In a meeting with UK domain registrars, EURid (the .EU domain registry manager) has confirmed the European Commission’s directive on how Britain’s withdrawal from the EU will affect UK Registrants the domain. The European Commission has ordered EURid to delete all domain names registered to UK registrants on March 30th, 2019 if a withdrawal agreement has not been reached by that date.
With almost 400,000 .EU domain names registered by UK entities, UK and European business could be faced with mass disruption to their online services. Many high-profile British businesses use a .EU address for their main website or additional services, such as email. These businesses will need time to plan their transition away from the .EU ccTLD to prevent disruption in their services.
Furthermore, EURid has stated that the domains could be revoked without notice, causing mass panic and confusion among UK domain registrars.
In a previous similar case, the discontinuation of the .GB extension, domain owners were given until the natural expiry of their websites to make necessary changes to their services.
Whether the European commission intends to follow through with its plans to delete all UK registered .EU domains, or whether it is now using the ccTLD as a bargaining chip in their3 Brexit negotiations remains to be seen, but there is plenty of cause for concern amongst UK based .EU website owners.
We suggest that our UK customers register their EU domains with a non-UK address. We are also exploring options to provide a proxy service to allow UK entities to register .EU domains.
In an official statement on 28th March, the European Commission has been revealed that all UK residents who have registered a domain with the popular .eu TLD will no longer be eligible to renew their domain or register a new one, following Britains departure from the European Union.
As of the withdrawal date, undertakings and organisations that are established in the United Kingdom but not in the EU and natural persons who reside in the United Kingdom will no longer be eligible to register .eu domain names or, if they are .eu registrants, to renew .eu domain names registered before the withdrawal date.
Ironically, this could see the end of a major pro-Brexit campaign group’s website, Leave.eu.
EURid, the registry in charge of the .eu TLD, released a statement explaining that it was not consulted over the plans, or even informed what they were before the news was made public.
“Yesterday afternoon, EURid, the registry manager of the .eu TLD, received the link to the European Commission’s communication concerning Brexit and the .eu TLD.”
Furthermore, the cancellation of over 300,000 .eu domains, around 10% of the registry’s total, could result in a massive drop in revenue for the company, and the release of many rare domains, such as joe.eu and flights.eu.
To make matters even worse, the European Commission suggested that existing .eu domains may be canceled on the date of Brexit, which is expected to be under a year from now. There is no mention of any appeal process.
There is still hope though – negotiations between the UK and EU have not yet been finalized, meaning that there is still a chance that an arrangement could be made in the withdrawal agreement to allow the UK to keep their domains.
As of 1st April 2018, Gnu Host will no longer support the registration of .eu domains.
You can read more about this topic at the European Commission