Brexit news in brief: EE roaming fees, VAT changes and OBEs awarded

This month's Brexit news includes VAT changes on the value of belongings of people moving to France from the UK, British in Europe challenging international university rates of Britons in France and more

30 June 2021

Brexit updates in brief this month including UK mobile phone firm EE from January charging £2 a day roaming charges to new customers using phones while travelling in the EEA Pic: Ekaterina Pokrovsky / Shutterstock

Honours for campaigners

Several campaigners for rights of Britons in the EU were recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. British in Europe coalition co-chairs Fiona Godfrey and Jane Golding were made OBEs, while Debbie Williams of BHOV was made an MBE, along with two campaigners from groups for Britons in Spain. World War Two veteran Harry Shindler was made an OBE for his work on issues including votes for life. No French-resident campaigners won an award.

VAT change on French moves

A proposal to levy VAT on the value of belongings of people moving to France from the UK in the second half of 2021 is not now expected to go ahead. It had been considered possible under a strict French interpretation of EU rules, officials said earlier in the year. VAT, and potentially other charges, may, however, still be levied on items above certain values (starting at €300 per carload) brought in from the UK to a second home.

Young charged wrong fees

British in Europe (BiE) campaigners have written to the UK’s universities minister highlighting that some young Britons from families based in France are being quoted international fee rates for courses at British universities. These can be twice as high as fees charged to young Britons in the UK. This is contrary to what the UK has agreed, post-Brexit, which was that young people from expatriate families may go to UK universities at ‘home’ fees for courses starting by 2027.

Campaigners appeal for help

BIE has appealed to the British community for donations – preferably on a recurring basis. It wishes to maintain its work representing Britons abroad in the EU in years to come, but has no funding from the EU or the British government.

EE brings back roaming fees

UK mobile phone firm EE will from January charge £2 a day roaming charges to new customers using phones while travelling in the EEA. This is possible as the UK is no longer bound by EU anti-roaming fee rules.

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