‘Outrage’: Row after pro-Brexit group moves its website back into EU

A group that campaigned for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union has claimed, without evidence, that its website has been shut down by the Irish government.

The official webpage for the Leave.eu campaign was unavailable on Friday evening.

The pro-Brexit group has faced criticism for migrating the address of its .eu domain name back into the EU, from the UK to Ireland.

Website domains ending .eu can only be held by businesses or individuals located in the European Union or the European Economic Area.

In October, Brussels-based company EURid had warned UK-based organisations they would lose control of their accounts on 1 January 2021 after the end of the Brexit transition period, unless they relocated and established a legal entity in an EU nation.

Neale Richmond, European Affairs spokesperson for a coalition party, Fine Gael, described the move as an “outrage”.

“If they are trying to use Ireland as a flag of convenience to maintain their domain name and brand, we have to make sure everything is in order.”

Neale Richmond has repeatedly raised questions about the group in the Irish Dáil and has referred the group to communications and revenue regulators for investigation.

Leave.eu shared an article on Twitter in which their head of communications, Andy Wigmore, said the matter was “very convenient”.

“The timing is impeccable that the day after Mr Richmond’s churlish rant in the Irish Parliament, our website gets taken offline.

“We’ll be looking into what’s happened as a matter of urgency.”

Euronews has contacted Leave.eu for a statement on their website status and their decision to relocate it.

Leave.EU was founded in 2015 by British businessman Arron Banks but was not chosen by the British Electoral Commission to lead the official pro-Brexit campaign before the 2016 referendum.

In an email to the AFP news agency, Andrew Wigmore confirmed Irish press reports that the headquarters of its website had been relocated to Waterford in Ireland.

Source: Euro news