Brexit campaign group switches domain to Ireland
Campaign group accused of hypocrisy
Pro-Brexit campaign bankrolled by UKIP backer Arron Banks, has switched the registered office for its website to Waterford in the Irish Republic so that it can retain its ‘.eu’ internet address.
The move by Leave.eu, first reported by the Euractiv website, follows the suspension of more than 80,000 .eu domain suffixes belonging to British users following Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union last week.
The .eu domain name can only be held by businesses or individuals based in the EU or wider European Economic Area.
EUrid, the European registry for the .eu domain, informed UK registrants in October that their domains were no longer compliant with its regulatory framework and were therefore suspended until at least the end of March.
The registry told Euractiv that “a few minutes” into the new year, thousands of .eu domains belonging to UK users were downgraded, removing functions such as email or basic website services. In addition, no UK-based registrant is now able to obtain a .eu domain.
Loss of the .eu domain name could have hit Leave.eu’s standing in web search rankings, as well as its branding.
Critics turned to social media to mock Leave.EU’s move, accusing it of hypocrisy.
Pro-Brexit campaigner, Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, was also accused of hypocrisy when Somerset Capital Management, a hedge fund manager in which he owns a 15% stake, set up two funds in Dublin to give it continued access to the EU after Britain’s exit.