The consequences of Brexit fall on 300 thousand internet domains

The consequences of Brexit fall on 300 thousand internet domains

June 27, 2018

Brexit has a heavy impact on .eu domains: UK users and companies will not be able to register or renew them, the EC (European Commission) has decided to cancel the domains with a .eu suffix that are registered in the UK.

The European Commission has decided that with the Brexit the first level internet domains with a .eu suffix registered in the United Kingdom will have to be divested. It is about 317 thousand websites, almost 10% of the total .eu domains. The document issued by Brussels states that the measure will be active from 29 March 2019 and is not appealable and reversable.

The explanation is all in a short communication issued by the European Commission according to which the EURid has a duty to enforce the agreements undertaken for which the registration of a .eu domain must be an expression of a European identity, and therefore it must be linked to a person resident in the Old Continent or a company having a center of gravity within the Community borders. With the Brexit, however, the United Kingdom has formally become a “third country”, thus losing the requirements for registering a .eu domain.

A decision that puts into crisis EURid, the company that manages the .eu top level domains, officially accredited by the EU Commission since 2005 and which pays out several million euros each year to Brussels.

Brussels also has the right to manage policies relating to the registration of .eu domains and, in order to do so, a mediation relationship was initiated with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann), to assign domain names and IP addresses. There is no lack of protests, from the experts of the sector who complain that they have not been heard.

The technology website The Register, commenting on the news, criticizes the decision taken by the European Commission, considering it contrary to the freedom that allowed the Internet to grow out of proportion, also arguing that during the long negotiation phase London will have the opportunity to revive Brussels. A decision that, according to the British site, finds its logic in an environment of retaliation against the United Kingdom.