WASHINGTON British Chancellor Philip Hammond said on Friday that he believes the concept of a U.S.-UK free trade has strong support in both the Trump administration and in the U.S. Congress, led by House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Hammond told reporters in Washington that he sees a "high-level commitment" in Washington for a comprehensive deal covering both goods and services.

"There is clearly a very strong political momentum behind this deal, and as soon as we are able to, as soon as it's possible within the terms of our obligations to the European Union, we will begin preliminary discussions with the united States."

(Reporting by David Lawder)