The Tories have been mocked after boasting about two mobile phone network companies – which have merged as one – appeared to have kept EU roaming free after Brexit.
The charges were abolished by the EU in 2017, but the UK’s trade deal with the bloc failed to keep the benefit after Brexit.
However, O2 and Virgin Media said they do not plan to reimpose the fees now that Britain is out of the European Union.
Meanwhile, other networks who previously made similarly bold claims have backtracked since and reimposed additional charges.
Prime minister Boris Johnson rushed to post about the latest Brexit highlight. “I welcome the decision by Virgin Media and O2 to keep roaming free, meaning UK citizens can still use their mobile data, calls and texts across Europe with no extra charges,” he said.
Meanwhile, culture secretary Nadine Dorries offered her “respect” to the companies and attacked the EU for post-Brexit roaming charges.
Sovereign country outside the EU?
She said: “We proposed to the European Commission that maintaining surcharge free mobile roaming be part of Brexit negotiations. They rejected that.
“Respect to Virgin Media and O2 for keeping free roaming across Europe for its customers.”
But hundreds of people had something to say to the Tories.
Reactions to Boris Johnson and Nadine Dorries praising free roaming
Actor Daniel Stewart mocked the prime minister’s tweet, saying: “Let’s celebrate having something we already had!”
On a similar note, Twitter user James Piggford added: “Brexit bonus, some people will continue to get something that was a legal right before we left the EU.”
And Pro-EU campaigner Sarah Murphy asked Johnson a series of questions related to post-Brexit Tory policies: “How about getting them all to do this then? And cutting VAT and matching EU subsidies to our poorest regions? And not removing our rights or doing trade deals that undermine our farmers and our welfare standards?
“Like you promised, Mr. ‘No border in the Irish Sea’. Or did you lie?”
Another user highlighted the two companies not intending to implement roaming charges post Brexit are not even two – but one, after they merged last year.
“And it’s no longer unlimited, but capped at 25Gb. So there’s another barefaced lie of a press release Brexit announcement,” the user added.
One person highlighted, in the light of rising energy prices, living costs and taxes, they will not be able top afford to travel to the EU anyway. “I can’t even afford to go to Europe after my gas bill mate.”
And Izzy Knowles brilliantly summed up the cheerful Tory announcement: “Oh whoopie do!
“My kids have lost freedom of movement over 31 countries but they can now celebrate not having to pay a charge they didn’t have to pay a year ago, as long as they are with the right telecom company.”
Related: New 2022 roaming fees kick in next month for UK travellers to the EU