Bloc rules dictate that the .eu domain suffix can only be granted to individuals or organizations based within the EU. This change means that tens of thousands of domains owned by UK citizens and organizations have been taken offline.
Among these is the website of the Leave.EU campaign group – the domain being the same as the group’s name.
Leave.EU was created in 2015, just under a year before the British vote to leave the EU, by businessman Aaron Banks and now UK reform leader Richard Tice.
Nigel Farage was one of the group’s main funders, although he also lent his support to the ‘official’ holiday campaign, Vote.
Samuel Stolton of POLITICO said the deletion of this domain name and thousands of others “marks the last step in an ongoing process since the UK withdrew from the EU on January 31, 2020” .
This follows Leave.EU’s reported unsuccessful attempt to retain the estate by moving its headquarters to Waterford, Ireland.
All UK-based .eu domain owners have been told they need to prove they are eligible for the suffix – either by living or being block-based – to prevent their domains from being deleted.
Some social media users have wondered who, if anything, could take over the domain name next.
Alan Garriock joked on Twitter: “Isn’t there an EU-based Remain support group that could take over the field?
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The domain deletion took place yesterday, Monday.
In total, approximately 48,000 domains were affected.
A EURid spokesperson, as quoted in POLITICO, said their staff have been working on updating thousands of domains for the past 12 months.
They said, “Over the past 12 months, our staff have worked tirelessly to support the registrants of these domain names and to follow up on the many requests to restore a domain name to registered status as soon as the criteria are met. eligibility criteria have been fulfilled.
They added that the 48,000 deleted domains “will become available for general registration on a first come, first served basis.”[d] based”.
Searching for “leave.eu” in a web browser will now indicate that the server cannot be found, that is, if or until the domain is sold to someone else.