UK exits the EU (use of dot EU Top Level Domain)

Under current EU rules, UK owners of dot EU Top Level Domain names will no longer be eligible to use them. The matter was considered by the UK Parliament (European Scrutiny) Select Committee on 17th January 2018 – here.

This reviewed the DCMS Explanatory Memorandum – extract below :

Explanatory Memorandum from the Minister of 21 December 2017

The then Minister of State at the Departure of Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS) (Matthew Hancock), states that:

▪ currently, only persons, companies or organisation based in the European Union, Iceland, Norway or Liechtenstein can register a domain name under .eu or .ею (Cyrillic script);

▪ the UK has the fourth largest number of registrations within the EU (340,000), which is the same number as the previous report;

▪ top Level Domain Name policy is a reserved matter. However, as the Devolved Administrations may have interest in the use of .eu by persons, organisations and businesses based in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, they were consulted in the preparation of the Government’s Explanatory Memorandum (although no detail of the Devolved Administrations’ views is provided);

▪ thus far, UK stakeholders have not been vocal in raising any issues or the possibility of UK based users of .eu losing its use on Brexit; and

▪ the UK Government will continue to carry out stakeholder engagement to further understand the views of UK users of .eu to inform its negotiating position.

The Government also quotes, in full, a statement from the .eu registrar about the implications of UK exit for .eu domain names that have been registered by UK residents, which essentially states that the registrar is awaiting instruction from the European Commission about how to proceed:

“On 23 June 2016 voters in the UK referendum expressed their preference to leave the European Union. As the next steps have still not been determined and the political and legal processes have not yet been initiated, note that no action will be taken against .eu or .ею domain names that have been registered by residents in UK. EURid has been appointed by the European Commission to manage the technical infrastructure of .eu and its variants in other scripts. When further details are known about the timing and details of a UK exit, the European Commission will instruct EURid on how to proceed. We will continue to keep all our stakeholders fully informed.”

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