.eu names after Brexit

Like it or not, something is going to happen on 29th March, and at this stage, the details are up in the air.

What we do know for certain though, is that if you have a .eu domain name you’re up the creek without a paddle. This affects around 273,000 UK businesses and individuals.

There are two situations to consider:

1. No deal

The government’s website makes it very clear that organisations that are established in the UK, or individuals who reside in the UK, will not be able to purchase or renew their .eu domain names (source).

2. Current deal

We’ve had a look through the draft withdrawal agreement (source), and see no reference to domain names, or .eu. It obviously isn’t a priority, so we are unsure what will happen, but it’s safe to assume it could easily have the same outcome as the ‘no deal’ route, after all, we won’t be in the EU and will likely have no agreement in place; why would we have rights to .eu domain names?

So what?

If your primary website name resides on a .eu domain name and it is taken away from you, you could buy a .co.uk, correct?

Well yes, but any existing links (directories, Google listings, bookmarks, references) etc will no longer work, and you’ll not be able to get redirects set up as you won’t have access to the .eu.

Also emails, any people who have you in your address book will have an email that no longer works, and again there will be no way to forward messages once the domain name has gone.

Any SEO you have will be wiped, you’ll be starting from fresh.

Do you use a .eu email address for any online accounts? If so how will you be able to do a password reset or two-factor authentication?

What do you do?

The domain names are likely to be taken away, maybe not immediately, but before or upon renewal.

You need to start migration now, as soon as you can. Alert everyone that you have a new domain name, port your website over to a new one, get your web agency to ensure that all of the SEO is preserved during the transfer, and change all important inbound links, ensure these emails are not used for logins for starters,

This just summarises a few of the consequences and remedies, obviously, it’s more complex when you get started.

If you are unsure you need to seek advice ASAP, either from your web agency or one of the team at Webbed Feet, we’d be glad to help.

What about .eu.com?

These aren’t part of the EU government and have no affiliation with them; they are a ‘subdivision’ of .com.

Their website states that they are not restricted to EU citizens.

Personally, we wouldn’t move from a .eu to a .eu.com to err on the side of caution, but, based on what is said on https://eu.com/, it is most likely that these will not be affected.

Luke @ Colour Cymru
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