After a two-and-a-half-year membership hiatus following Brexit, the UK-based Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) has rejoined Leaseurope, the European Federation representing the leasing and automotive rental industries.

The UK’s departure from the EU on 31 January 2020 led the FLA to exit Leaseurope on 21 December 2021.

In a joint statement, Stephen Haddrill, the FLA’s Director General, emphasised the value of closer collaboration with the European industry on issues such as Net Zero and technological advancements, which extend beyond the scope of EU regulators. He noted, “The UK can learn lessons from other European markets, and the reverse is true.”

Meanwhile, Leaseurope’s Director General, Richard Knubben, expressed enthusiasm for learning from the FLA’s UK experience, highlighting the mutual benefits of monitoring legislative developments in both the EU and the UK.

The statement did not address what has changed in the last two years to rekindle the relationship.

Speaking on the sidelines of the FLA’s Insight24 conference on 4 July, Haddrill reaffirmed that although the FLA had maintained its membership with Eurofinas, the trade body for consumer credit providers in Europe, it had allowed its membership with Leaseurope to lapse.

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Haddrill said the FLA board believed there was little benefit at the time from Leaseurope’s lobbying efforts and it had limited input on these issues post-Brexit.

Nonetheless, Haddrill noted that Leaseurope’s renewed focus on shared industry issues prompted the FLA board to review its membership. He also acknowledged the significance of Richard Knubben assuming the role of Director General of Leaseurope 15 months ago.

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