TALKS between the UK Government and Labour in a bid to resolve the current parliamentary impasse over Brexit are to continue over the coming weeks, according to the Prime Minister Theresa May’s defacto deputy.

David Lidington said discussions would be ongoing during the Westminster Easter recess which began last Thursday and will continue until April 23.

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“They are certainly going to continue next week,” he told BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show.

“I had a good, business-like, meeting with John McDonnell a couple of days ago, and what we have agreed is a programme of meetings next week on particular subjects with the ministers and shadow ministers concerned getting together to talk about things like environmental standards, like workers rights, like security relationships between the United Kingdom and the EU.

“And then we would hope to take stock of where we are as soon as Parliament gets back after the Easter recess.

“But, I don’t think that this question can be allowed to drag out for much longer.”

The National: Shadow chancellor John McDonnellShadow chancellor John McDonnell

He added: “As a government, we have always made it clear that while we will do our best to try and reach a compromise with the main opposition party, it would mean compromise on both sides.

“If that doesn’t work then what we will want to move towards is to put before Parliament a set of options with a system for making a choice and Parliament actually having to come to a preferred option, rather than voting against everything.

“The Government [has] said we will stand ready to implement what Parliament decides.”

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Lidington also said that the UK Government and Labour were “testing out” each other’s ideas as they try to resolve the deadlock and that the two sides had a “fair bit in common” over future customs objectives.

Asked whether the Government could drop its opposition to a customs union with the EU, as demanded by Labour, Lidington said both sides had well-known “public positions”.

He suggested the two sides were considering whether there was a “mechanism” to deliver the benefits of a customs union, such as tariff and quota-free trade with the EU, while also enabling the UK to have an independent trade policy and input into EU agreements affecting the UK.

“What we have found in terms of objectives ... there is a fair bit that both parties would have in common,” he said. “If we are going to find an agreement there needs to be movement on both sides.”

The National: David Lammy

Meanwhile, on the same show Labour MP David Lammy said a public vote on any deal was the best way forward. “If we’re staying in a customs union you can’t go off and strike free trade deals. I’m not sure many leavers voted for that. If we went with Norway, which has its attractions, again we would be a rule taker. I’m not sure many people voted for that. So, clearly, the best thing to do – when a deal emerges – is to ask the country whether they like the deal.”

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Lammy was asked about whether a comparison he previously made between the European Research Group (ERG) and the Nazi Party and South African racists was unacceptable.

He replied: “I would say that that wasn’t strong enough. In 1938 there were allies who hatched a plan for Hitler to annex part of Czechoslovakia, and Churchill said no, and he stood alone. We must not appease. We’re in a situation now ... I’m an ethnic minority. We have, in the ERG, in Jacob Rees-Mogg, someone who is happy to put on to his web pages the horrible, racist AfD party, a party that’s Islamophobic and on the far right.”

He added: “They’re happy to use the phrase ‘grand wizard’. KKK is what it evokes to me when I think of that phrase and the Deep South ... of course we should not appease that.”

The AfD was founded in 2013 as a Eurosceptic party in Germany, and has since campaigned for tougher immigration laws.

Rees-Mogg has previously denied supporting the party.