WITH the summer holidays in full swing for Scotland’s schools, the costs of family holidays are front of mind for many.

Unsurprisingly, Brexit and its myriad consequences are adding substantially to prices for those looking to visit countries within the European Union for a well-deserved break.

The many complexities of travelling post-Brexit are making things needlessly more difficult for families to visit the continent for their holidays. One aspect that is catching out many, and racking up the prices, is the additional costs brought by the end of guaranteed free mobile phone roaming throughout the EU.

As EU citizens prior to Brexit, Scots benefited from EU law which banned roaming charges across EU member states.

Legislation brought forward by the EU in 2017 gave Scots the right to “roam like at home” while in the EU, with calls, texts and data use on a mobile phone in the EU costing the same as at home.

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This significantly lowered the costs associated with holidays abroad, saving Scots from the large phone bills of the past accrued from roaming charges.

As citizens of the EU, Scots were afforded stress-free and cheaper phone use when they travelled in the EU for summer holidays.

It’s the loss of this, as well as the many other rights previously guaranteed to Scots while we enjoyed EU membership, that makes me lament the result of the 2016 referendum so bitterly.

You don’t need me to remind you though that we Scots did not vote for this – with 62% of Scottish voters in favour of remaining in the EU and retaining rights such as these.

Now, thanks to Brexit, the UK’s phone operators are no longer bound by EU legislation and can choose not to adhere to the guarantee of free mobile phone roaming.

Unsurprisingly, many have already sought to capitalise on this

As a result, users of many of the UK’s largest phone networks face mobile roaming charges for each day of their holidays to EU member states, placing additional costs on holidays for all Scots. Customers are now required to navigate a complex web of the various costs for roaming, using data, texting, and making calls while in the EU, adopted differently by each provider.

And these extra charges are not insubstantial.

Research from the House of Commons Library shows two people on either EE or Three would be charged £56 in roaming charges for two weeks in Europe, assuming they stayed within their fair use policy. For a family of four, these charges will add £112 to your holiday bill.

Many people have been caught out by this post-Brexit rule change, returning from their holidays to face a huge, unexpected bill.

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At a time of a significantly higher cost of living, with more and more households pushed to the financial brink, yet another cost to consider is likely to have put more and more families off booking a well-earned break this summer.

And unfortunately, roaming charges are but one of the many complications facing family holidays post-Brexit. Those looking to travel to the EU must be sure to check the date their passport expires. Post-Brexit EU passport rules mean that, when visiting the EU from the UK, you must have a minimum of six months left on your passport and it must be less than 10 years old.

Also thanks to Brexit, hassle-free pet travel is over

Families travelling from Scotland to the EU with a pet are no longer able to use the existing pet passport scheme, with pet passports issued in the UK no longer accepted.

Instead, they’ll need to get an animal health certificate for their pet from their vet. Scots will need to allow at least one month to arrange this and relevant vaccinations.

Next year, Scottish travellers can expect another cost to be added to their holidays thanks to Brexit, when the EU’s European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) comes into effect in 2024.

As a national of a country outside of the European Union, Scots who want to travel to the EU for a short-term stay will be required to apply for ETIAS travel authorisation, costing them €7 (around £6) per person.

According to Schengvisainfo.com however, travellers under the age of 18 and over the age of 70 are exempt from paying a fee.

Take these together alongside the countless other consequences of Brexit and it’s clear that family holidays for Scots travelling to the EU are becoming more difficult and costly.

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Let me be clear. The Tories and Labour knew that Brexit would result in costs such as these and pushed ahead regardless.

Post-Brexit roaming charges are just another example of how their grandiose promises of the so-called “benefits of Brexit” have come to nought, in the face of a grim reality of economic chaos and additional financial burdens placed on families.

Brexit, supported by both Labour and the Conservatives, has exacerbated an already damaging Tory-made cost of living crisis, inflicting severe damage on the economy while pushing up inflation, energy bills, and mortgage rates.

Scotland can only regain access to the advantages of EU membership with independence.

To escape the damage of Brexit, and return to a position where we can enjoy the many benefits we grew accustomed to in the past as EU citizens, it’s clear we need a clean break from Westminster with the full powers of independence.