UK official 'confident' about a trade deal with the US

  • The U.K. is optimistic it will ultimately strike a deal with the U.S., says the U.K. trade commissioner for North America.
  • Such an agreement would come after Brexit.
  • "We are committed to doing one fast. We've begun the preparations now so that we are ready to go as soon as we've left the EU next March," says Antony Phillipson.

Despite recent trade tensions between the United States and the rest of the world, the United Kingdom is optimistic it will ultimately strike a deal with the U.S., the U.K. trade commissioner for North America told CNBC on Tuesday.

Such an agreement would come after the U.K. leaves the European Union next March.

"We're confident that we can do a deal with the U.S. We are confident that the U.S. will want to do a deal with us," Antony Phillipson said on "Closing Bell."

"If we get the deal right, then there will be mutual benefit for both sides and it will stick."

U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Theresa May, U.K. prime minister.
Marlene Awaad/Bloomberg via Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Theresa May, U.K. prime minister.

Both President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May expressed an interest in a trade deal when the two met in July. However, Trump's visit came shortly after his explosive interview with British tabloid The Sun in which the president saidMay completely ignored his advice and blasted her plans for Brexit.

"If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the U.K., so it will probably kill the deal," Trump said about a potential trade agreement between the U.S. and the U.K.

May is under pressure to deliver on the 2016 vote authorizing the U.K.'s exit from the EU. There has been recent political turmoil over her strategy, resulting in the departure of high-level government officials.

Trump later walked back his comments, saying, "Whatever you do is OK with us, just make sure we can trade together."

And in a later interview with British journalist Piers Morgan, Trump said, "We would make a tremendously big deal."

When it comes to the timing of a deal between the two countries, Phillipson said they will work on it for as long as it takes.

However, he added, "We are committed to doing one fast. We've begun the preparations now so that we are ready to go as soon as we've left the EU next March."

Those preparations include a 14-week consultation period on what businesses and consumers want from a deal.

— CNBCs Silvia Amaro contributed to this report.