'Very difficult' for Britain to stay in any EU customs union after Brexit: trade minister

British Trade Minister Liam Fox speaks at the China-UK Business Forum in Shanghai, China February 2, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - British Trade Minister Liam Fox said on Friday it would be very difficult for Britain to remain in any kind of customs union with the European Union after Brexit.

“It is very difficult to see how being in a customs union is compatible with having an independent trade policy because we would therefore be dependent on what the EU negotiated in terms of its trading policies and we’d be following behind that,” Fox told Bloomberg TV in China.

“We have to be outside of that to take advantage of those growing markets. One of the reasons we are leaving the European Union is to take control and that’s not possible with a common external tariff.”

Reporting by William James; Editing by Nick Macfie