Bitter France launches bizarre Brexit punishment – Bans UK from French website domains

Brexit: Attempt to trigger Article 16 a ‘mistake’ says Sefcovic

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A recent announcement from the .fr registry AFNIC (Association française pour le nommage Internet) shows Franco-British relations are fraught with tension. After the UK left the EU on January 1st, 2021, AFNIC stated: “Let’s not beat about the bush. UK residents are no longer eligible for the .fr TLD top-level domain.

“They are also not eligible for any of the other TLDs managed by Afnic.

“However, anyone who, despite having a seat on the island, had already registered a .fr domain before January 1, 2021, may keep it and renew it as often as desired.”

France’s AFNIC has specified that there are currently around 34,000 .fr domain names registered before January 1, 2021, by holders residing in the United Kingdom.

The organisation added: “However, new registrations are not permitted if the potential domain owner is based in Great Britain.

“The allocation rules for .fr are not based on the nationality of the domain owner.

“However, AFNIC does not expressly rule out the possibility that changes may still occur in the further course of the negotiations between the EU and Great Britain that also affect .fr.”

The UK’s departure from the EU was not without consequences on the registration of internet domain names.

The .fr is open to any natural or legal person residing in the territory of the European Union which included until recently, the UK.


The eligibility rules set out in the AFNIC naming charter, state a person “may request the registration or renewal of a domain name, all natural persons residing and all legal persons having their registered office or main establishment: on the territory of one of the member states of the European Union; in the territory of the following countries: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland.”

As the UK is no longer a member of the European Union, its residents are no longer eligible.

The news comes as France’s Europe minister Clement Beaune attempted to discredit the UK’s roll-out of coronavirus vaccines.

This was seen as an attempt to distract from the growing anger over the EU’s own shambolic programme.

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The close ally of President Emmanuel Macron attacked the Government’s single-dose strategy.

He said the strategy was putting Britons at risk.

In a radio interview given yesterday, Mr Beaune said: “The British are going faster because they have relied heavily on the first injection.

“If we take a look at the number of people who have had both injections in the UK and the EU, France included, we see that the number of fully vaccinated people is lower in the UK.

“The British have taken more risks, which has allowed them to go faster. What is happening in the UK is not something I would like to have here. It’s a strategy of massive vaccination with more risks.”

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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