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UK won’t benefit from new native programming rules while roaming EU thanks to Brexit

UK NETFLIX AND BBC IPLAYER USERS won’t be able to access native programming when travelling around the EU as planned, thanks to Brexit.

As spotted by Politico, new EU legislation just passed will enable travellers from countries across Europe to access the libraries that they would normally find in their home market, effectively “carrying” their copyrights with them while traveling. This means they would be able to watch their home shows without iPlayer telling them they are out of broadcasting range, or Netflix changing its content to that region, for example.

However, because Britain will be leaving the European Union next year, the UK won’t benefit from the new rules. It also means that UK-based networks will have to “clear rights” with every member state of the EU where the signal lands, if they want to serve viewers.

As the EU Commission noted in its latest document:

“The United Kingdom submitted on 29 March 2017 the notification of its intention to withdraw from the Union pursuant to Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. This means that, unless a ratified withdrawal agreement establishes another date, all Union primary and secondary law will cease to apply to the United Kingdom from 30 March 2019, 00:00h.”

It’s not clear, as yet, if the new legislation will continue to apply to the UK during any transition period.

That’s not the only benefit the UK might be missing out on if it leaves the EU. Earlier this month, it was confirmed by the UK government that Brits may have to pay roaming charges when travelling in the EU after Brexit.

Prime minister Theresa May confirmed that the UK would leave the EU’s Digital Single Market following the completion of the Brexit process.

“On digital, the UK will not be part of the EU’s Digital Single Market, which will continue to develop after our withdrawal from the EU,” she said last week.

“This is a fast evolving, innovative sector, in which the UK is a world leader. So it will be particularly important to have domestic flexibility, to ensure the regulatory environment can always respond nimbly and ambitiously to new developments.”

Thanks to the Digital Single Market, Brits travelling in Europe have not had to pay roaming charges since June 2017, after changes to regulation meant that UK mobile phone users could use their regular allowance of calls, texts and data for no extra cost from anywhere in the EU, subject to certain conditions. 

While UK gov hasn’t confirmed that roaming fees will be reintroduced, a DCMS spokesperson said that while “the government is committed to securing the best deal for British consumers, arrangements on mobile roaming would be subject to any negotiations”. µ 

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