Eurocrats double down on .eu Brexit boot-out

You can live anywhere and get a .eu domain – so long as you're one of us

Eurocrats have reiterated that UK citizens will not be allowed to own .eu domain names following Brexit, releasing proposed new rules that open up the registry while at the same time clamping down on Brits.

Last month, the European Commission unexpectedly announced that UK-based owners of .eu domains would not have their .eu domains renewed following the UK's exit from the European Union in 2019.

The decision was met with astonishment, not least from the company that operates the .eu registry, Eurid, which had not been informed of the decision.

Not only would killing off 318,482 domains go against the long-held norms of the internet, it would actually cut into the EU's budget since it takes all the excess profits from the registry.

The commission was expected to backtrack on the policy following an outcry, however on Friday released the results of a review of the registry and announced it was going to introduce "more flexibility in the .eu top-level-domain" and "simplify the existing legal framework."

Amazingly, however, it has retained its Brexit position while agreeing to allow EU citizens that live outside of Europe to register .eu domains: right now, you not only have to be a EU citizen, but also have to provide evidence of EU residence.

Under revised rules, you can live outside the EU but still get a .eu domain if you a citizen of the union. And the EC has argued that this will help .eu deal with plateauing domain registrations, which are happening across the registry market.

However, it completely fails to note at the same time that its "Brexit means Brexit" position will lead to the expiration of more than 300,000 .eu domains. That number that is never going to be replaced by EU citizens living outside the EU who decide they want a .eu domain.

So, basically, a bad decision building on top of a bad decision. If that ain't Brexit all over, we don't know what is. ®

Correction: An earlier version of this story concluded that people in the UK would, post-Brexit, be able to own .eu domains as registration would be opened up to anyone worldwide. This was incorrect. We're happy to clarify that, from next year, only EU citizens, regardless of where they live, will be able to own .eu domain names.

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