An article by the Daily Express wrongly accused “Brussels” of seeking to restrict UK citizens’ access to online content after Brexit when they travel abroad. EURACTIV.com looks into the story as part of the “Fact or Fake” series, in partnership with France 24.
The European Commission wants to “punish” British citizens for leaving the European Union… by restricting their access to Netflix when they travel across Europe.
This was the accusation put forward by the Daily Express, an English tabloid newspaper, in an article published in March.
The accusation is misleading, however, because it reverses the responsibility.
The truth is that after Brexit, Brits could indeed lose their right to the “portability” of online content when they travel abroad, a right which is currently protected under EU law and is enjoyed by all EU citizens.
This law guarantees that consumers can enjoy their paid subscription content – such as football games or Netflix – everywhere in the European Union, exactly like at home. Once the UK leaves the bloc, the law automatically ceases to be valid for British citizens unless London strikes a deal with Brussels to re-apply the same law.
Accusing “Brussels” of seeking to punish Britons by terminating those rights is therefore dishonest at the very least.
For many Twitter users, it is, in fact, the British who have “punished” themselves by deciding to leave the EU and all the benefits that come with it.
1. A fact-checking thread: 'Brits to lose Netflix and iPlayer in "Brexit punishment”'
Like most things Brexit, it’s more complicated (and not even just because of Brexit).
— Jennifer Rankin (@JenniferMerode) March 29, 2018
Fact or Fake’ is a programme developed in partnership with France 24 as part of the weekly show Talking Europe.