As we reported earlier, last October Nominet (the .uk-registry) was contemplating opening up for registrations directly under .uk. For now, only registrations on the third level (like under .co.uk or .org.uk) are possible. They received lots of feedback on this idea and now have to conclude that just opening up the second level wouldn’t be that straight-forward.
The idea however isn’t completely off the table. Nominet is now even pondering about also imposing some of the stricter rules they had in mind for .uk, on third levels like .co.uk or .org.uk. Amongst others, they are for example thinking about promoting DNSSEC, which could go from incentives to making it obligatory. Also verification of contact information published in the Whois might come in the future. So it’s not possible to rule out that paperwork to proof correctness of contact information will be introduced for .co.uk-registrations, like it was for example introduced for .ru and .cn not so long ago.
And they are even thinking about making a local presence in the UK obligatory. It is however questionable if such a local presence limited to the UK is allowed in a European context. The .fr-registry recently relaxed their local presence requirements to allow registrations to anybody in Europe, because their previous requirement to have an address in France was against European law.