North Wales Web Design specialist Designweb is warning businesses who still trade under a .EU website domain to change their web address urgently.
The company explain that In the event of a no-deal Brexit, website owners with a .EU web domain are likely to see their web addresses disappear.
These domains were introduced in 2006 as a rival to the likes of .com and .org but are available only to individuals or businesses based in the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA) – and therefore on leaving the EU, British owners would not be entitled to use them.
Ironically, one of the websites affected is the website for the pro-Brexit campaign group, Leave.EU, a point the Guardian was keen to highlight in a recent article – however it will also affect around 340,000 other registered British holders of these web addresses.
Anyone who hosts their main website at a .EU address is advised to get it moved across to another domain as soon as possible, as the uncertainty surrounding Brexit remains. The government has already urged .EU holders to make contingency plans. Updated government guidance confirms that if the UK leaves without a deal, UK domain owners will only have two months to either move their principal location to somewhere within the EU or EEA, or to change to an alternative domain.
In the event of a no deal Brexit:
“.EU domain names will then be withdrawn and will become inoperable,” states the guidance issued by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which confirms warnings issued this year by the EU’s domain registrar. “This means you may not be able to access your .EU websites or email from 30 May 2019.”
After 12 months, these domains will then be open to any EU resident or company – again, with the irony that any European business would be able to register the Leave.EU domain and use it for their own purposes. If the UK reaches a deal, then what will happen to the domains is determined by the terms of the deal, so as yet this remains uncertain. It is therefore important that website owners take urgent action to protect their business so they don’t find their websites ‘stateless’ thanks to Brexit.
Owner of North Wales leading web design company, Design Web, Paul Lyons, explains:
“We’ve already worked with our clients across the region and none of our clients are still operating under a .EU domain, however other North Wales businesses, especially those who have self-built their sites to sell online, may not be aware of the change.Our message to all Welsh businesses with a .EU domain is that it isn’t too late yet and we are here to help – we can advise on a suitable alternative domain, as well as all other aspects of web design, such as hosting and security certificates, and can get things switched across very quickly, with the minimum disruption to business.
However, if you need to move hosting as well as domain, there may be a minimum contract so the time to act is now. I would urge North Wales businesses with a .EU domain to get in touch as soon as possible.”