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Could Brexit Impact EU Domain Names?

June 29, 2016

UK-based domain registrants holding .EU names may be feeling a little uneasy after the news of Brexit.

According to the eligibility criteria for EU names, a potential registrant must be either:

Depending on the nature of a Brexit deal, that could place those in the last group in a difficult position; but they shouldn't panic just yet. However, the EU has already stated the UK won't be able to "cherry-pick" benefits of EU ties without also shouldering the responsibilities that other countries such as Norway has. Some of these "responsibilities" were why many voted to leave the EU.

EURid is the registry manager of the .eu and .ею (Cyrillic script) country code top-level domains (ccTLD's). Yesterday, a notice was posted on the EURid web site, stating:

"On 23 June 2016 voters in the UK referendum expressed their preference to leave the European Union. As the next steps of Brexit 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."

While Brexit is not a sky-is-falling situation in this regard just yet, EURid's statement is not very reassuring for UK residents with EU names or for the registry itself for that matter. 

According to EURid's 2016 Q1 progress report, UK-based registrants are the fourth largest group of .EU registrants. United Kingdom registrations accounted for more than 307,000 by the end of the first quarter this year. This group made up more than 10% of all currently registered .EU names (3.86 million).

Thankfully, Aussies will never be faced with the same sort of situation with Australian domain names - aside from any obvious differences; .AU is a rock solid name and registry.

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