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Saturday, January 16, 2021

More problems for Leave.EU

Following my blog over a week ago when I wrote about the Brexit campaign group Leave.eu moving its internet registration to the Republic of Ireland in order to be able to keep its .eu suffix after the UK quit the European Union, it appears the move was not as smooth as they would have liked.

The Guardian reports that the group’s EU domain name has been temporarily suspended. This development comes after the Irish businessman in whose name the pro-Brexit campaign group’s domain name is registered denied having any involvement with the organisation.

Visitors to the site are now greeted with an error message, while the EU’s online registry marks the domain as under a server hold, meaning it is “temporarily inactive and under investigation”:

Following Brexit, UK organisations are no longer able to use the .EU top-level domain, a change which – ironically – affected the pro-Brexit group, the most prominent owner of an EU domain name in Britain.

Irish businessman Sean Power, who is based in Waterford, is still registered as the legal owner of the domain name. However, he has long insisted he has no knowledge of Leave.EU, and had never heard of the organisation before the Guardian contacted him on 7 January. “My lawyers are looking into this on my behalf presently and will be in touch as deemed necessary in due course,” he said last week.

Last week, Neale Richmond, a member of the Irish parliament, wrote to ComReg, the country’s communications regulator, calling for an investigation into how Leave.EU was able to secure the domain name. “It is utterly ridiculous to think that Leave.EU could brass-plate an address in Waterford to maintain their domain name,” Richmond said on Friday. “They wanted to leave the EU, they have, that means they leave their domain too.

“Many other questions in relation to data storage, fundraising, finances, donations and political activities would need to be answered if Leave.EU were genuinely relocating to Waterford.

“Leave.EU are quite simply not welcome in Ireland, their questionable activities over the past number of years have brought a new level of toxic politics in the UK and beyond.

“I welcome the suspension of this domain; I sincerely hope this is the end of this odious website and the related traffic driven to this odious brand. Good riddance.”

Oh dear!
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