + Juncker) which is an EU institution but has no formal powers.

              The "Council of Ministers" (actually "Council of the European Union") is part of the legislature. Similar name, different thing entirely.

              Read the "deal": it says it is "a Decision of the Heads of State or Government, meeting within the European Council" - i.e. not even a decision of the European Council, but just some of the folks who happen also to be council members, and who can't bind the EU anything, nor their successors if an election replaces any of them.

              Think - why would they do that? Perhaps to create the pretense of a deal where none exists? Not even a little bit suspect?

              And the text says that it will need treaty change - several years of negotiation, ratification by all 28 states. So it ain't going to happen.

              You are also confusing the EU with Europe - they are not the same. I too am European and proud to be, proud to speak (badly) several European languages, and with friends in several EU and EFTA countries.

              And I do care whether I pay for beer with Euros or Pounds, because the Euro has been one of the things that has caused the piss poor economic performance of the EU. If we stay there will be nothing but ever more centralization, regulation, bureaucracy and stagnation. We need to be out.

              We have available a low risk exit route using Article 50 and EFTA as the first steps. We can be in the EEA "common market" without being part of the "ever closer union" political suprastate that is the EU.

              Let's do it.

          2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

            Re: David Cameron... ... is starting to piss me off now. @ Ilmarinen

            "why any UK politician would campaign for giving their powers and our country's sovereignty to a foreign supranational state is frankly beyond me."

            There are two strands to that comment. The first involves UK politicians - on the face of it, it does seem odd that they would give away their powers to anyone. It does seem a bit odd, but, among other reasons, it allows (as others have said), it takes the pressure off them since they can always blame the EU/ECtHR for anything.

            With regard to sovereignty - seriously, in the modern world, who cares? If the UK isn't in the EU, it will become the 51st state of the USA within fifteen years. There is no room for poor, weak countries in the Northern Hemisphere these days, and the UK is a poor, weak country - and that is nothing to do with EU. Much of the argument for leaving the EU seems to based around sovereignty, as if it would bring back the Empire and put it back on top of the world - well, it won't.

            Talking of the UK, there is a serious problem over that if there is a majority for leaving the EU - that majority will be largely English. Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are likely to have BIG majorities for staying in, but may be swamped by the people in England who perceive advantage from leaving. (The combined population of the NI, S & W is only a bit bigger than the population of Greater London). It is unlikely that NI, S & W will want to leave, and so might want to stay. In that case, it might end up that just England leaves the EU (and therefore becomes independent of the UK - strange, huh?).

            To nail my colours firmly to the mast: I will be voting to stay in, as it is the only rational thing to do. If the UK votes to leave, my wife and I have my plans in motion to relocate to a European country within a year of the election.

    2. hplasm Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: David Cameron...

      Have you been away? On the moon?

  7. marra
    Happy

    Whoops!

    >FTSE100 countries

    Companies, surely.

  8. djstardust

    BBC bias

    The thing that gets me about all this is the totally one sided bias shown by the BBC both online and on TV.

    They spun this story completely around to be positive about 36 signing up when the other 64 did not.

    Same BBC bias as shown regarding the Scottish Referendum but they carry on regardless. The even better thing is if someone criticises them in the "have your say (when it suits us)" the post gets removed.

    Some communist media organisations would do a less biased job than the BBC. They seem to forget that the British public pay them to be impartial. Oh well.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: BBC bias

      You must have missed Kamal Ahmad on the Ten O'Clock News staring nervously over a bloody great cliff.

      Interesting symbolism. I wonder what he was trying to tell us?t

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: BBC bias

        Voluntary redundancies at the BBC after licence fee cuts beckon?

      2. d3vy Silver badge

        Re: BBC bias

        "You must have missed Kamal Ahmad on the Ten O'Clock News staring nervously over a bloody great cliff.

        Interesting symbolism. I wonder what he was trying to tell us?"

        Personally I think the main mesaage there was "look we bought a drone"

        I found the panning around a little distracting and ultimately unnecessary.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. PNGuinn
        Flame

        Re: BBC bias

        "It's rare to find anyone from whatever 'side' they are on thinking that the BBC are fair and impartial. "

        Yup, that's the sort of skill we pay the Beeb so much dosh for. It takes real journalistic excellence to be equally biassed to everyone and about everything.

        Hint: The Beeb has it's own agendas and will plug them relentlessly regardless. Trouble is, it's so vast and vastly overfunded it can't even get it's own act together - - unless it's collective a**se covering and blocking foi requests etc.

        **You read this first on the BeebBeebCeeb's new world leading Digital Audio Broadcasting service, soon to be taken up in expectant joy by all commercial stations neat you.**

        Oh, wait ...

    3. Ally 1

      Re: BBC bias

      I hope they report the hassle and boycotts that letter brings so we understand why the other 64 companies (countries) didn't sign

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: BBC bias

        I certainly will move business to those companies that signed and away from those that didn't, which I'm sure has them quaking in their boots.

    4. Ilmarinen

      Re: BBC bias

      Yes, they are shameless.

      And no mention of how this letter was got up by a No 10 civil servant, campaigning for Remain, at taxpayers expense (and Call-me-Dave said this was on his instructions!)

    5. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: BBC bias

      You know, the first thing that occurred to me when the BBC reporter quickly added, "but members of the Vote Leave campaign pointed out that a majority of the FTSE 100 had not signed" (which you may have missed in your rush to indignation), was not that the BBC was actually being determinedly unbiased.

      Rather, that a so-called debate, or an attempt to report that debate, which is predicated on the basis that everytime X says Y then it also has to be reported that ¬X says ¬Y, is simply vacuous. Frankly I'd rather the BBC reported nothing as it would be exactly as informative as the carefully-balanced time-slicing of unverifiable sound bites.

    6. Tom Wood

      Re: BBC bias

      Yes, every BBC Radio news bulletin I've heard in the past 2-3 days has had a brief "x says we should remain in the UK for y reason" from the newsreader, then some spokesperson for the UKIPs/Tories/other xenophobes of choice have been given a 30 second clip to spout complete tripe arguing about why we should leave.

      I've not heard a single clip spoken by a correspondent from the "remain" camp.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: BBC bias

      "They seem to forget that the British public pay them to be impartial. Oh well."

      That is meant to be a joke, isn't it?

      Every time the BBC tries to be impartial the media accuses them of X-wing bias. Since today the media is 90% right wing, this means that 90% of the time they get accused of left-wing bias. After a very short time new execs get tired of being hit over the head and fall into line.

      1. Salts

        Re: BBC bias

        The BBC have been really good so far, they have not yet managed to spin this as being direct evidence of global warming, still they have 4 months left :-)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Every time the BBC tries to be impartial the media accuses them of X-wing bias.

        Damn them - should be a Tie-fighter bias instead!

        1. Grease Monkey

          Re: Every time the BBC tries to be impartial the media accuses them of X-wing bias.

          The BBC's bias is quite amusing really. The BBC's editorial staff are so pro-EU it's painful, they are mostly upper middles who keep a second home in Provence or Tuscany. The early coverage on saturday showed that it clearly hadn't even occurred to them that anyone would vote to leave the EU. Then as more and more big political names joined the campaign to leave you could see them start to wobble. The breaking point for them was when Boris joined the leave campaign. They began to ask if the comedy buffoon could swing the vote. It wasn't that they really thought that Boris alone could do that, it's just that they realized that their reporting so far was somewhat wide of the mark and they needed a reason to realign their editorial stance without losing face. So now their reporting may still be heavily biased towards the remain camp it at least now acknowledges that there may be a contest. Look back at Saturday mornings reports at it was clear they thought the vote was a foregone conclusion: 99% in favour of remaining.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Every time the BBC tries to be impartial the media accuses them of X-wing bias.

            Did you really only turn the TV and radio on for the first time this century on Saturday? Try listening to it rather than cutting and pasting from Nigelisagod.com (oops sorry, Nigelisagod.co.uk).

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: BBC bias

        "Since today the media is 90% right wing, this means that 90% of the time they get accused of left-wing bias."

        Having worked there a while back, with colleagues who make Mr Corbyn seem slightly to the right of Attila the Hun, some of the time those people have a point. A lot of the time they do not, but if there is a bias there, it's not pro-right. Might be pro-government-of-the-day, though.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: BBC bias

      I think that maybe that BBC bias is down to the threat of losing it's licence fee.

      The bias is staggering though, a few months back they were complaining "BBC 'must pay for free TV licences' for over-75s". No, I'm sorry you have a revenue loss, you don't have to pay for it, just make cuts or streamline your business like everyone else. I didn't see any headlines of "BBC licence payers have to pay for the move Salford"

      The BBC News is slowly but surely turning into Fox/Sky News.

      Also, don't get me started on Question Time, I actually watch it now to laugh at the biased questions and bullshit answers.

    9. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: BBC bias

      You know the BBC are doing the right thing when a) the right whinge AND b) the left whinge. The only thing they do, perhaps to excess, is the aggressive journalistic strategy of inquisitorial questioning, but they are impartial.

      Complaining about the BBC asking awkward questions of your chosen position is liking worrying about someone insulting god on his behalf. If your position is secure you have nothing to worry about. I have heard them aggressively attack 'innies' as well and as much as 'outies'.

      If you really want to get riled - this morning they described two defence ministers as 'defence experts'

      1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Re: BBC bias

        When people from all over the spectrum complain about you, that doesn't mean you're doing a good job. It just means you're universally crap.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: BBC bias

          So after every news item, if a party went out of its way to praise the BBC, that would be good?

  9. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Mushroom

    I'd be more inclined to listen to companies

    that paid UK tax ...

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: I'd be more inclined to listen to companies

      that paid UK tax ..

      I'm not sure the fact that Zac Goldsmith has generously given up his "non dom" status makes me any more disposed towards his opinions. Or that because BoJo may be cutting off his post-Brexit escape route to the US by renouncing his US citizenship (and simultaneously any further US tax liabilities), his wisdom and integrity are somehow bolstered.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'd be more inclined to listen to companies

        "BoJo may be cutting off his post-Brexit escape route to the US by renouncing his US citizenship (and simultaneously any further US tax liabilities)"

        He knows he can't compete with Trump, no point therefore taking a shot at the top job. (And yes, I know about the rules. Where was Cruz born again? They only apply to Dems.)

    2. Ilmarinen

      Re: I'd be more inclined to listen to companies

      @ JimmyPage "that paid UK tax" ...

      err... Does the Beeb pay tax?

      I thought we just gave it a huge bung, which it spaffs on peddling its "narratives"

      Pity that it's so difficult to avoid listening to it (and paying for the wretched thing).

  10. Smooth Newt
    Pint

    Mobile phone bills would go up if the UK was outside the EU.

    And there was I expecting plagues of blood, frogs, and boils, and the death of all the firstborn.

    1. PNGuinn
      Alert

      Re: Mobile phone bills would go up if the UK was outside the EU.

      "And there was I expecting plagues of blood, frogs, and boils, and the death of all the firstborn."

      The problem is that, like Pharaoh, our politicos quite like the frogs.

      No, I'm not being racist, I'm not talking about the ones just over the channel.

  11. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
    Coat

    Politics

    I can't stand Politics, its like a posher version of Jeremy Kyle.

    I'll fetch my coat (and watch Storage Hunters on Dave)

    1. Flatpackhamster

      Re: Politics

      Oooh, you won't be able to do that if you vote to Leave. It'll be a wasteland I tell you, no TV for anyone if you vote to leave the EU. TVs never operated before the EU and they won't operate if you leave, so vote to remain because the EU loves you.

  12. Stephen T

    EU and UK Mobile's future

    Andrew Orlowski is right to point out that the EU Commission did not have a central role in the GSM initiative. However it is not correct to characterise it as a private initiative blessed later by Ministers in Bonn in 1987. Politically GSM was an EU inter-governmental initiative of the big four EU Countries, it was blessed by the 1986 European Council (chaired by Mrs Thatcher) and the Commission had a role to play in reserving the spectrum for GSM. So David Cameron does have a basis of historic fact for his comments. This does not take away from Andrew his good point about the Commission's limitations. However Cameron's point that the future of UK mobile is locked into the EU is certainly true if for no other reason that our radio spectrum framework is locked into Europe and spectrum will remain the raw material for 5G and every wireless revolution to come. Our main land trade route is also via EU countries. There are some good reasons for Brexit but mobile radio is not one of them.

  13. Tim Hines

    1987, surely

    The Bonn agreement was 1987, not 1997. Coincidentally, I'd only just read that in the excellent Information Age exhibit at the Science Museum today.

  14. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Happy

    >Indeed, many things that the EU takes credit for today happened not because of Brussels, but in spite of it. The Schengen open borders agreement was a non-EU initiative that happened because continental European countries, particularly the Benelux members, became so fed up with the European Community being so slow in agreeing open borders. Schengen was later co-opted by the EU and became compulsory for new members.

    This paragraph does not make sense. Schengen was certainly not made in spite of the EU, it was the old-school Brits who were lagging behind, and the EU as a whole can only move as fast as its slowest member (usually the UK). It had been in planning for a while. Where you have a point is that the Benelux lost their temper ... and that caused several states to agree, "Who cares what the UK wants, we'll do it without 'em." Mind you, UK has still not understood the benefits of Schengen.... maybe by 2050?

    I do not really like the UK being in Europe, they act like the spoiled brat in school ... "Oh, but mummy would never want me to pick up anything I dropped on the floor, she always does it for me!", and they keep the rest of us in the EU behind.

    UK MEP's have already caused so much damage .... good riddance, and Catherine Ashton, shit, they already did away with her ..... CHRIKEY, what a nut she was, seriously! "Wenn Dummheit weh tun würde", excuse my German.

    So, why do you not just go for it, a Brexit .... see you again in 2025, with an economy in ruins (is it not already) begging to be let back in .... at least, then, you might accept to be treated like everybody else, I would add that by then, that will certainly be the sine qua non for a re-entry. It would also be the nth time you leave and come back - we don't need you and you no longer realize how much YOU need us, "Alzheimer, peut être?", excuse my French.

    Before the patriots, nationalists, and/or xenophobs downvote, remember, I am a Brit ;-).

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