Liadh for President
Liadh for President

Roaming changes welcome but show depth of Brexit unknowns

Sinn Féín MEP Liadh Ní Riada has welcomed the latest development on moves to end roaming charges in Europe.

The Ireland South MEP made the comments as the EU crossed the final hurdle to ending roaming charges by June this year after coming to a preliminary agreement with telecom operators on a charging cap.

She said that while this was a positive move such developments also highlighted the myriad of unknown problems that Brexit will cause.

“I am delighted to see that slow but steady progress is still being made on putting an end to ridiculous roaming charges,” she said.

“This is something my colleagues and I have been working on for years. As far back as 2013 we had the communications committees in both the Assembly and the Oireachtas examining the possibility of banning roaming charges across Ireland while both myself and our other Sinn Féin MEPs worked extensively to see charges abolished across all of Europe, succeeding in the parliament last year, although in a nasty parting shot the European Council overruled the democratic decision taken by the EU parliament to scrap charges and delayed the process until later this year.

“However, roaming charges, like countless other issues, will not be discussed between Britain and the EU until after Article 50 has been triggered. So we could well be facing a ridiculous situation where people here can use their phone freely 3000 kilometres away in Athens or Bucharest but not if they go shopping in Newry or Derry or Enniskillen.

“This announcement, while welcome, is yet another example as to why special exemption from Brexit must be made for the north. It serves to highlight the huge number of issues that will be thrown into utter disarray by a completely clueless British Government and a thoroughly unprepared Irish one.”

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