THE Conservative-Labour talks on Brexit are doomed to failure, a Cabinet source has warned, as Theresa May accused Jeremy Corbyn’s party of dragging its feet over them.

The discussions, which resumed today after the Easter recess, are aimed at finding common ground to be able to push through Westminster a compromise plan on Britain’s departure from the EU.

However, after weeks of talks between ministers and their shadows as well as party officials, there has been no breakthrough.

And one Cabinet minister told The Herald that they believed the talks would ultimately fail for political reasons.

“It’s possible to reach an agreement based on both sides having the same objective but, ultimately, it will come down to a political choice for Labour as to whether they believe their party interests are best served by delivering Brexit. My view is it will be too difficult for them to square all the interests in the Shadow Cabinet.”

Downing St made clear the Prime Minister acknowledged Labour was approaching the talks in a "serious" way but pointed out they had hit difficulties over timetabling with Conservatives pressing for greater urgency.

At the first meeting of Cabinet since the Easter recess, ministers discussed the progress of cross-party talks, including the impasse over Labour's insistence on future involvement in a customs union with the EU.

Mrs May's spokesman told reporters: "The PM said discussions with Labour had been serious but had also been difficult in some areas, such as in relation to the timetable for the negotiations.

"The PM said the Government's position was that progress needed to be made urgently as it was vital to deliver on the result of the referendum and for the UK to leave the EU as soon as possible."

However, Mr Corbyn put the blame for the lack of progress on the Government's refusal to shift on its "red lines".

"We'll continue putting our case but, quite honestly, there's got to be change in the Government's approach," declared the Labour leader.

"They cannot keep on just regurgitating what has already been emphatically rejected three times by Parliament; there's got to be a change."

The UK Government faces a race against time to ratify a Brexit agreement in time to cancel the May 23 European elections.

It could seek to accelerate progress by tabling the Withdrawal Agreement Bill[WAB] in the Commons as early as next week even if the cross-party talks had not reached a conclusion.

Ministers are wary of putting the bill before MPs unless they are confident of getting it safely through the Commons. WAB is the bill which ratifies the UK's Brexit agreement and its passage is essential for EU withdrawal.

If it were defeated, it could not be retabled unless the Government brought the parliamentary session to an end and presented a new legislative programme in a Queen's Speech, introducing delays which would almost certainly dash hopes of avoiding the European elections. Moreover, getting WAB through the same parliament albeit in a new session would be just as difficult.