UK Government Advises British .EU Registrants to Plan For No Deal Brexit

The UK government has issued yet another guidance on what British registrants of .eu domain names should do if Britain ends up leaving the European Union. The guidance notes “EURid has confirmed that it has placed on hold any plans regarding domain names registered to individuals and undertakings in the UK and Gibraltar, whilst it awaits instructions from the European Commission.”

The UK government guidance says British-based .eu registrants, of which there are currently around 300,000 businesses and individuals, may still satisfy the eligibility criteria if they have a “registered office, central administration, or principal place of business within the European Economic Area (EEA) or are otherwise established within the EEA, or are a natural person resident in the EEA.”

And if these options aren’t available, the government guidance notes that “in its notice to stakeholders on 28 March 2018, the European Commission confirmed that in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal, the EU regulatory framework for the .eu Top Level Domain will no longer apply to the UK as from the withdrawal date.”

The notice explains that undertakings and organisations that are established in the UK but not in the EU, and individuals who reside in the UK, 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.

The government advice goes on to say that EURid published a notice in January 2019 in consultation with the European Commission to provide further clarification for prospective and existing UK registrants of .eu domains:

  • in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal and;
  • in the event of the UK leaving the EU following a planned transitional period on 31 December 2020 or at a later date.

This notice is currently on hold whilst EURid awaits instructions from the Commission, following the European Council’s decision to extend the Article 50 period. However, the UK government recommends UK registrants of .eu domains should take note of the content of both notices.