Europe rules EU citizens in UK can keep .eu domains after Brexit

European officials have changed their position on what happens to .eu domains after Brexit.

Brexit: EU citizens in the UK will be able to keep .eu domains, says Brussels European officials have changed their position on what happens to .eu domains after Brexit.

The European Commission has decided that EU residents living in the UK can keep their .eu domains even after the UK officially pulls out of the union. 

Its new position on .eu domains, spotted by The Register, is the latest twist in the EC's thoughts on how to treat .eu domains that are owned by EU residents but registered to a UK address. 

The change was announced Friday on EC-contracted domain registrar Eurid's website. It reverses an EC decision in January that barred EU citizens who live in the UK from maintaining a .eu domain. Back then, the EC decided that EU citizens in that situation would need to cancel their UK-registered .eu domains within two months of the UK's exit from the EU. 

The notice from the EC says that "at the time of the UK withdrawal, EU citizens residents in UK may still keep their .eu domain name(s) thanks to the changes of the .eu eligibility criteria that as of 19 October 2019 will see the citizenship criteria added to the residency criteria".

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However, the same rules announced in March 2018 still apply to organizations that are established in the UK but not the EU, as well as non-EU citizens residing in the UK. These groups won't be able to register or renew .eu domains before Brexit happens, per the EC's latest ruling

As The Register's Kieren McCarthy points out, the EC's flip-flopping on rules for .eu domains over Brexit is doing more harm than good to the .eu domain space, given that only businesses that have customers in the EU would have an incentive to run a site with a .eu domain. 

Domain names is far from the only impact that Brexit is likely to have on the tech industry which is worried about the impact on inward investment, the ability of companies to recruits tech experts from across Europe and the ability of tech companies to sell products (and more importantly services) into the EU.  

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