After Brexit, the end of “.eu” sites for the British



Almost two years after the United Kingdom left the European Union, the old ties between the two entities continue to be severed. Latest: the use of “. eu ”for UK citizens.

At the beginning of January, 48,000 names of Internet sites, until then in the hands of British citizens or companies, became again available to whomever wants them, announced EURid, the non-profit association in charge of “.eu” for the account of the European Commission.

Conditional domain name extensions

To understand the case, you have to go back to how websites work. Each site is known by a domain name: this is what you type to access it, for example “la-croix.com” to arrive on the site of The cross. In this domain name, the letters after the period constitute an extension. Thus the extension “. com “ does it refer to commercial sites, ” .Fr “ to sites linked to France, “.De” to those related to Germany (Deutschland), etc.

Each of these extensions can have different conditions. For example, to register a site in “.De”, you must provide proof of a postal address in Germany. Conversely, “.Tv” (as for France.tv) which corresponds to Tuvalu, of the Pacific islands, is open to all, without needing to justify a residence in the archipelago.

For “.Eu”, you must be a resident of the European Union or have its registered office there, or be a citizen of a member country. With Brexit, British companies and individuals no longer meet the conditions to benefit from this extension.

Brexit supporters seeking to stay in Europe

As of July 1, 2021, EURid warned site owners that they were going to lose their addresses, and invited them to switch to domain names in “.Uk” or others. Some companies have easily circumvented the problem by having their address purchased in “.Eu” through European intermediaries.

TO ANALYSE. Behind “.org”, the domain name business on the Internet

The leave.eu site, which had been used to promote Brexit, also tried to emigrate so as not to be revoked. In January 2021, one of the leaders of the movement indicated a transfer to Waterford, Ireland … to remain digitally within the European Union.

An irony of fate that did not escape EURid or the Irish parliamentarians, who denounced the maneuver, as reported by the British daily The Independent. Officially, for lack of documents justifying the location in the European Union, the site of the supporters of Brexit has been made inaccessible. “This domain name is no longer registered and is currently unavailable for registration, pending the outcome of legal proceedings”, soberly indicates EURid to anyone who might be tempted to buy it.

However, some denounce an unfair measure on the part of the association that manages the extension, because “.Eu” remains accessible to residents of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. These countries are certainly not part of the European Union, but they are members of the European Economic Area, which is no longer the case for the United Kingdom.

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