Prominent pro-Brexit website loses its .eu domain name
Sunday, 17 January 2021
A website prominent in the campaign to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union, Leave.EU, this week saw its domain name suspended, as .eu domains are restricted to users within the EU.
To make matters worse for the site’s backers, the man who is listed as the site’s owner, a businessman from Waterford in Ireland, has denied any knowledge of the political group, and says his name was used without his permission.
The top-level domain .eu can only be used by individuals or organisations registered in the EU, which is the reason why the domain changed its registration in the run-up to the end of 2019, when the change came into effect. The site is now registered in Ireland without the knowledge of the man listed as its owner.
Businessman Sean Power told the Guardian last week, “My lawyers are looking into this on my behalf presently and will be in touch as deemed necessary in due course.”
The question was raised by Irish MP Neale Richmond in a letter to the country’s telecommunications asking it to investigate how it was possible to hijack someone’s identity in this way.
“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.”
The lobby group Leave.EU was originally set up by businessman Aaron Banks, who used part of his personal fortune to lobby for Brexit.
The site remains down this morning, but the group said it was confident the matter would soon be resolved.
“We’ll be back up soon. Our lawyers will be taking action against those (and they know who they are) who have broken those delicious EU laws they love so much,” Andy Wigmore, communications director for the campaign group, told the Guardian.