Threats and opportunites
It sounds like they were clutching at straws a little on the opportunity front. The return of mobile roaming charges will be the killer for many of us. Just when we finally got rid of them as well.
Brexit could hand UK watchdog Ofcom more powers to intervene in the retail telecoms markets while simultaneously creating uncertainty over mobile roaming charges, according to a wide-ranging discussion paper. The report, Brexit: implications for digital citizens and consumers (PDF) by charitable body the Carnegie Trust, …
We can just ban them from putting roaming charges back as part of their license terms if we want to. It only means that they put their prices up to all consumers so that they can't charge extra for roaming - which is what they did when the European rules came in anyway.
The UK government fought hard against Brussels plan to impose the abolition of intra-EU roaming charges.
Did it? I don't remember that. Is that the ususal evidence-free EU story, or is there some evidence for that?
I know they didn't make the changes as fast as some people want, and brought them in gradually over about 5 years. And I've read there was disagreement about how long that should be. But don't remember any country outright opposing it - or even which countries were for slower, and which quicker.
The UK government never came out against it publicly anyway.
The UK, Italy, Greece and Spain all voted against it because they have large tourist industries that meant significant drops in profit for their local telecoms providers.
This was all timetabled to come in during 2015, but held up because of these four. I remember being quite surprised and annoyed that my own government were doing it, but at the time all of the operators were busy building out their 4G capability so I did have some sympathy.
That said, I can't say if it was UK government policy because I don't know who had the majority of MEPs at the time. Roger Helmer MEP tabled an amendment to reject the agreement on behalf of UKIP, so that was one party definitely opposed to it; you can do your own research about the others.
Seems to boil down to saying we will have to replace the EU-driven legislation we have with our own homebrewed concoction, and it might be better for the consumer? except we'll have less leverage.
Isn't that just the screamingly obvious wrapped up with trite speculation?
They'd do better explaining why the improvements they suggest haven't been done already, as that aint down to Brussels!
"Some of that could be resolved by returning to more [intervening] regulation."
I ain't no political analyst, but I thought the tenor of the Brexit debate was to "reduce regulations imposed by unelected bureaucrats". So I'm not sure how this sits with that. And if Ofcom has to regulate more,and do work now done by the EU, then that means hiring more bureaucrats. More sodding duplication (as per Medicines Agency, etc.) - just what we need.
Incidentally, since I've got a spare moment to rant :), 'bureaucrats' are normally unelected, be they some senior official in Brussels or the deputy-assistant-refuse-collection-vehicle-scheduler at your local town council. Politicians are elected, bureaucrats are appointed (ultimately by politicians).
Time for a soothing cup of tea.
" HMG does what it wants and people have even less control?"
Definitely. For example, look at the history of the many Official Secrets Acts. UK governments have a very long tradition of suppressing inconvenient truths, and that's only one area where we the people have less control than in most European countries. EU officials are amateurs compared to all our Sir Humphreys.
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