Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus Brendan MacNeil has welcomed the announcement that the abolition of data roaming charges across the EU is a step closer this week following a deal between the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers.

It is now likely that data roaming charges will end in Europe starting from June 2017. This will help to open up internet access to EU citizens travelling between member states.

Holidaymakers and business travellers from Na h-Eileanan an Iar can expect to access normal priced data services across Europe in less than 18 months – an example of a positive that would be lost of the UK were to exit the European Union.

Commenting on the announcement local MP Angus MacNeil said:

“Whilst here in our islands, much is still to be done to improve access to internet services and I continue to press the need for this, getting data roaming charges abolished across the EU will be a major step forward in connectivity for holidaymakers and business travellers alike.

“Getting affordable internet access is a reasonable expectation, given it is now one of the most common ways to communicate.

“News that a deal has been reached on this issue is very positive indeed. The abolition of data roaming charges will help to open up internet access to EU citizens travelling between member states, ensuring people across the EU can stay connected.

“Being able to enjoy the same data conditions at home and in Europe will be an undoubted benefit of being part of the European Union and is one of many positives of why remaining in the EU is the right thing to do.

“It is also telling that in the referendum campaign roaming charges was cited as a reason for voting ‘No’, yet many Tories are now arguing the case for leaving the EU losing this and the many, many other benefits from EU membership.”