Europe inched a step closer towards enforcing a single, universal mobile phone charger yesterday when a provisional deal was made between members of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.

The details of the deal will need to be agreed upon by EU member states in a vote expected to take place next March.

If the deal passes, then manufacturers like Apple and Samsung would be obliged under law to make a common battery charger, while the government of each respective country will have two years to bring the new rules into their national law.

The European Parliament believes that introducing a standardised charger would help to reduce waste and make life easier for consumers who switch from one phone to another.

"With this agreement we will find more safety under the Christmas tree. I am especially pleased that we agreed on the introduction of a common charger – although the Council and the Commission were hesitant at first. This will benefit the consumers", said rapporteur Barbara Weiler following the successful outcome of the negotiations with the Council.

Mobile phone chargers have been a problem for years, as companies insist on using their own ports and solutions for their respective devices.

The majority of mobile devices are now powered by micro-USB cables, but there are still exceptions to the rule.

The obvious example being Apple, which introduced the lightning connector last year meaning that there was no longer a standard charger that could be used with all Apple products.