British web users have been told they will be able to keep their .eu domains in the event of the UK leaving the European Union as part of Brexit.
The EU has apparently performed another change in policy by releasing a new document which confirms the status of the UK as a "third country" following a scheduled departure from the EU on October 31st.
The decision follows months of wrangling over the status of .eu domains following Brexit, which has seen the EU's position change several times.
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The EU initially stated in January that UK-based citizens would have a two-month cancellation period for any .eu domains registered to a UK address, even if the user was a European citizen.
But six months on, it appears to have finally made a decision, reversing this initial stance to allow for any EU citizen, resident of an EU member state, or a third country like the UK, to own a .eu domain, even if they like outside of the continent.
"Preparing for the withdrawal is not just a matter for EU and national administrations but also for private parties," the EU document (opens in new tab) stated.
"In view of the uncertainties surrounding the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement, the .eu Top Level Domain Registry, accredited .eu Registrars, .eu domain names registrants, applicants for .eu domains names and generally stakeholders are reminded of legal repercussions, which need to be considered when the United Kingdom becomes a third country."
"Subject to the transition period provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement, as of the withdrawal date the EU regulatory framework for the .eu Top Level Domain, and in particular Regulation (EC) No 733/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 April 2002 on the implementation of the .eu Top Level Domain, will no longer apply to the United Kingdom."
EURid (opens in new tab), the agency that runs the .eu registry under contract to the EC, confirmed the news, stating on its website 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."
According to The Register, around 10 percent of .eu domains are registered in the UK, meaning that the EC may actually be harming its own revenues from the .eu registry.
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