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Brexit Breaks The UK’s Internet… Sort of

Mon Jan 11 2021

Over 80,000 .eu websites owned by British businesses have stopped working

Top level .eu domains are all managed through a registry called EURid… and as of the 01st Jan, they’ve suspended over 80,000 domains held by British organisations and individuals.

 

As of the 01st Jan, EU rules and the Brexit agreement stated .eu domains or emails could only be held by an individual or organisation within the European Union.

If there’s been confusion however it’s understandable as the rules over this have flip-flopped back and forth during the Brexit negotiations.

 

Originally, back in 2018, it had been decided that any .eu domain that had been registered by a person or company living in the UK would just be cancelled as of 01.01.2021.

As expected though, that didn’t sit well with a lot of British organisations doing business in the EU, who came together to threaten legal action.

From there the rule was amended a lot, going first one way, then the other before a final decision was reached only last October which stated that only the following individuals or groups could have or register an .eu domain name:

 

  • Any EU citizen, independent of their place of residence
  • Any naturalised individual who isn’t an EU citizen but is a resident of a Member State
  • Any undertaking that is established in the EU
  • An organisation that is established in the EU, without prejudice to the application of national law
  • Any British .eu domain holder who moved their domains registration address from a UK address to an EU one.

 

Anyone not fulfilling one of the five above criteria, especially Britain’s under that last one, would have their accounts suspended after the 01st Jan, 2021… which has now obviously passed, affecting over 80,000 domains.

 

EURid sent out a warning on the 01st October last year to all .eu domain registrants that were in the UK, letting them know that if they didn’t update their registration by the 01st Jan, they’d be illegible for an .eu domain name.

That was followed by a second warning on the 21st December to all registrants who hadn’t yet updated their details.

 

A notice was then sent on the 02nd Jan this year, telling anyone who still hadn’t updated their details that their .eu domain was no longer valid within the EU and noncompliant with .eu regulatory frameworks so had been moved to a SUSPENDED status which would last until 31.03.2021. 

However, the domain can still be reactivated before then by updating the registration with valid EU details. After that though, as of 01.04.2021, all non-compliant .eu domains would be marked as WITHDRAWN and as of 01.01.2022 will become available for general registration again.

 

As a final, funny twist, one of the British organisations that had to migrate to a base with in the EU to maintain their .eu website was the pro Brexit group Leave.EU… oops!

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Mon Jan 11 2021

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