The winds of change are blowing over Great Britain in conjunction with Brexit. Now it’s the IT world that will get a punch in the face.
The Swedish web magazine Computer Sweden report that the European commission now announced that they will revoke British EU domains after Brexit. This will happen regardless of whether the UK leaves the bloc with or without a deal.
And we are not talking about a few domains. It’s about 250 000 British EU domains and it will affect everything from large established companies to private persons.
Negotiations on transition arrangements are taking place right now and will be completed next week, but it is already known in the past that the domains will be revoked regardless of how a possible exit agreement between the UK and the EU is designed.
If the exit takes place with a so-called soft Brexit (through an agreement), the revocation of the domains will take effect on January 1, 2021.
However, no one knows how quickly they can be recalled if it becomes a tough Brexit, (without a contract).
The affected domains will disappear from the web within 48 hours of the readmission. The same applies to email and other services related to the relevant domains, such as certificates.
Already in March 2018, the EU Commission flagged on interested parties that there was a risk of withdrawing EU domains. Yet the number of UK EU domains dropped by 100,000 registrations.
The changes will, of course, have a major impact financially, especially on those websites that have had a good hit rate in search engines with their current domain names.
Many companies will therefore have to restart from scratch.
Perhaps losing their websites and domains wasn’t what the yes-sayers thought would happen when they voted for Brexit. And maybe, as we speak, some of these poor souls sits and googles on which new top-level domains that would work instead.
According to EURid, who runs the .eu domain, new information will be released later this week regarding the possibilities these domain owners have.
We will keep you updated!
UPDATE FROM EURid 2019-01-24: https://eurid.eu/en/register-a-eu-domain/brexit-notice/
According to the update, it seems that a solution for British .eu domain owners could be to change to a valid address within the EU, Norge, Island or Lichtenstein. One way to do this is to use local presence service. However, this approach does not seem to be completely safe. In case any other party is interested in a taken .eu domain, it may raise a complaint that the local presence holder is not really entitled to the domain.