Tens of thousands .eu domains belonging to British businesses stopped working on the first day of the new year, as a result of Brexit-related legislation. The move was enforced by EURid, the organization that runs the .eu registry.
According to a report from The Register, the European Commission’s initial intention was to revoke .eu domains owned by all UK citizens once the country had departed the EU. But this plan sparked anger among British citizens living in the EU and firms doing business on the continent.
After a lot of back and forth, and three different versions of the legislation, it was finally decided that only British citizens and business who live and have their headquarters in the UK would have their domains taken away.
However, instead of killing the websites outright, the European Commission has decided to suspend them for three months, and give the businesses until March 31 to either move their headquarters onto EU soil or switch to a different domain.
“Registration data may be updated by indicating a legally established entity in one of the eligible Union Member States, or by updating their residence to a Union Member State, or proving their citizenship of a Union Member State irrespective of their residence,” it was stated in an advisory.
It appears that the exodus began long ago, however, given that there were 317,000 .eu domains owned by Brits in 2018 and only 81,000 remain.